A great Brazilian birthday celebration

by Rebecca Groß, Lina Koch, 2014/03/14

Rebecca Groß has worked in the humedica children’s day care center near the Brazilian town Nova Friburgo for three months. And as she is a chip off the old block, the daughter of humedica managing director Wolfgang Groß wants to go back to this project as soon as possible, in order to help. But before that, she tells you about a special tradition of the Latin-American culture: the fifteenth birthday celebration!

“It has finally arrived – the day she has been waiting for her whole life. Patricia enters the room in a glittering dress, her favorite song is being played and everybody’s eyes are watching her. It is her fifteenth birthday and today she is no longer a child but has become a woman.

Like in other Latin-American countries, their fifteenth birthday has a special signification for girls in Brazil. Corresponding to tradition, at this age, the girls have reached the maturity to be recognized as women.

And for that occasion, most families insist on celebrating it with a big party and to offer their daughters an exceptional day.

Patricia’s mother, Jaqueline also wanted to organize an unforgettable fifteenth birthday, but the festa de debutantes, as it is called in Brazil, has its prize. A ballroom must be hired, the food must be prepared and the decoration must be paid for. Expenses, which the family simply can’t afford.

But thanks to the commitment of humedica Brasil, Patricia’s biggest wish has become true, however. Her family is part of the local humedica sponsorship program, which was an advantage for the organization and realization of this important birthday.

They didn’t need to pay the expensive rent for a ballroom, as the party could take place in the premises of the humedica children’s day care center. Magali, the head of the center, cared for a convenient decoration and the two chefs of the center, Otette and Magda, agreed to cook for the about 250 invited guests.

When the great day finally arrived, nothing is being left to chance. The festa de debutantes, which is called Quinceanera in the rest of Latin-America, follows a traditional program: The celebration is started by the entry of the Damas e Cavalhieros, fourteen boys and girls in festive clothes.

The number fourteen represents the past years in the birthday girl’s life who makes her grand entrance after that. The girl enters the ballroom in a princess’ dress. Like many others, Patricia also chose a floor-length purple dress made of net lace and glitter.

Then there is the highlight of the celebration: One of Patricia’s friends has the honor of putting a shoe on her foot. Then she receives a ring from her father, whom she must give a doll in return. Traditions, which ought to symbolize again the now reached maturity of the girl. The girl who has now become a woman dances her first dance with her father.

The rest of the party doesn’t follow any special program. Everybody is dancing, laughing, eating together and toasting to the birthday girl. Patricia is beaming. It is her great day. She is no child any longer, at last.“

Dear friends and sponsors, Rebecca Groß’ depictions show pictures of a carefree everyday life – pictures which, however, do not appear very often in many Brazilians’ lives. Structural poverty as well as bad prospects for the future make the lives of the people even more difficult.

The humedica family sponsorships program specifically counteracts these trends and supports children and parents according to their needs. If you want to be on a family’s side, too, and want to accompany them into a better future, become a sponsor – so that help arrives at the place where it is needed. Thank you very much!

      humedica e.V.
      Reference "Family Sponsorship Program"
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

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