October 14, 2007 [LINK / comment]

La bella quinceanera *

My niece Cathy turned fifteen this week, and her proud parents Walter and Gloria threw a big quinceanera party in her honor. In Latin America, the fifteenth birthday is the equivalent of the "sweet sixteen" parties sometimes celebrated for girls in North America, or like the Jewish Bat Mitzvahs -- a rite of passage into womanhood. They are sometimes very extravagant, rivaling wedding receptions. (Basically, they are a dry run for Wedding Day.) Cathy is a very smart, talented, and pretty girl who is becoming very good on the piano, and Jacqueline and I are proud to be her aunt and uncle.

* Any Spanish-speaking person knows that there should be a tilde (squiggle) above the second n in quinceanera. Several months ago, however, I learned that using non-standard ASCII characters messes up my RSS feeds, so until I can fix that glitch, I have to avoid using such characters and accents in Spanish words in my blog posts. Deadline for doing so: New Year's Day! (Spanish-speakers will know what I mean by that. )

Cathy, Shary, Walter, horse carriage

Left to right: Shary, Walter, and Cathy, who was treated like a princess for her fifteenth birthday.