A Quinceanaera or Quince Anos is a Latin cultural ceremony where a girl celebrates her fifteenth birthday. It is very different from other celebrations of birthdays since this is seen like a transition stage for the girls from childhood to adulthood. This ceremony might seem like a wedding because in it, the girl has to wear a white dress similar to the one worn by brides during their weddings. However, it is not. This ceremony has some aspects that remind one of traditional wedding.
One, during the ceremonial reception, the girl is given a doll dressed with a replica of her gown. This is also done for the bride durin weddings. Two, the Quince Anos is seen as a transition stage from one state of life to another; childhood to adulthood. Traditional weddings were seen to be transition stages for most who carried them out. Three, the Hispanic traditional wedding is deeply spiritual and takes place mostly in Roman Catholic Church and so does the Quince Anos. Four, they both have receptions where families and friends gather to celebrate, make merry and review the day’s events. Five, the bride during weddings wears a white dress similar to the girl celebrating her Quincenaera.
However, a Quincenaera is different from a wedding. First, there is no bridegroom in a Quincenaera. Weddings are complete when there is a man and a woman join together. Second, a Quince Anos is a celebration of the fifteenth birthday of a girl only whereas a wedding is the celebration of the union of a man and a woman to form a home. Third, for Quince Anos, the girls are now ready to start dating boys, something that they had been forbidden to do previously. This marks the beginning of a stage of dating. Weddings on the other hand, are a celebration of faithfulness where the man and woman pledge their love and faithfulness for each other.
This video documentary enlightens us on the life of Maria Ana’s family life. It is interesting to note that the family is an ordinary one with the dad separated from it. The mother of the house has six children, one son and five daughters. The bond among these family members is one that stands out. Even with the many troubles that face them, they remain strong. Another aspect that really strikes me is the faith that they have. When their mother was sick, Ana Maria stayed by her bedside and prayed. She gave her mother strength to fight the many ailments that she has.
One expects that a father will do anything for his family; provide, protect, cherish and support them in any way. Tony, Ana’s father is a disappointment to fatherhood. He is a selfish man who did not care even about his own daughters. Before Ana was born, he was there for his family but at the seventh month before she was born, he changed and started cheating on his wife, an action that nearly cost Ana’s life. Even after separation, he did nothing to support his children let alone his ailing wife. His presence in any of his daughters’ Quincenaera is an insult to them. They asked him to help with expenses but he did not yet he showed up for the occasion. He was a disappointment to his children and his presence clearly was not forthcoming with Ana, who is seen to nearly cry when he saw him at the altar.
The Quincenaera is a big ceremony for girls turning fifteen, it means that they can now start dating and having responsibilities like other women. The mother had four other daughters but she viewed Ana as special, stating that “she had fought for her life all her life”. The fact that it is during her pregnancy that her father started cheating on her mother is a big blow and her near death through miscarriage is not an easy thing for her mother. Being the last born is also one of the factors that the family is intent on giving her this joyous occasion. Having six older sisters, it was important to her that she also goes through the same.
Having money was important for them; it determined the size of the ceremony. The many expenses that are tied to the ceremony require that the family use a lot of money. That was the reason that the family had a small crowd for their ceremony.