Rite of Passage

Topics: Victor Turner, Arnold van Gennep, Woman Pages: 2 (671 words) Published: October 6, 2010
In Conrad Philip Kottak’s “Rite of Passage” he mentions the three stages of a rite of passage. Anthropologist Arnold Van Gennep defines these stages as Separation, Margin, and Aggregation. Victor Turner, another anthropologist, focused on Margin, which he referred to as liminality. Not only can a rite of passage be an individual experience, but it can also be a communal experience which Turner called “communitas.” Many of us experience this “communitas” in different ways such as my Hispanic culture that experiences quinceneras. Quinceneras are a rite of passage for young girls’ transition from adolescence to womanhood. I for one never experienced this rite of passage.

In my culture it is traditional for a young girl to go through the rite of passage from childhood to womanhood called a Quincenera. This rite of passage usually involves a visit to the church in which the girl gets blessed and that is followed by a festive party in a hall. Once everyone is in the hall they get to eat delicious traditional Mexican food and get to dance. After this is that’s when the true symbolic meaning of a quincenera comes into place.

In Quinceneras, there are three different parts of becoming a woman. The first is giving up the Muneca or doll to a younger sibling or relative to prove to everyone that you no longer need toys due to you becoming a woman. The second thing is the changing from a slipper to a heel to symbolize being a woman and last but not least the dancing with the parents. The dance with the parents (or parent) is the young girl dancing as a woman for the first time with her mother and father which usually ends tearfully. Every Latina girl dreams of how she wants her quincernera to be, I know I dreamt of it since I was old enough to read and write. I grew up thinking about what kind of dress I wanted, what was going to be my theme, I was already deciding what colors to use at the age of nine and what song and dance I wanted for my baile de sopresa, my...
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