Fifteenth Birthday parties for the girls are a big thing here and are celebrated at times very elaborately with no expense spared . Cinderella gowns ,attendents,special cakes,gifts,dancing and just a grand affair. The first one I was invited to was a niece of my friend Martha when I lived in Ticul working as an English teacher. The affair was in the town of Oxcutzcab about 20 mins drive from Ticul ,in a Sala de Fiesta on the outskirts of town.I had no idea of what kind of affair it would be or how it would be but when I entered the hall I am sure my faced dropped at the sight of over a thousand chairs draped in white fabric and coloured sashes that matched the girls dress, tables with white clothes all with a floral centerpieces. As I looked around my eyes gazed upon two long and I mean loooong tables which had fountains and flowers and a cascade of cakes .This looks more like a wedding than a birthday party I thought.
The music began to play an entrance march and through an archway of flowers entered the young lady on the arm of her father followed by her attendants ,six boys and six girls, all dressed in finery that I have never seen anywhere.Once everyone was in position sort of speak to my amazement entered a man on horseback with the traditional garb and sombrero of Mexico. He rode his horse towards the young lady singing his heart out ,slid off his horse and raised the birthday girl up on the saddle.He lead his horse around the room still singing as he went along.It was a remarkable sight to see.Just so sorry I did not have my camera with me but the memory lays still in my mind and always will.
After lots of speeches the one thing that really struck me was the giving of her doll to her younger sister saying I don’t need this anymore ,like saying I am now transiting from child to adult and my life is changing. In other words she is coming of age and ready to take on the life of an adult somewhat like debutant balls in other countries.
Since then I have had the privilege of being invited to quite a few and I think there will be many more now that my place seems to attract the coming of age girls to take videos in and around my place .Its quite nice to see them in their different designed dresses and how pretty they look and how proud the look on the parents faces as they fuss to make sure the dress is hanging just right, the makeup is perfect and the hairdo doesn’t move and inch , before the photo shoots start.