Yesterday I attended my niece’s Quinceañera. A Quinceañera is sort of like a Sweet Sixteen Party, but celebrates the fifteenth birthday of a girl in the Mexican Culture. It is essentially a celebration of a girl reaching womanhood, and the party would remind one of a Wedding Reception more than of a Birthday Party. It is a festive event, and the one I attended yesterday was not much unlike any other Quinceañera I have attended. It was loaded with good food, loud Music, hearty conversation, and a lot of the Spanish Language.
I don’t speak Spanish, and to be honest, I was the only White person at the event. It was pretty cool though that they asked me to make the salsa (my salsa is legendary). More often than not, when I begin to feel left out of conversation, I gather some of the cousins and we go outside to throw around a football, or kick around a soccer ball.
My wife is Mexican. She was born in Mexico, but grew up here after her parents immigrated to America when she was a young child. She grew up around the La Raza rhetoric, and rejected becoming an American Citizen because those around her had convinced her that if she were to naturalize she would “Lose her Heritage.” Of course that is hardly the truth, and finally a few years ago (2005) she decided to begin the process of naturalization and took the oath of citizenship in 2006.
With her new citizenship came a new appreciation for the United States. This new-found “Americanism” is special to her, and she proudly calls herself an American (not a Mexican-American). She recognizes the importance of being an American first, but at the same time still (as she should) embraces her Mexican culture as well. Calling herself and American-first does not sit well with many members of her family, and sometimes I am blamed for this “Americanization” of her. It seems silly to me, but I try not to get into that part of the argument.
More often than not, since everyone knows that I am big on politics, political discussions crop up at these gatherings – or at least in the past they did. This time, however, something strange happened. Rather than arguing politics with me at the Quinceañera, the opposite happened.
One of my wife’s sisters says, “For the first time I think I am going to vote Republican.”
This is the same woman that argued with me a few months ago about the problems of Republican Politics, and how they (The Republicans) are against “her people” (meaning the illegals).
Another of her sisters echoed the thought about voting Republican because she was tired of the entitlement programs being pushed by the Democrats. This other sister is the one that at one time was actually a registered member of the Communist Party USA.
After a lengthy discussion, what I discovered was that rather than just voting “party” like most Democrats do, these young women have decided to look at the candidates, and after looking at Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, they decided the “Old White Guy” was the better person for the job.
Muy Bien. I like the way they think. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a big fan of John McCain, but he is definitely better than the alternative.
And of course during these unexpected conversations I munched on chips and salsa as I listened, with an unused football sitting between my feet.