The 30th birthday. An important milestone in life. April 12, 1986. It’s one of the most important days in my life. On this day 30 years ago my son, Ignacio Michel, the Voice of Los Carballos, was born. He was the first male child born in the fourth generation of the Cuban branch of the Carballo family, because my great-grandfather came from Galicia, Spain, to Cuba.
I think the birthday itself is a very significant event in everybody’s life regardless of age or gender. The 15th birthday celebration, the so-called “quinceañera”, is a very important event of girls’ life in Latin American countries. It originated from Aztec culture, when boys at the age of fifteen became warriors and girls were regarded as mothers of future warriors, marking the age in which a girl became a woman. Over time, the “quinceañera” has continued to represent the symbolic change of a girl to a woman. In Cuba girls celebrate their maturing into women wearing princess-style dresses, in a huge birthday fiesta with family and friends. The party includes a choreographed group dance, in which 14 couples waltz around the “quinceañera”, who is accompanied by her boyfriend as the 15th couple.
I have 3 sisters, so it’s not a big secret that I have gained lots of experience being one of those dancers and organizers who made their “quinceañera” memorable. I would have like Michel’s 15th birthday made memorable. At that time I worked in the hotel industry in Varadero, so it was evident that we would celebrate it with my friends working together. That night we visited all the discos, clubs and bars of Varadero …. what happened in Varadero, stayed in Varadero. 🙂 I would hate to leak backstage secrets about how my boy became a man. 🙂
When Michel became 20 years old, then 25 years old, I lived in Mexico, so we had no chance to celebrate it together. Now we both live in the same city, in Budapest. This term of more than 3 years we spent together made our relationship stronger than ever. I truly feel that he became my best friend during this time, in addition to being my son. It is so unbelievable that these 30 years went by so fast. I still remember every single minute of the day when he was born. Regardless of the divorce with his mother, Michel and I spent a lot of time together when he was young. The father-son relationship is at least as complex and unique as the mother-daughter connection. It has been confirmed over the years. So his 30th birthday is a very special day to me, too. I would have liked this day to be remembered forever. So we had a gigantic Latin fiesta in the garden, we invited our family and friends and I made Cuban and Mexican culinary delights which also played an important role in making the birthday party unforgettable. 🙂 But instead of reading my words, check out the pictures. 🙂