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Rites of Passage: Coming of Age
Transcript of Rites of Passage: Coming of Age
Korean letters written onto a rice cake using nuts. It reads "100th day."
So, when a baby survives to his or her 100th day of life, there is a collective sigh of relief. To celebrate the parents throw a big party.
Traditionally, to bring the baby good luck, 100 rice cakes filled with black or red beans are given to 100 guests . The guests return the cake boxes with skeins of thread, representing long life, and rice and money, representing
In Korea, the first 100 days after birth is considered the most dangerous period for mother and child. Most mortalities occur within these 100 days.
The First Car
In America and Canada, every 16 year old's dream is to save up enough money to buy a "new" car. It is a symbol of hard work and status, where the initiate is seen as driving thier own life. Their car becomes a responsibility and a part of thier new life as an adult. They must treasure the car because it is a symbol of determination.
Their next goal? Try and keep that piece of junk running until they get a cool, new car...
The most famous jobs include mowing lawns, babysitting, even cleaning the leaves off of peoples front yards. The other more rewarding but difficult path: GETTING A JOB!
The best way to earn some cash?
A shaadi is a series of ceremonies which marks a culmination of a wedding. It is commonly found in South Asian Hindu families. During the shaadi many rituals are completed and there are many prayers to ensure that the soon to be wed couple have a long and prosperous life together. There are many different variations on a shaadi depending on traditions and cultures of the families and the bride and groom. Shaadis tend to be extremely religious events that go on for multiple days and are said to be a "unison of two souls". In my opinion, they are long, tedious and painful events. A running joke in India is that the reason people don't remarry is that they don't want to go through the shaadi proccess again.
In China, the first month after birth is dedicated to staying at home and recuperating. It is a month where the mother eats to strengthen her body and remain healthy. The baby stays at home to prevent from getting sick.
A Baby's First Month
Upon the 12th day, the mother and close family and friends eat Ham Hock in Black Vinegar and Ginger. It is said to replenish lost calcium and help with circulation. It also announces the arrival of the child to family and friends who may not know already.
After reaching the first month, a banquet is held in celebration. Eggs dyed red, representing luck, are given to all who attend. Money and jewelry, mainly gold, is given to the baby from their grandparents or elders.
Many modern families may not follow this tradition, choosing instead to just celebrate with cake and few family and friends. Either way, a baby's first month is their second major milestone, only second to being born.
Rite of Passage: The Frog Hunt
In my extended family and friends in Hong Kong, quick wits and a fit body are highly valued. Boys who are 13 and about to become 14 must seperate themselves from their family, forsaking their protection in order to test themselves.
They travel to a garden full of frogs and there they stay until they manage to chase down and capture one.
While initially it may seem easy, and not fitting of the term rite of passage, the novitiates must accomplish this task with only their hands and no other tools.
Ceremonies in an Basic Shaadi
There are many ceremonies involved in a shaadi, and I will write about the main ones that take place in a Sindhi shaadi. Remember a shaadi is a very personal event and all the ceremonies done may not occur at every shaadi.
Arrival and the Dwaar Pooja
The arrival of the groom is a very important part of the ceremony. The groom is followed into the wedding area by his friends and family. The collective group of the groom, his friends and his family is called the Baraat. It is there where he is blessed by the father of the groom, his soon to be father-in-law in a ceremony called the Dwaar Pooja. The baraat is than escorted by the bride's mother to the ceremony hall where the priest (called Bhramin) is introduced. The bride than procceeds to arrive with her friends and family.
The Ganesh Pooja and Misri
The Ganesh Pooja is a pooja (prayer) dedicated to the Hindu god Ganesha, the god of success. The objective of the pooja is to invite the god to the wedding as he will remove all obsticles and bless the bride and the groom. In Hinduism, people often pray to Ganesh before doing any important tasks in their life. This pooja is lead by the parents of the wife and the groom. This ceremony usually takes place days before the wedding and it is when the bride and the groom exchange rings made of gold and wear garlands of flowers. After the rings are exchanged, the bride and the groom feed each other misri, a type of sugar. The proccess of exchanging the rings is also called misri. This ceremony is considered the official proposal and is ended with both families feasting together.
The Mendhi/Henna Party
The engagement ceremomy marks an important part of a Hindu's life. It is the first step of a society-accepted relationship, believed in the past. However as times change, the same traditions aren't always kept.
Gujarati Engagement Ceremony
The mendhi party is essentially a bachelorette party for the bride. At the party, the bride and her friends drink tea together and apply Mendhi (a temporary tattoo made of henna, oil, water, and tea) to one another. They mendhi is a symbol for love in a marriage. Mendhi is usually applied in very intricate designs on the hands and feet of all the attendees.
The Sangeet Party
The Sangeet Party is the party of music. During the Sangeet Party, both the families gather to eat and dance together. Music is a large part of Indian culture and during Sangeet the families hire professional singers to sing popular songs while they eat, drink and dance through the night.
Sagri and the Nav-Graha Pooja
Sargi is when the sister and other female relatives acquaintance themselves with the new bride. They bring gifts of parfume, jewelry, and flowers in hopes of creating a positive enviroment between the two families. Nav-Graha Pooja is a pooja where the families pray to the nine planets (including Pluto) to gain the blessing of the celestial bodies.
The Ghari Pooja is the final pooja before the wedding ceremony, it is used to make people remember their roots. During the Ghari Pooja, a priest preforms many rituals with rice, coconut, wheat, oil, nuts and turmeric held in a special plate called a thali. The married women in the houses grind wheat with a old-fasioned grinder while the groom offers grains to people symbolizing a change in his life and how giving is important. The mother and mother-in-law of the groom carry large clay pots on their heads filled with water and are escorted by the groom to symbolize his new role as a protector and he carries a knife to ward off evil spirits. The parents of the bride and groom wear nice, new clothing whereas the bride and the groom wear old clothes that are torn off by their friends and family to reveal new clothes to symbolize the changing of lifestyles. The groom is now not allowed to see the bride until the wedding ceremony.
The bride and the groom sit together and the end of the bride's saari (dress) is tied to the kurta (shirt) that the groom is wearing symbolizing unity, the bride and the groom also hold hands during this time. The tying of the knot also show that the groom accepts his new responsibilities of being married. The family of the bride than proceeds to bless the couple.
According to Indian culture, getting a divorce would ostrasize one, especially females, making this a significant desicion in one's life.
Agni Pooja and the Vivan Havan
The Agni Pooja is a prayer done infront of a holy fire, which symbolizes illumination, happiness, and knowledge. The fire asks the god Vishnu to join the wedding and to bless the bride and groom. The sacred fire is than fed various offering in the Vivan Havan while prayers are made to various gods.
The engagement is the first step to a commitment towards a relationship. Agreeing on the engagement would take one from a stage of no responsiblities to keeping a promise.
As this is an important part of a couple's life, the opportunity to rethink their desicion is given before the wedding by having an engagement ceremony.
Mangal Pradakshina, Saptapadi, Mangalsutra, and Sindur Daan
Mangal Pradakshina is when the bride and groom circle the holy fire 4 times. The circling represents the 4 parts of their lives: Dharma, the religious duty in daily life; Artha, the responsibilities in married life; Kaama, the fulfillment of duties and desires; and Moksha, liberation and salvation. Saptapadi is a ceremony where they pray to the gods and goddesses to help them to keep the 7 vows that they make (their wedding vows). Mangalsutra is when the groom ties a necklace around the neck of his bride symbolizing an eternal bond. Sindur Daan is when the groom than puts sindur (red vermilion powder) in his bride's hair. According to Hindu tradition, only married women can put sindur in their hair. After the sindur is placed, the wedding ceremony has finished and the couple is now married. After this the couple can decide if they want to have a reception or not.
The ceremony helps introduce the extended families of the bride and groom. Exchanging gifts, traditional sweets and having a dinner strengthens the bond between the families.
This is a huge mountain
Bride and groom-to-be take blessing from the elders of both families for their new lives together, asking for their permission.
A havan (prayer) to the gods is done to pray for a prosperous future.
The seperation from one's old self, mainly for women, from a "kunwari kanya" (young unmarried woman). This is the first step to leaving this phase.
This is the stage of liminality, where approval of elders and family, as well as personal thoughts influence the desicion.
Exchange of gold rings, ensuring both boy and girl agree to the relationship.
Family celebrates by hosting a dinner with special sweets and gifts. The date of the marriage is also fixed the same day by a pandit (priest).
The re-incorporation, where the family celebrates the new life of the couple.
Bride-to-be wears bridal jewellery for the first time.
Immigration to Canada
Seperation, where the bride and the groom are seperated from their old unmarried selves. The seperation in this state is mainly metaphoric as there is no really seperation during a shaadi.
State of liminality, they reach the treshold of either being married or unmarried. This is when personal thoughts, reflections and exterior influences (family, friends, career etc.) play a large role. The bride and the groom are in limbo because they have completed all the steps required before the actual shaadi, but they are not offically wed.
Reincorporiation: The couple in now officially wed and re-enter society as a pair rather than individual people. The families will usually celebrate after the shaadi with a reception but it is not necessary.
A picture of a man putting mendhi on a woman. In the mendhi, the women put mendhi on one another.
A picture of a Ganesha statue. Ganesha is said to be the remover of obsticles and is usually prayed to before people embark on an important tasks in their lives.
The dhol, a type of drum commonly used in Indian Music. It is mainly used for happy music that you can dance to, and it is extremely popular in music from the Punjab region of India.
A picture of a wedding-style necklace.
A picture of how a bride would look at her wedding. Notice the wedding-style necklace she is wearing.
The initiate starts the rite of passage by fisrt taking a series of lessons where he learns to drive a car.
The initite enters the test car, where they are given tasks related to driving, including turning, braking and going over speed bumps.
Driver's Lisence in Ontario
The steps required to immitgrate and become a citizen of Canada
A person that wants to immigrate to Canada must first pass the Canadian point system. This is done by filling in a preliminary form that asks details about academic backgound, work experience, fluency in English and/or French, and others. If the applicant is seen likely to pass, a formal immigration application form will be provided.
A picture of a bride's saari tied to the kurta of the groom.
Getting a driver's license is a big step in growing up for today's society. For many, it may be terrifying, while others will be excited for it.
A picture of the god Vishnu, the preserver and the sustainer.
A picture of a typical pooja thali.
A picture of sindur, it is traditional that married women wear it in their hair. When the groom puts sindur in his wife's hair, they are officially married.
The participant is first taken to a the facility in which they write their test. During this time , they will be separated from their friends and family, and cannot see them until they have completed the test.
The person who engages in the test begins the written part. Interference from others is not tolerated, and would be cheating. The results will be available on the spot via a computer, and the test will have been completed.
After completion, he/she will rejoin with their family. Success will be celebrated by driving with their parents beside them. Usually, he/she will be stopped by their parents, as they haven't had practise yet. However, they have passed a rite of passage, and will have to learn the ways of being passed this "stage" in life.
Similarily to the G1 test, the youth is seperated from their family members. They will not see them until the test is completed (or failed).
The driving instructor would guide you through your test, assuming the role of the religous leader. He/she must do as they are told. Death or injury may be inflicted upon the apprentice in this stage, as accidents may happen.
Assuming that the test is completed with flying colours, apprentices celebrate in many different ways. Some offer to drive their friends to places (such as a mall) to flaunt their passage, or arrange for a party. However, they cannot have four or more passengers in the vehicle (as law states).
As with before, the final test involves the detachment of the apprentice with his friends and family.
The test is then performed with the instructor. Driving on the highway must be performed flawlessly. Failure to do so would mean no G license.
Assuming the test is completed without faults, the apprentice is now permitted to drive on the highways, as well as accommodate more passengers. At this stage, the apprentice is well aged and may have larger scaled parties.
An interview with an immigration officer of Canada must take place.
Then, a medical test is conducted to examine body condition. To pass, the person must not have any chornic or contagious deseases.
A clean criminal record is require to continue.
Now the person can go to Canada and obtain permanent resident status.
The person has to live in Canada for a minimum of three years within five years after landing before applying for Canadian citizenship.
Then, an oral and written citizenship exam must be passed before becoming a Canadian citizen.
The citizenship ceremony is the final step in becoming a Canadian citizen. During the citizenship ceremony, the person will take the oath of citizenship and receive their citizenship certificate.
Immigrants taking the oath of citizenship
A debutante ball is a formal, high-society celebration in which young women and men are introduced and presented into their own society in an official manner. In many societies, a debutante ball is often affiliated with wealthy and powerful families
This tradition has been around for a long period of time initially originating from Europe. Debutante is derived from the French word “debuter” meaning “to lead off”. It is a rite of passage for girls becoming women. Although it may seem as though it is a grand party it actually intends to reveal to the parents' society how beautiful, poised and dependant their daughters are.
In the beginning debutante balls were not meant to present the young women to society but rather present her to other families with the notion that the woman is now eligible and ready for marriage. Parents believed this exhibited how wonderful their daughter was and it also displayed how perfect and composed of a wife should we be for one of the family`s son.
Although debutante balls may have varying looks they traditionally have the same components: formal dresses, escorts, introduction and presentation of the debutante. Debutante Balls begin with a grand entrance to the main ballroom with a male escort. They are then taken to the front of the room where they are formally introduced and must perform a special curtsy. Afterwards a formal dinner takes place and indubitably proper manners are expected at the dinner table. Subsequently there may be speeches which occur and after the dinner has ended, the night usually ends with dancing. With this the debutante has officially become a member of their society.
The word “Annaprashan” translates from Sanskrit as feeding rice. The word is also one of the numerous names for this Hindu rice feeding ceremony
This ceremony has the significance of being the moment that could possiblydetermine the future of the baby. It can also represents a baby’s transition from eating primarily liquid foods to primarily eating liquid foods, this meaning though is simply the surface, one can interpret this coming of age as the very gradual (but gradual nonetheless) transition of the baby from a dependent child to a independent member of society.
To complete the Annaprashan (as with any coming of age rite of passage) the child must go through the three stages
the child (who at this point is able to digest rice;at around 6-8 months) is seperated from his/her former self through a series of preliminel rituals that include dressing auspicously(wearing red usually; since red is usually thought of as an auspicous colour in the hindu culture),
After the child is seperated to be a more mature and auspicious child he/she has to go through a series of steps who's end result will be the reintergration (or rather the intergration) of the child into sociey as a dilligent member.
One of the rituals is the actual rice feeding. This symbolizes the shedding of dependence on the mother since before they only drank maternal milk. The child is fed with a golden or silver spoon first by an older male member of the family for example an uncle or gradfather) then most if not all members of the ceremony take turns feeding the child. It must be noted that because this is the child's first solid food it must be "purified" or made "holy" this is done with a "pooja" (a religious ritual) on the food.
A second ritual that is completely seperate from the rice feeding but equally as important is the "game" that follows the feeding ritual where several items are put in front of the baby each representing a diffrent aspect of the possible future of the child (for eample a pen can symbolize knowledge a holy book can represent ascetism etc.) depending on which one the child chooses the child's future is shaped (or so they say).
finally after the child has gone through the rice feeding and carrer choosing rituals a gradual reintergration into society is signified by a big party where many guests including family, extended family and friends are invited. Usually followed by a host of gifts for the newly almagated member of society!
First Day of Preschool
Every child must undergo their first day of school. After this point, the child will have responsibilities that they will have to shoulder for their entire educational career.
The child gets ready in the morning; for the very first time they will put on a backpack with all their supplies for school.
Their parent will take them to their new school. The toddler may be excited at this point, but unsure what is to come.
Once a boy has succeeded in tracking down a frog and capturing it, they find some way to record their catch, such as taking a photo. When they return to their families, they are no longer treated as children, but are treated with respect befitting an adult.
This is a picture of the frog that I caught when I went to Hong Kong. I was 11 at the time, but since I would not be visiting Hong Kong at the age of 13, my relatives thought that it would be best for me to attempt this rite of passage a little earlier.
The Algonquin Drug Trip
On arriving at school, for the very first time, the tot will see the inside of a classroom and meet their teacher.
Unfortunately, the garden does not have a likeness in Canada. This may mean that the tradition will die out gradually in my family. However, one of my family members is my age and lives in Hong Kong, which means that the tradition will not die entirely.
The parent will have to hand over their toddler to the care of the teacher. This moment is often met with resistance from the child. The separation may be difficult for the parent as well, but they must realize it is inevitable.
S e p a r a t i o n
The child has their first recess, their first lesson, and makes their first friends. While some children revel in this experience, others may begin to cry and long to return to the safety of their parents’ arms.
L i m i n a l i t y
Once the day is complete, the child is reunited with their parents. From now on, they have to spend their days in school for at least 12 years.
R e - i n t e g r a t i o n
In the seperation stage, the boys have to
leave the tribe and they are moved to a
secluded area and then just to make things worse for them, they are then caged.
It all starts by having the boys get singled out when they get to the proper age. In the seperation stage, the boys have to leave the tribe and they are moved to a secluded area and then just to make things worse for them, they are caged. After the get into the cages, the boys are given wysoccan, a drug that is 100 times more powerfull than LSD
The boys have gotten to the age where they will be singled out.... and pushed to their limits, menatally and physically. The rite of passage before them is one filled with danger, and it could cost them their life if they fail. With the Algonquin Drug Trip, the Algonquin tribes have made it possible to fail Manhood.
In sikh tradition, the hair is considered sacred. As it contiues to grow after it is cut, it is considered a gift from God and should not be rid of.
After reaching the age of maturity, the male must take part in a traditional ceremony where a pagh (adult turban) is tied over a pathka (child turban), while prayers are being said. This usually takes place at a gurudwara (temple) with the adolescent's family watching and praying along.
After the ritual has taken place, the child is considered a man and is handed gifts and money.
This is the point where the boys will have to suffer the most. They will have to remain drugged for 20 days without any other people to comfort them. At this point during this time hallucinations, are common. The boys will have to endure this entire time not knowing what is fact or fiction, or even who they are. The memory loss from taking these drugs is enough to make the boys forget how to speak, who their families are and basically who they were. The point of this is so that all of their chilhood memories are washed away, litrally.
After the ceremony is performed, the child who formerly wore a pathka is fit to wear a pagh whenever they choose.
Sometimes, later in the evening a party will take place at the child's home or at a banquet hall where the child must wear a pagh to recognize that he is now an adult.
After the Pagh Ceremony
The first step to success for a young toddler is the first day of kindergarten. This rite of passage is not particularily dangerous, unlike others, which can cause serious injury, but it can be socially harmful, depending on the enviornment that the toddler is put in.
Kindergarten is where kids can become familiar with making friends their age and having fun. It is also were young children can learn simple learning fundamentals, such as counting, learning the alphabet, and using simple sentences.
The First Day of Kindergarten
Here you can see a group of toddlers in kindergarten enjoying themselves.
In kindergarten, children are introduced to a new enviornment, where they can interact with toddlers their age. However, at times, children can be persistent, and may restrain from socializing with them.
In some cases, children are afraid because they won't have the supervision of their parents. However, that will soon cease to an end.
In this stage of the rite of passage, the child enters the school while saying his/her last words to their parents. Usually, children feel safe because they are under constant supervision of their parents. However, in the stage of seperation, they are isolated from their parents and are then put in an enviornment full of hectic, hyper kids that are their age. In this stage, crying or the feeling of excitement may occur.
Breeching is the occasion when a boy is dressed in trousers or breeches for the first time. Beginning in the mid-16th century up to the 19th century, boys varying from the ages of 7-12 were breeched in the Western world. Ever since birth, boys were dressed in gowns and dresses until the coming of age or until their breeching.
The main reason the boys were dressed in gowns and dresses was so when the time of toilet training (potty-training) came, it would be much easier for the mothers and the boys. The parents knew when the time for breeching was upon them when the boys would be able to undo and handle the complicated fastenings on the trousers themselves. Usually, the father of the boy would make the decision of when the breeching was to be done.
The breeching was a big deal for the boys for two main reasons: breeching meant that the father could play a bigger role in the boy’s life and because the dresses and gowns were so long that it made walking hard for the boys.
The first step was to take the boys out of the dresses or gowns they were so used to. Then, the boys would step into their first pair of trousers or breeches. The transition between the dresses and gowns to the trousers or breeches was easy and simple. For a boy though, the transition marked the boy’s entrance into manhood. After the breeching, the young men would be invited to different celebrations for them, like dinners. The young men would happily go to show their new trousers or breeches.
The tradition carried on for a good three hundred years until the First World War began. After the war, breeching had finally died out and became very uncommon.
Finally, after a long period of torture the boys are back into the tribe. Since the drugs have supposedly wiped the boys memories, they are expected to not have any memories of their childhood. If any of the boys have any recall about their childhood at all they are forced to submit to their previous tortures and then if they manage to survive they should have no memory left. The way this works is that essentially the boys are returning both metaphorically and physically a different person. Once they are fully accepted back in to the tribe they become officialy men.
American First Hunt
For children in parts of America, one is not considered an adult until he goes out hunting and successfully kills a wild deer. Killing a wild deer is proof that the participant is brave enough to not let it get away, and intelligent enough to know about the deer’s habitat, how to track the deer, and how to ultimately know how to stay hidden so the deer do not flee from them.
The participant in the rite of passage first leaves their residence, with many forms of modern comfort being left behind. They usually go out into a forest to find the wild deer. Usually older forms of weaponry are used to kill the deer, as to preserve the tradition as much as possible.It usually takes several hours, but once the child has found a deer, and then proceeds to slay the deer, the participant’s childhood essentially goes away for good. They are no longer just the innocent children that they were previously, but are instead brave adults, and not afraid to do what must be done.
Once the deer has been slain, and the participants return to their homes, usually accompanied by the deer which they had hunted, the new adult in the family is expected to be treated in the same way as the other adults in the family, with the same amount of responsibilities and duties, but also the same amount of respect and privileges. The child that once was is now a proper adult.
Pakistani Shaadi (Wedding)
A Shaadi is a series of long and rather cumbersome ceremonies that take place when one is getting married. It is similar to a western wedding, but is instead dragged out so that it takes place over several days. The result is a week-long event that nobody will remember, and which guests attend simply for the food.
The only ‘separation’ that really takes place is when the bride sits alone in the bridal chamber. She is usually put there because of the amount of time it takes for the guests to arrive. Since she is not supposed to be seen until right before the actual marriage takes place, she is put in a room with other girls, who paint her face, hands, and nails. She isn’t allowed to leave until every single person has sat down in their chair and gone dead silent. At this point, she enters the banquet hall and sits beside the groom on a separate chair.
Liminality occurs when the bride and groom sign their vows, in a ceremony called a Nikkah. They each have a representative speak for them first, saying ‘yes’ or ‘haha, no!’ Then, the bride and groom are asked themselves whether or not they want to marry each other. The groom is asked once, while the bride is asked three times to ensure that she is not being force to marry. The Imam (Muslim priest) then reads from the holy book, the Koran, to bless the future of the bride and groom and their children. If either the bride or the groom, or their representatives decline the marriage, then the entire ceremony ends here. If this happens then the guests probably won’t even take notice and will continue to eat their dinner as the bride exits the banquet hall.
The actual re-integration technically occurs the night
of the Nikkah, when the newly-wed couple, well,
let’s just say spend their first night together.
However, another example of a re-integration could be
the ceremony called a Valeema, which takes place the
day right after the wedding. Originally, the Nikkah wa
s meant to be simply a ceremony without a celebration,
so the Valeema was made to actually celebrate the
wedding. It is the first time that the bride and
groom are seen as a couple, and are thus allowed to acknowledge each other’s presence. They are now seen as “Mr. and Mrs. Something.” At this point, they may engage in dark, secretive chanting and arcane blood-letting rituals, though this really depends on their sanity.
Seijin ho hi (coming-of-age day) is a national holiday celebrated annually on the second Monday of January. It used to be celebrated on January 15th every year until 1999. During seijin no hi, there is the seijin shiki (coming-of-age ceremony/adult ceremony). The ceremony is a formal occasion, so women tend to wear furisode (kimono with long sleeves), while men wear suits or hakamas. Seijin shiki is based on genpuku, a ceremony in olden day Japan to celebrate the “children” becoming “adults”.
The local governments will hold special ceremonies to mark Seijin no hi, these are called seijin shiki. Everyone who is turning 20 in that year celebrates and wears formal attire. All new adults in the area will be invited to celebrate. Celebrations are held at local or prefectural offices. Family and friends are also allowed to come, but it is less common as it is a day for the “new adults” to celebrate becoming adults
During the ceremony, government officials will give speeches and the new adults will receive small gifts. The gifts represent the responsibility to the country that they now have. After their ceremony, the young adults go out and celebrate, either with family or with friends at a party or a club.
The day after the ceremony, they are now adults in the eyes of Japanese society. Twenty is the minimum age you’re allowed to drink, vote, and smoke. In Japan, gaining these rights is considered the beginning of adulthood. You now have the responsibilities and privileges of being an adult.
By Ying Yang
Seijin Shiki (Seijin No Hi)
This is a seijin shiki
These are the outfits often worn during Seijin no hi.
SWEET SIXTEEN! YAY!
This is when the person is getting ready for the party, dinner, or whatever form of celebration they are having. In this part, the individual gets dressed up and puts on makeup if she is a female. If a male, he may decide to dress neatly with a shirt and tie or may decide to be more casual.
Liminalty begins as soon as he or she steps through the threshold of the room or location in which they are celebrating. Then the celebration begins. They may recieve presents from their parents, relatives, and/or friends. The party will continue and people will wish the individual a "Happy birthday" or something along those lines. The celebration continues far and deep into the night. Eventually, everyone is tired from dancing, from screaming, and smiling. It's time to leave.
The Massai Lion Hunt of Kenya
Every culture often includes at least one if not more stepping stone to maturity. These stepping stones are often tests, or ceremonies that test a person to either test their sense of maturity or welcome them to adulthood, and certainly, the Massai tribe of Kenya are no exception.
The Matis Tribe Hunting Ritual
Also known as the Jaguar people, the Matis Tribe of the Amazon originate from Western Brazil. This tribe can be found along the Amazon River and is well known for hunting. The young boys of the tribe must face several trials before they are allowed to go on the hunt. The hunt will start the day after all trials are completed.
The first trial involves dripping bitter poison into each of their eyes while chanting. It is believed that this ritual will improve vision, increase stamina and running ability during the hunt.
The lion hunt is often done in groups, solo hunts are rarely practised. A group of about 5 teens often plan the hunt a couple days well before the desired date, and is kept in top secrecy. If information were leaked, the guilty would face a beating.
The hunt starts at dawn and the people involved would meet at a pre-determined landmark, perhaps a rock or a certain tree, and the hunt for the lion begins.
The second trial is to decrease laziness, give mystical energy to the children, and prove their resilience and manliness. This is achieved by beating and whipping the initiate multiple times.
The third and final trial is to inject or induce poison from a green tree frog directly into the blood stream. To do this, needles made from wood are used. After creating an open incision on the skin, the poison is placed onto it. The poison brings unbearable lightheadedness, intense vomiting and relieving of the bowels. This ritual is believed to increase strength and endurance. If the initiate does not vomit from the first dosage, it is considered a sign of strength. A second dosage is added through a different incision.
Only after a boy has completed and proved himself through all of these trials may he hunt with the tribe, and is expected to. He is then forced to participate in these trials once again before every hunt.
The hunt for the lion begins with tracking down a lion. This is done by following footprints and taking care to notice clues such as droppings and vultures. The chase for a lion can take anywhere between 20 minutes and 10 hours. They go around shaking bells to attract and infuriate the lion and make it want to fight the warriors. When the group comes across a lion, the fight begins. Armed with only a spear and a shield, the novitiates take on the beast. The fight does not last too long, but during this period of time the teens enter adulthood.
The First Day of Grade School
Separation: The child is separated from strangers and their friends during the ceremony. Only the child’s smart family members got to their house. No one is allowed to go outside during this time.
Liminality: The smart family members guide their hands when they are writing, so that some of their smarts transfer to the child.
Re-incorporation: To celebrate the ceremony being over the child goes to school with their new smarts, a good lunch, new stationary and some money.
In my culture, the very first day of school is an important day. Their parents would make a good lunch for them to eat. Some chicken, pork, and fish made in a special way with sauce are considered a good meal. Next the parents and the child pray to their god or ancestors for a successful school life. Their parents would also buy new stationary for good luck and the family members give red pocket money to the kid.
By Jason Chan
Once the spear is through the lion, the lion is brought back to the village, where it's mane and tail is taken and decorated for traditional clothing for the one that struck it with the spear. The tribe does NOT eat the game meat as this goes against their tradition. Upon returning, they have entered adulthood and are respected by the other warriors of the tribe.
In this stage, the toddler endures the fact that his parents aren't with him, and they begin to notice their surroundings. They notice that the activities that kindergarten teachers provide are extremely enjoyable and are not usually played at home.
While in the classroom, painting, playing, or even singing can help a child improve a child's social skills, which will be important for them as they move on to Elementary school, Middle school, and High school.
After the first day of kindergarten, the child will understand that hanging around kids their age isn't that bad, and it can be fun. Learning how to count, paint and play will allow the child to begin making friends, which he might have for many years.
Though this rite of passage is based around the child, the parents play a huge part in it as well. As the child is at school, the parents would be work, wondering if their child is afraid, having fun, or even being being bullied by the other kids. Only after they see their child after school, they will be reassured that there is nothing to worry about, and that their little boy/girl is growing up.