I tried to explain the following to an American friend, who kind of stared and blinked at me as I shared the following. You Latinas out there…..Can you back me up on this?
Madrina is the word for Godmother in Spanish. Godmothers (and Godfathers, of course) are an important part of our Cuban family culture. (I have a friend whose Godchild calls her My Drina, - thanks, Chantel! – Which I think is adorable, but that’s not important right now.)
In this photo from left: My sister, Alina, who is my niece, Helen’s godmother, who is Alina’s daughter, Kelley’s godmother, who is Helen’s daughter, Daisy’s godmother. Did you get all that?
Here’s a fun Cuban Easter tradition we follow:
I don’t know who decided it, but it’s engraved in stone. When you are appointed the high honor of being asked to be a Godparent, you have 2 main jobs:
One – To hold the child as they’re being dunked or sprinkled or whatever the dedication ritual involves. You are agreeing to support that child and family in their desire to raise their kids in the faith. At the birth or baptism or christening of the child, we appoint godparents to support the parents in raising their children in a Godly way.
Two – You agree to remember the child every Easter (not exactly sure why) with a gift basket. Okay, so really…God-parenthood is a guarantee that you’ve got someone to give your kid an Easter basket every year.
We Cubans (at least in this big, fat, Cuban family) take our Godparenting pretty seriously. And the baskets? Well, they get more and more elaborate every year. I began wondering today if it was just in our family, or did other Latinos also name Godparents for their children and was their main job to make sure the kid got a great Easter gift?
I was going to research it, but then I decided that really, it didn’t matter.
It’s the way we’ve always done it.
It’s the way we’ll continue to do it.
Godmothers, Godchildren and Easter Baskets will continue to be part of our Great Cuban American Easter Tradition.
And we LIKE it that way.
I hope your Easter will be full of surprises… =D