11 ways South American parties are better than North American parties

Birthday

Michaela Brown (right) and I celebrating my third birthday in Lima, Peru.

In the 22 years I have been alive, I have had all kinds of birthday celebrations, most of them taking place in South America. So, here is a list of 11 things that make South American parties much better than North American parties.

  1. Before you turn 15, a piñata must be included in every party.
Piñata

The birthday boy or girl gets the first swing! Photo retrieved from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/37/Piñata_in_San_Diego.jpg

  1. Guests may sing up to three songs before the birthday person is allowed to blow out his or her candles.
Scared of Fire 5

“Cumpleaños Feliz,” “Queremos que parte la torta” and “Defectos y Qualidades” are some of the few songs sung before blowing out the candles.

  1. The birthday person does not have to open presents in front of people.
Opening Presents

The birthday person decides whether to open presents in front of guests or not. Photo retrieved from https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3058/2652378834_d3a909eb49_o.jpg

  1. The time given on the invitation for when the party starts actually means the time you should leave your house to get to the party.
Birthday Invitation

It says it starts at 3 p.m., but it really means 4 p.m. Photo retrieved from http://mlv-d1-p.mlstatic.com/tarjetas-de-invitacion-personalizadas-en-fotografia-5165-MLV4946994366_092013-F.jpg

  1. Parties are always formal no matter what.
Dressed up

Parties are always elegant in South America.

  1. The birthday person is always given a mordidita (where the birthday person is allowed to take a bite from the cake and one of his or her friends pushes the person’s face into the cake).
Mordidita

Wait for iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

  1. That being said, ice cream cake is not a substitute for a real cake.
Cupcakes

But cupcakes are a good substitute. Photo retrieved from http://pixabay.com/p-50808/?no_redirect

  1. “Happy Birthday” is sung in both English and Spanish.

         “Jappy berdey tu ju. Jappy berdey tu ju. Que los cumplas felices. Cumpleaños feliz”

  1. There are no birthdays that take place in arcades (like Chuck E Cheese) because they distract the guests from the birthday person.
Chuch E Cheese

“Okay kids, stop playing your games. I know you want to win more tickets, but it’s time to pay attention to the birthday kid now.” Photo retrieved from https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7127/8163182407_e43ea1fe3f_o.jpg

  1. Dancing, dancing and more dancing!
Dancing

Enough said.

  1. A quinceañera is way more important than a sweet sixteen.Quinceañera 2

    Quinceañera

    I mean, why would you even want a sweet sixteen after a quinceañera?

Climbing Cotopaxi

When living in a foreign country, it is always good to take advantage of all of the tourism the country has to offer. So when we moved to Ecuador, we visited the Mitad del Mundo (middle of the world), rode the gondola called the Teleférico that took us to the top of the mountain surrounding Quito called Pichincha and hiked up one of the snow-capped mountains, Cotopaxi.

Vn. Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi, one of the three snow-capped mountains that surround Quito, Ecuador. Photo retrieved from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/20/Cotopaxi_volcano_2008-06-27T1322.jpg

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Guest Writer: Left Behind

By: Michaela Brown

I will never be able to forget how excited I was that day. It was the first field trip of my first grade year. I had been waiting weeks to go on this field trip, not only because we got to leave school, but also because we were going swimming at a public pool. I had been swimming since I was three, while some of the other kids in my class did not know how to swim at all.

Mimi swimming

Michaela Brown learned how to swim at 3 years old.

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