Thursday, August 26, 2010
Party or Disney?
My student and I were talking about rights of passage in class yesterday. A significant one in Brazil is a girl´s 15th birthday. It´s basically the Brazilian version of our sweet 16 but much cooler and pretty hardcore. We´re talking big money, not that it´s new by way of birthday parties here. If you have kids, you´ve been to the R$3,000 plus bday parties that many people throw every year... even for 1 year olds. Scratch that, especially for 1 year olds.
Anyway, we were talking about how it´s become some what of a tradition that these 15 year olds can choose between the big party or a trip to Disney World with their friends. Isn´t that kind of ironic? They can either have the big party displaying them as a " woman" or go to the happiest place on Earth filled with families and small children.
My husband put a different spin on it. At 19, he got the coolest job in the world for a Brazilian teen. He lived in Orlando and was paid to go around with Brazilian groups and videotape their time in Disney world. People, you don´t even want to know the trouble your kids get into on these trips.
His point is that they are not choosing something innocent and childlike in the slightest, they are choosing freedom from their parents. They are sent with little to no supervision and get to run around in what the parents consider a safe environment. And let´s be honest, what trouble can they really get into in Disney world?