By LiaF7
2 years ago

Quinceañera The Debutante Celebration - Cuba

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On her 15th birthday a girl is introduced to society as prepared for marriage. They consider she changes from a girl to a woman at this age.

I was lucky to attend this part of the ceremony during my visit to Trindad, Cuba.

Trindad is a World Heritage of Humanity village that has strong colonial influences (architecture and traditions). This tradition was introduced by the Spaniards but also has a strong French influence.

It is composed of a religious ceremony, a photo shoot and a feast of plenty of food and drinks with accompanying music and dancing. Sometimes professional dancers are hired for the event too.

It is not something that happens frequently, but for this Cuban community it was a celebration of extreme importance.

It is at this point that the illegal emigrants are permitted to make a returning visit to Cuba and reunite with the family and in many cases pay for the whole event.

For such poor folks, this feast is filled with wealth and exaggerations. The debutante is photographed by a professional photographer, and she ends up looking much like a bride. This photographic ceremonial goes through several changes of clothes and in typical situations and positions.

Trindad, Cuba 2008
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Smokey2017 That is so young for marriage
When they are just developing their own identity
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LiaF7 @Smokey2017 it is an old tradition. Even last century many were married from 16 to 20 years old. Over 20 parents would start worring they would only be aunts. Today youngsters don't get married or make that decision nearer to their 30s.
In Cuba this tradition is like a big ceremony for them. Other countries in high society at this age they do the debutante ball where daughters of wealthy people are shown to young men of wealthy families. It's to say: Hey I am available for courtship, lets keep wealth together lol. Doesn't mean they will get married at that age.
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Smokey2017 Proves different countries different
Traditions
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LiaF7 That is something I have learnt in my travelling... so many different traditions. And what is normal for some is a shock for others.
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Smokey2017 As long as people are happy
Leave them to it that is my policy
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ze2000 I think this is wrong, even if it's tradition...
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LiaF7 Hey @ze2000 maybe some tribes in Africa think the money we spend on a wedding ceremony and cocktails and honeymoon are wrong too.
In Cuba people are poor, on this date family comes from abroad and in most cases pay all expensives. Girls feel like princesses and everyone has plenty of food to party.
Very difficult to stop a tradition that makes them so happy.
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Smokey2017 Every culture every tradition is different to what we have grown up with
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LiaF7 In USA i know there is a big party for the "sweet sixteen". I know my niece had a party and a cruise with friends for her 16th birthday.
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Smokey2017 Blimey when I was 16 I had my closest friends come home for a party
How the times have changed
What happens if you don't have the money
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Smokey2017 Don't you think that teenagers want the same things as pop stars or very near that
What happens when family don't have rhe money for a lavish party
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LiaF7 See @Smokey2017 the 16th is different from other years why? There has to be an antique tradition related to it.
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Smokey2017 So what happens for 18 21 30
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LiaF7 In Cuba and spanish cultures it is 15. To anglo-saxons the 16th is special.
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Smokey2017 I thibk all ages are special as your birthday comes once a year so why not partee
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LiaF7 Normal birthdays. I think the jewish have a special birthdate for boys too.
But for my knowledge the english speaking communities have a special treatment for the girls "sweet sixteen" Boys don't have a 16th special birthday.
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Smokey2017 That not fair they should have a uproar over that
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LiaF7 Yes I agree. I always celebrate life. But what I am focusing on is putting a year more important than others in different cultures.
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ze2000 @LiaF7 I mean the story behind it is wrong, it's like showing off cattle "hey she's ripe, come and get her".
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Smokey2017 I agree with @ze000 surely a girl
Needs to have time to
Mature and be her own person
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Smokey2017 What happens if marriage doesn't work out will it be divorce
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LiaF7 @ze2000 you are right. The whole concept is wrong for today's world. Made sense until 1930 maybe... but like I said girls feel like princesses and they don't have graduation parties so probably the closest they get to feeling like stars on one day is this.
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LiaF7 @Smokey2017 don't forget that this is only an exhibition. Like parents saying... hey i have a daughter unmarried, anyone want to court her? She can be married 10 years later. This is only a showoff like ze said.
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KimJohnson Very cool.
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