la quinceanera

la quinceanera - Kristina Madore February 20, 2008 Writing...

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Kristina Madore February 20, 2008 Writing Assignment 1 La Quinceanera : The Transition to Hispanic Womanhood La Quinceanera is one of the most widely known Hispanic traditions. This coming-of- age ritual for young Hispanic women is practiced all over the world in many different cultures. It has been adapted throughout time to keep up with varying cultures and has been blended into American culture as a result of the country’s open opinion about other cultures’ rituals and traditions. La Quinceanera is mainly practiced in Mexico, although the origin itself is unknown (Palfrey 1997). This ancient Hispanic tradition symbolizes a young girl’s transition into womanhood. It is similar to that of a Sweet Sixteen in American culture; however, it tends to hold more significance. In American culture, a young girl’s Sweet Sixteen is usually an overgrown birthday party, a way to show off that she is now old enough to drive, and gains more responsibilities. In Hispanic culture, when a young woman turns fifteen, she is considered of marriageable age and it serves as a rite of passage into new responsibilities and expectations of being a woman in her culture. Even in American culture, La Quinceanera still holds true to its original intent, even though through time it becomes increasingly more contradictory to the lifestyle that American teenagers live. This long-withstanding tradition not only serves as a rite of passage, but also as a unity of old culture and new culture, family values, and a reaffirmation of cultural identity in a world where cultural differences are increasingly becoming less significant (Lorch 1996). Page 1 of 5
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There are many different rituals performed during La Quinceanera. Although some have been altered over time, the main themes have continued to remain present in the overall ceremony. The first ritual is called the changing of the shoes, and it is just what it sounds like. At some point during the ceremony, the young adult will change from flat, child-like shoes to taller,
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course ANTH 104 taught by Professor Davidturkon during the Spring '07 term at Ithaca College.

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la quinceanera - Kristina Madore February 20, 2008 Writing...

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