Overview of a Quinceañera

1283 Words6 Pages
What is the difference between a book and a Quinceañera? While the first thought might be “a lot,” in actuality, they are very similar. A book changes in appearance over time, but the message inside stays the same; likewise, just as a quinceañera may change physically over time, the meaning and purpose has stayed constant throughout the ages. Some might argue that quinceañeras are not different than other rites of passages; however, because quinceañeras embrace gender norms, encourage catholic religious practice, and establish cultural identity, they build self-identity the most. A quinceañera is a Hispanic tradition; however, other cultures and other stages of life have rites of passages very similar, such as a sweet sixteen. This rite-of-passage does not symbolize anything other than turning a year older; therefore, it does not affect a person’s self-identity nearly as much as a quinceañera does. Likewise, a wedding, which was once seen as a religious ceremony, seems to have lost some of its luster. The above two examples are very different, but neither help establish self-identity as well as a quinceañera. This may be because guidelines were never established or the “traditional” way of celebrating is no longer the only way. In addition, both have never, or are no longer, limited because of your gender and there is no spiritual significance attached to either. In the case of the sweet sixteen, while it is most prevalent in the American culture, it is not exclusive to it. On the other hand, quinceañeras are gender specific, do have a religious background attached to them, and are exclusive to one culture, which makes quinces so crucial in forming self identity. Quinceañeras encompass the boy-girl gender norms established lo... ... middle of paper ... ...quinceañeras are exclusive from other rites of passages because, unlike the others, they aid in establishing self-identity by embracing gender norms, encouraging catholic religious practice, and establishing cultural identity. Works Cited Davalos, Karen Mary. "La Quinceañera": Making Gender and Ethnic Identities." Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 16.2/3 (1996): 101-27. Print. Dunham, R. M., Kidwell, J. S., & Wilson, S. M. (1986). Rites of passage at adolescence: A ritual process paradigm. Journal of Adolescent Research, 1, 139–154. Erikson, E. H. Late adolescence (1959). In S Schlein (Ed.), A way of looking at things (pp. 631–643). New York: Norton. Markstrom, Carol A., and Alejandro Iborra. "Adolescent Identity Formation and Rites of Passage: The Navajo Kinaaldá Ceremony for Girls." Journal of Research on Adolescence 13.4 (2003): 399-425. Print.

More about Overview of a Quinceañera

Open Document