News / USA

In US, Latin Coming-of-Age Parties Change with the Times

In US, Latin Coming-of-Age Parties Change with the Timesi
X
October 23, 2013 3:47 AM
The transition from childhood to adulthood is celebrated in various ways, and at different ages, around the world. In many Latin American cultures, young women mark the transition at age 15. In Los Angeles, the celebration is evolving and becoming a more lavish affair.

In US, Latin Coming-of-Age Parties Change with the Times

Deyane Moses
The transition from childhood to adulthood is celebrated in various ways, and at different ages, around the world.  In many Latin American cultures, young women mark the transition at age 15.  In Los Angeles, the celebration is evolving and becoming a more lavish affair. 
 
At a local quinceanera exposition, 13-year-old Adilen Torres and her mother research prices and gather ideas for her 15th birthday, two years from now.  Torres says the celebration will be a time to express her identity.
 
“I want people to know that what they see on the outside isn’t everything that I am. So I want my quinceanera to represent everything I am,” explained Torres.
 
Adilen's mom, Nellie Viveros, says the quinceanera is an important part of the Latino heritage.
 
“Kids nowadays, our kids, are very Americanized and this is a part of their culture that we want them to follow tradition with… This is my only daughter and it’s [a] once in a lifetime thing. I’m willing to sacrifice and work overtime to do the quinceanera for her,” said Viveros.
 
Experts say that in the past decade quinceaneras, which were once small family affairs, have grown in size.  Norma Capitanachi of Quinceanera Magazine says they have also become more costly.
 
“We have a study that says the average family maybe spends $10,000. Some quinceaneras they spend $3,000 but some quinceaneras… are very, very expensive. From $50,000 - $80,000 dollars,” said Capitanachi.
 
Capitanachi went on to say that for many quinceaneras, elaborate dresses are custom made and can take quite a while to produce.
 
“Some dresses take 3 days, 5 days, 10 days or 1 month, it depends,” she said.
 
Margarita Bargas and her staff spend hours sewing custom-made quinceanera dresses in an East Los Angeles shop. After more than 30 years of making them, Bargas has seen a transformation in quinceanera dresses.
 
“In the beginning we started with the light colors, maybe pink, lavender, baby blue off white and white.  Now it’s a lot of different colors.  More bright colors,” commented Bargas.
 
Planner Celia Barrios has coordinated 300 quinceaneras in Los Angeles. Her clients often request lavish venues, caterers, choreographers and custom-made dresses.
 
“Latino Americans that are born and raised here or have spent more, they’re wanting more.  They kind of want to blend the tradition with something contemporary… That’s where I come in,” said Barrios.
 
A typical example is the quinceanera of Tatyana. Her family and friends have traveled from all over to celebrate. The ritual starts at a church, where Tatyana promises to honor herself, her family, and her religion.
 
At the reception, the family looks back at Tatyana's childhood pictures.  Her mom, Helen Hernandez, says the family struggled financially at first.
 
 “You can see through the pictures. And we’re so blessed and thankful that we were able to move it around and do this,” said Hernandez.
 
Tatyana’s family will then present her with the last toy doll she’ll ever receive.  Her father will change her flat shoes into high heels and Tatyana will honor him with her first dance as a young woman.
 
“My parents sacrificed a lot of things to do this.  And I really appreciate that they did that.  And in the end it’s going to be worth it all and I’m going to remember this day forever,” said Tatyana.
 
 “It’s really something you can take to the heart. It’s worth it. It’s definitely worth it as you can see she was definitely happy with it,” said her parents.
 
Today, Tatyana starts her new life, as an adult.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Hilda-Gabriela from: Los Angeles, California
October 23, 2013 3:34 PM
Great article! In the line of work that I do, which is from planning Quinceañeras to hosting Quinceañera fashion shows and editing Quinceañera brand magazines, I've found that today's Hispanic teens are finding unique ways to make the celebration completely their own. To some girls that may mean ditching the tiara for a statement necklace pinned in its place, or simply overpassing traditional Quince elements such as the "last doll dance" or "change of slippers". Regardless, the core of a traditional celebration remains the same: the Quinceañera Thanksgiving Mass.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid