Midnight Serenade: Cultural Expectation

Last night I had the pleasure of getting to experience my first truly cultural Bolivian birthday tradition: the midnight serenade.

On the eve of a person's birthday here, his or her friends gather just before midnight to sneak up to the cumpleanero's window.  Outside, when it is officially midnight, there is a whole list of songs that can be sung to the sleepy cumpleanero.  My friend Emilee just came to Bolivia two weeks ago to teach at the school, and today is her birthday.  I went along with some friends from church and school and sang to her last night. SO MUCH FUN.

Sneaking around until midnight

The men led us with a great song
 When the guys from our church first started serenading her, Emilee (who has never experienced a serenata before, was scared out of her mind.
Emilee realizes she can breathe again.

The gringas joined in with the songs we know

Traditionally everyone is invited inside after the serenade for snacks

Checking out Christmas lights

We ended our evening with a little bilingual worship session!
Yay for serenades!  Yay for friends here!

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