Mis Quince II

Wed Sep 21, 2022 at 04:02 PM

Multi-colored quinceanera dresses  Multi-colored quinceanera dresses

“Hispanic Heritage Month is important to not only recognize the contributions and influence of Hispanic/Latinx Americans but also to showcase the cultural diversity of Latin Americans and their descendants,” said Claudia Etchebarne Hernandez, Foreign Language Department Chair & Associate Dean at BRCC.

Building on the success of and interest in last year’s online exhibit and lecture about the tradition of the quinceañera, the Fine Arts Center Kinetic Gallery currently showcases seven exquisite quinceañera gowns belonging to Edilza Alfaro Díaz (Edilza’s Party Zone), including some worn by BRCC students. And in the lobby of the Houff Student Center, the Kaleidoscope Gallery features quince photography by Yesennia Lucero MacGregor. A video presentation about the tradition, featuring photos, can be viewed online.

BRCC student, Rebeca Carranza, shared images from her quince for the exhibit and video. “The quince tradition is a very special moment for a young girl because it signifies growing up and changing in different ways,” said Rebeca. “It’s also a way to spend time with family and see people that you probably haven’t seen in a while, and enjoy the moment because it’s only once in a lifetime.” 

Quince Family

Rebeca hopes other students will see the exhibits and, “learn more about a special tradition that is celebrated in the Hispanic community and why it’s so important for us. It’s a way to get together and celebrate a special moment in a girl’s life.”

“We are able to see diversity within this cultural tradition through motifs and practices. A quince can be very extravagant and expensive, in some countries the parents take on that burden on their own, usually purchasing at least the dress for the daughter. Others share the responsibility and have ‘padrinos’, god parents who cover individual expenses such as the cake, the DJ, the meal, the jewelry, etc.,” explained Etchebarne Hernández.

She added, “The dresses all seem like they were pulled from a fairytale story. However, we have to take a closer look at the exhibit. We have a ‘Charro’ dress that represents the Mexican horseman culture. You can see the artistry of that particular culture through the ruffles in the skirt, the embroidered flowers, the Mariachi style buttons, and scarf. Each dress tells a story, it shares with us the perspective of their people.”

BRCC English Professor Pamyla Yates said, “We recognize just how important our Latinx community is, not only in Harrisonburg, but increasingly in the surrounding counties.  While quinceañera is just one tradition among many, having this project and exhibit creates conversations and more cultural awareness.”  

Later in September, there will be a celebratory reception and sampling of authentic cuisine from El Paisano.

“Projects and events such as these help us embrace diversity and create community,” said Etchebarne Hernández.