Rites of Passage Across Different Cultures

Pages: 3 (868 words) Published: April 23, 2014
Rites of Passage Essay

David Yurovsky
Period 3
March 27, 2014

Throughout the world, every culture has introduced their own versions of the “Rites of Passage”. The coming of age when you pass from being a child into adulthood. Some rites are as simple as a dance or the painting of faces, while others are as extreme as forceful circumcision and sleeping with other men’s wives. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s never easy becoming a grown-up. As a part of the Western Culture, we seldom observe, have knowledge of or understand the uniqueness of participating in a Rite of Passage. We are exposed to the “American” versions of the Bar Mitzvah, Quinceanera’s and the Vision Quest of the American Indian, while not acknowledging our own that we take for granted daily. Whether its following in our parents or siblings footsteps, getting a driver’s license or receiving a family heirloom passed down from generation to generation. Some people believe that you don’t become an adult until your parents pass away. In actuality, all are forms of a Rite of Passage. Coupling this with information from the local library, one can cross reference articles, journals, books and government databases in depth. By cross referencing, one can find more information or contradictions, along with ways to actually speak with individuals from different cultural backgrounds. There is a wealth of opportunity and learning by utilizing these avenues. From Africa to Thailand, the rituals for going from childhood to an adult can be as diverse as something simple to the very extreme. Let’s take for example that in some parts of China, “Chinese men become adults at the age of 20, during a “capping” ceremony, while women become adults at age 15 during a “hairpin” ceremony. Both of these ceremonies were traditional in Ancient China, and can be traced back 2000 years, during the Zhou Dynasty (1045 BC-256 BC)”. Thai children, “from infancy to teenage years, sleep with their mothers, a typical...
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