Taboo Sociology Paper

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Reyes, Maria
November 21, 2011
SYG 2000
10 am

Taboo: Initiation

“ Initiation gives us a sense of belonging to something bigger than ourselves – but everyone has limits.” This quote sets the mood for the video we watched in class was about how kids from different parts of the world had to go through all these different types of initiation’s to be able to be considered an adult. Some things they had to experience made me cringe others made me believe why they didn’t just run away but that’s what they had to do to be accepted into their tribe and move on to the next stage of their lives. It makes me happy that I live here in Miami.

One of the initiation’s that moved me was the one about the girl in Asia. She was sick they had diagnosed her with a mental illness. The people from her culture believed that the only way for her to get better was if she did the right of passage. Which involved her dancing on knives. It was a difficult task but she was desperate to get better so she wet through with the rituals. I would actually like to see an update on her case see if she finally got better.

Another initiation that intrigued me was the one in Southern Africa. About this young boy he was about thirteen years old. The initiation in his village was to go into battle with another boy of his age from another village. In this fight one boy had to hit the other while he stood as still as possible without showing sign of pain. To prepare for this task they find tree branches that will cause their opponent the most pain. When the day of the battle finally came the boy was ready. He took his whipping with great pride and strength. When it was his turn to whip his opponent the other boy flinched therefore making him the winner and now he was considered an adult.

The next initiation was the one of a girl I an African tribe as well her task to be considered a woman was to get her full face tattooed without screaming or showing any sign of pain. This is a much...
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