Balanced Melting Pot

Rites of Passage – Part Two

In Cultural Expectations, Parenting, Questions, Religion, Social Norms, Thoughts on April 14, 2009 at 10:42 am

My daughter is just about to complete her first year of Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD). For you non-Catholics, it’s basically religious education classes that prepare children for their First Holy Communion and Confirmation. Even though we are not devout Catholics, culturally this is a very important milestone for her, as well as the family.

To commemorate this occasions, many Haitians throw lavish parties where family and friends all participate in the celebration. In the past, I have always considered these parties to be over the top and the true meaning of the occasion is often lost. I envisioned the celebration for our children to be intimate gatherings where close family and friends would be present, as they would for many other momentous occasions.

Well, this sounds good – in theory. My husband and I are now beginning to develop our invitee list and somehow it just keeps growing. We will think of one person and realize by inviting him/her, you automatically need to invite another 4 people who are associated and/or family (this has to be another cultural phenomenon).

I think what I will eventually have to come to terms with is that this is going to be big party, whether I want it or not. I am going to choose to look at the positive side and accept that there many people who wish to celebrate this milestone with our family :-?.

Do you have a similar tradition in your culture that you continue to observe? Also, do you have any suggestions on how to keep this party manageable without offending anyone :-)?

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