Alice Wong - Ecuador
December 6, 2015
Last night I joined my host family as the community was going to celebrate the birthday for a 15-year-old. I have known that a girl turning 15 here is particularly special as it marks the transition from childhood to young womanhood in Latin America. My host mum said it was a fiesta for many acquaintances. So I put on long boots and a casual dress thinking that I showed respect to the event. The second I walked out of my room, my host mum and host sisters started criticising my outfit. "NO, MUY FEO!" "Tu tiene que usar tacónes!" The moment I realised they were wearing formal dresses and high heels with their hair set and full makeup done. So then I got changed to a more formal attire and we left for the party. The night was beautiful and I was glad to have learned so much more about one of the most important traditions here in Ecuador. If you would like know more about this tradition, go check out the video above.
What is Quinceañera?
In former times, a girl’s 15th birthday would have signaled that she was an active and adult member of the community, who was fully ready to take on her share of responsibilities, and indicated that she was of marriageable age and status. Today, the tradition has taken on other meanings but remains a celebration of womanhood, family and community. Quinceañera had traditions like changing into high heels by the father, putting on makeup and jewellery by the mother and other family members which were showcased in the video.