Señorita Manners

“Her godmother simply touched her with her wand, and, at the same moment, her clothes were turned into cloth of gold and silver, all decked with jewels.” Charles Perrault

It is the time of year for school graduations and you may be fortunate enough to have been asked to be a madrina or padrino. In pop culture godmothers turn pumpkins into horse drawn carriages and godfathers make sure anyone who crosses you is sleeping with the fishes. In the Christian tradition godparents are whom parents choose to have legal guardianship in the event that something happens to them. Given all these expectations, when you are asked to be a madrina/padrino de graduacion you might be a little unsure of  how to respond and all that this entails. Have no fear! Being a madrina/padrino for a graduation ceremony can be a one time deal but his does not diminish what an honor it is to be asked. Parents chose someone close to the family or someone they have a great deal of respect for. It can also be a way to honor a person who has helped or had an influence on the child’s education.

Mexicans love a good fiesta and schools are no exception. There are elaborate graduation ceremonies starting in kindergarten. Students often spend weeks practicing dances to present at the graduation. As a godparent you will be expected to attend the ceremony. You should bring a gift such a gold jewelry or something having to do with education. Money is always appreciated and is an appropriate gift. After the ceremony you will be invited back to the house or a restaurant for a meal. It may expected that you will help to contribute financially to the clothing your hijada/hijado will need for the graduation ceremony- especially in poorer communities. If you are unsure, just ask or offer.

The level of commitment required after the event is entirely up to you. You can check in on you hijada/hijado’s progress at school, acknowledge birthdays and you may be asked to attend future events as madrina/padrino. However do not be offended if you are not asked at the next graduation. If you are unable or uninterested to perform this service it is entirely proper to decline.

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