The Importance of Young Chicanas in the Traditional Quinceanera Ceremony - short essay

Essay by jpiercefCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2003

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The Quinceanera is a traditional Latin American celebration of a girl's fifteenth birthday.

The religious practice is symbolic of a young girl's transition into womanhood. The frequency

of the ritual in America is decreasing more and more every year. The majority of the

celebrations now are held for first and second generations of immigrants, but rarely for the third.

Before long, the fiesta will only be conducted for first generation immigrants. Then,

maybe the performance in American will be completely forgotten. Many of the Latin American

teenagers feel as if they are trying to preserve a tradition that is destined to fail in the United

States. They need to understand that they are not only preserving a tradition, but they are also

preserving an aspect of their religion and heritage.

Astonishingly, the amount of research that has been done on this topic is minimal. The

majority of the articles and books that I found were written in Spanish, which made them

irrelevant to me.

This particular subject is going to be difficult to research for this reason.

Therefore, I plan to begin by researching Latin American culture on a broad level and the

gradually narrowing the topic to la quinceanera. This will involve a large amount of reading but

results will include aspects of the ritual that other articles do not.

Hopefully, the result of my research will be to create a better understanding of the ritual

and its origins. Also, I would like to prove that the ritual promotes religion and heritage in the

Latin American youth that is imperative in preserving their culture. If this ceremony, along with

several others, continues to regress at the same rate that it is now, Latin Americans will soon

become part of the American melting pot. Hence, no longer being recognized...