{Empty title} | The Nation

First, please inform Chaudhry that one does not need to say "Latina girl." That is redundant. A "Latina" is a Latin American female. The word in Spanish is a noun (sustantivo), not an adjective (adjectivo). It's a small point, but it is irritating when Americans do not understand the meanings of the words they use in foreign languages. It displays how remote American understanding is from the topic being written on.

Second, while I cannot express in simple words the degree to which I agree with Chaudhry that crass materialism is the bane of our cultural world, I encourage Chaudhry to realize that events like the quincea&etilde;era are important celebrations of cultural identity for Latin Americans, and that it is likely that one of the ways by which these people will begin to reduce that 20+ percent poverty level will be through maintaining their cultural identity.

I hope my tone can be forgiven, but I and others grow tired of the lectures to the poor on how to live and improve one's lot offered by the rich. While I do believe Chaudhry is right about crass materialism in this case, I also couldn't help but perceive a note of condescension.