Miamians love to celebrate everything: weddings, quinces, bat mitzvahs, hurricanes, end of tax season (sans arrests), breast enhancement surgeries, breast reduction surgeries… Just about any occasion can turn into a party faster than you can say “bottles, bro.” Besides blasting Pitbull (keep telling yourself you’re doing it ironically), here are a few rituals we do in the 305 that you might not see anywhere else in the U.S.A.
Many cultures around the world roast pork for Noche Buena, but how about for baptisms? Straight A’s? Your grandmother’s 80th birthday? Nothing says “Feliz cumple, abuela; I hope you still have your teeth” like the crispy crunch of a pellejo you stole when your tío wasn’t looking.
But it’s never really a party until the croquetas arrive.
The J.Lo and Shakira halftime show at Super Bowl LIV was electric, powerful, empowering, and contagious. The two Latina performers gave Super Bowl viewers and audience the show of a lifetime. Latin pride was at the forefront of this year’s halftime show and there was also a strong political message because Latinos live in terrifying times.
J.Lo and Shakira used part of their halftime show to give a voice to the voiceless in the Latino and immigrant communities.
During J.Lo’s performance, her daughter Emme started “Let’s Get Loud” and the imagery struck a nerve with some viewers. Litter in front of the stage were children in orbed cages. Many have speculated that the children are a nod at the Trump administration’s immigration policies that forced children into cages and separated families.
The mother and daughter duo then covered “Born In The USA” by Bruce Springsteen and J.Lo flashed a Puerto Rican flag.
The Puerto Rican people, who are Americans, have been let down by the current administration as they try to recover from Hurricane Maria. Now, the island is recovering from devastating earthquakes. The Trump administration has actively cut funding to Medicaid in Puerto Rico as more and more people are reliant on the assistance.
J.Lo shared a video on Instagram right before the performance and included a rallying call to all Latinas and young girls around the world.
The global pop star wanted to use her performance at Super Bowl LIV performance to give people a chance to raise their voices. In a time where children are in cages, women are losing healthcare rights, and vulnerable communities are under attack around the world, these moments matter.
The Super Bowl LIV halftime show’s message is resonating far and wide.
The image of Emme “locked” in a cage while singing “Let’s Get Loud” caught everyone’s attention. Her voice, accompanied by a choir of children behind her, gave viewers a striking visual of children in cages.
Some pointed to other elements of the performance that referenced the administration’s treatment of migrants.
There were so many elements of the half time show that people pointed to as reminiscent of the policies devastating migrant families. The lights behind the performers interlocked in the pattern of a chainlink fence we have all seen along the border.
Some people were very much bothered by the strong Latino representation at the Super Bowl.
Pobercitos. Who knew that strong Latinas on stage showing their brown bodies and Latin dancing would trigger them?
Some people are showing the double standard that exists among performers at the Super Bowl.
Women, especially Black and brown women, are often treated to this double standard. Somehow, dancing as a brown or Black woman is overly sexual when white men are not subjected to the same scrutiny.
To top it off, let’s not forget that the Super Bowl was in Miami, a Latino enclave and the halftime performance was representative of that culture.
This abuelita always wanted to celebrate her quinces, and now at the age of 79, she finally did. Complete with the event’s classic necessities, a voluminous dress, tiered cake and chambelanes, this young-at-heart viejita made her dream come true. Gives new meaning to the phrase, ‘better late than never’ right?
The emotional story has social media shook—and naturally, it’s gone viral.
Facebook Yolanda Luna
The 79 year-old danced the traditional waltz with not-so-traditional chambelanes. Her dance partners were all her grandchildren. And what’s more; her own daughter planned the whole thing.
“Lo más hermoso que te puede pasar en toda tu vida, es ver a tu mamá feliz”
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Okay so get the tissue ready. This woman knew that her mom’s life-long dream had been to have had celebrated her Quince años with a big party —and equally big dress. And although she’s not quite quince anymore, it’s never too late to make someone’s dream come true. So Yolanda Luna set out to make her mami happy.
79 year old Nina Silva is from La Plata, Argentina.
Facebook Yolanda Luna
When she turned fifteen, her family wasn’t able to throw her the quinceañera party she always wanted, due to economic struggles, so she gave up hope of ever having one. But little did she know that she’d have to wait over 60 years to see her dream come true.
“Tu fiesta de quince años que no tuviste, hoy la estás viviendo como vos querías”
“The quince años party that you never had, you’re now experiencing the way you always wanted it,” read a post that Nina’s daughter Yolanda Luna posted on Facebook about the party.
The abuelita wore a silver and pink dress, and completed the look with a silver tiara.
Facebook Yolanda Luna
The party was made possible thanks to the help of family and friends. Many family members made food for the occasion, and everyone helped get the traditional cake.
No quinceañera would be complete without the traditional waltz.
The quinceañera obviously had her dance, and in Nina’s case, the chambelanes who accompanied her in this dance were all her children and grandchildren —we’re not crying, you’re crying.
Her own children were perhaps happier than the quinceañera herself, who wouldn’t stop smiling all night long.
The family hired a venue, a DJ and got the whole town to come together to celebrate their viejita. “A sus 79 años le cumplimos su sueño de tener su cumple de 15 que no pudo tener,“ wrote another one of Nina’s children, Soledad Luna. “At 79 we made her dream come true.”
Turning 15 is considered a momentous occasion, as it is the moment that they symbolically become young women.
While the quinceañera celebrations may have more in common with a wedding than a birthday party, they’re a traditional and enduringly popular rite of passage for many young Latinas. The Quinceañera, which literally translates to “the girl who is 15,” signifies a young girl’s transition in becoming a woman, and a lot of the traditions and elements of the party symbolize her transition and growth into womanhood.
For many, a quinceañera is seen simply as an excuse for a blow-out party with family and friends
The actual significance of the tradition is tied into both Catholic and pre-Hispanic culture. Many years ago, this celebration was rather more literal than symbolic; in pre-Hispanic times, 15 was considered the appropriate age to begin childbearing, and in the 20th century the right time to be married. Luckily, this no longer tends to be the case, but even so the quinceañera tradition has endured.
Nina’s celebration is proof that you don’t have to be fifteen to celebrate your Quinces. Get yourself a puffy dress and some chambelanes, because you’re never too old to celebrate womanhood.
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