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My Quinceañera

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  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 916
  • Category: Women

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Celebrating a quinceañera was not only about having a big party but also a tradition that helped shape me into the person I am today. To nearly all teenage girls what comes to mind when they think or hear about a quinceañera is the party. They imagine the dress, the limousine, the enormous reception hall and the dance. Problem is; that most eager birthday girls including myself, it takes the whole experience to really understand how symbolic and meaningful the celebration really is. Although it may simply be a big fifteenth birthday party to some girls but, for me it was an eye opening learning experience.

A quinceañera is the celebration of a young woman’s coming of age. In the Spanish language “quince” means fifteen, the age that a Hispanic girl becomes a woman. The term quinceañera refers to both the young woman and the name of the celebration. This celebration is composed of two equally important events. One event is a mass that is specially organized and decorated for the quinceañera. The second event is a party that is made possible by the parents of the birthday girl and sometimes sponsors. Sponsors are usually family members and friends who financially help the parents make the party a success. The quinceañera is normally spoiled with an astonishing dress and tiara because it their day to shine and be the center of attention.

I can clearly remember attending many quinceañeras when I was younger. The birthday girls always looked so beautiful, happy and grown up. Their reception halls overflowing with unique and amazing decorations, I remember that everything looked and felt surreal. It was so fairytale like and they were the princesses, and at that age what girl didn’t want to feel or look like one. It is quite memorable to me that I would continuously supplicate my parents to allow me to have my own, yet I was only eight at the time and still had some time to go. There was a pink notebook with purple butterflies that I would write out exactly how I wanted my party to be. Every detail was included, whether it was the food that was going to be served to the people that I wanted to be my sponsors because I knew my family could never afford a party of that size.

Then, when I finally turned fourteen the planning started. Since my family couldn’t afford everything on their own, I remember visiting friends and family to ask them if they were able to sponsor my quinceañera. Most people happily agreed while others offered their help on their own. I focused on everything to be so perfect, not that I think of it, everything seems more materialistic than anything. My tiara had to be big and shiny, the shoes; silky and dazzling and the dress; sparkly and elegant. My makeup had to be flawless and my hair perfect, the cake and reception hall had to be beautifully decorated. To sum it up, everything had to be astonishing, shiny and unblemished.

However, when the day finally came it did not feel as fairytale like and I had expected. That day I awoke early for make makeup and hair to be done, then quickly rode off in my limo for the day to church. The mass went well but once it was over my court and I headed to the reception hall. Once there, I noticed nearly five hundred people, friends and family from all over California and the U.S. Then once it was time for the father daughter dance, instead of cherishing that moment we talked about minor party details. By 12am once the party was over and everything was getting cleaned up I felt relieved that the day had finally concluded. However, just like I explained how my quinceañeras unfolded was how it actually was, event after even and I never felt the spark I had imagined as a child. For a slight moment I felt like a princess but not like I believed it would entirely feel.

Then that night, as I thought about my quinceañera, I realized all the little details that composed my celebration. My parents had to take out loans and spent a great deal of time planning and making sure everything turned out how I wanted it to be. The sponsors that helped me only did it because they knew how much I wanted my quinceañera and they wanted to see me happy on my day. All my family that had traveled a long distance had done it for me and to be able to celebrate my birthday with me.

While I put away my dress and tiara I realized that it was time to appreciate the wonderful family and community that surrounded me. Also, that I will always have my parents love and support in the decisions I make. Lastly, that it was time to grow up, I was no longer a princess, I was a woman and I had to act like one. Having my quinceañera was not only about the party I had but the lessons and revelations that came with it. I learned that I have a strong community and family surrounding me, who will always be available in times of need. Also, being materialistic will only make you happy for a period of time but in order to be content one must be humble and appreciate the little things in life.

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