21 Coming of Age Ceremonies from around the World ...

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21 Coming of Age Ceremonies from around the World ...
21 Coming of Age Ceremonies from around the World ...

The age at which you are considered an adult differs greatly from country to country, religion to religion and tribe to tribe. In some cases it is a accompanied by a change in legal status - such as being able to vote etc, but many more are simply symbolic - but still of import and significance. Our world is a wealth of diverse cultures so the coming of age ceremonies around the world reflect that.

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1

United States of America

United States of America The sweet sixteen is arguably the biggest coming of age moment for any teenage girl in North America. This milestone age is most often celebrated by the throwing of a big party for the birthday girl’s friends and family, often accompanied by the gift of a first car.

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The United States of America is a country in North America that celebrates the coming of age of teenage girls with a Sweet Sixteen party. This milestone is usually celebrated with a big party for the girl’s friends and family, and is often accompanied by the gift of a first car.

In the US, the Sweet Sixteen is a big deal and is often celebrated with a formal party, a special dress, decorations, and a cake. Guests will often bring gifts for the birthday girl and the party typically includes music, dancing, and games. Depending on the family’s traditions, the party may also include a religious ceremony or a special ritual.

The Sweet Sixteen is a time for the birthday girl to celebrate her transition into young adulthood and to look forward to the future. It is a time for her to reflect on her past and to be surrounded by family and friends who are there to support her. It is also a time for her to make memories that will last a lifetime.

The Sweet Sixteen is an important milestone in the US and is often celebrated in a unique and special way. It is a time for the birthday girl to recognize her growth into adulthood and to celebrate with her loved ones.

2

Ghana

Ghana In Ghana, women of the Krobo tribe take part in a two day ceremony called Dipo where they are bathed, given sugar cane to eat, and then leave their village for a week of confinement where they are taught about childbirth and several other aspect of womanhood and motherhood. They then return with full body paint decoration.

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In Ghana, the Dipo ceremony is a coming of age ritual for young women of the Krobo tribe. It is a two-day ceremony that is held annually and marks the transition from childhood to womanhood. During the ceremony, the young women are bathed and given sugar cane to eat. Afterwards, they leave their village for a week of confinement, where they are taught about childbirth, motherhood, and other aspects of womanhood.

Upon their return, the women are decorated in full body paint, a tradition that has been passed down through generations of the Krobo tribe. The ceremony is seen as a way to honor the young women and to celebrate their transition into adulthood. It is also seen as a way to prepare the women for their future roles as mothers and wives.

The Dipo ceremony is an important part of the culture in Ghana and is viewed as a time of celebration and joy. It is a time for the young women to be surrounded by family and friends, and to be welcomed as adults into their community. The ceremony is also seen as a way to honor the ancestors and to thank them for the blessings that have been bestowed upon the Krobo tribe.

3

Indonesia

Indonesia In Indonesia, girls who have already had their first period go through a process called mepandes in which involved removing the sharp edges of their teeth and filling their front teeth flat as a symbol of ridding themselves of things like lust, anger, greed and jealousy.

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In Indonesia, a coming of age ceremony known as mepandes is held for girls who have already had their first period. This ceremony is an important part of the transition from childhood to adulthood in Indonesian culture. During the mepandes ceremony, the girl’s sharp teeth are filed down and her front teeth are filled flat. This is meant to symbolize the ridding of negative emotions such as lust, anger, greed, and jealousy.

The mepandes ceremony is only done once in a lifetime and is a very special occasion. The girl’s family will gather and celebrate the occasion with traditional music, food, and gifts. The girl is expected to wear traditional clothing and jewelry for the ceremony. She will also receive advice from elders in the community on how to be a responsible adult.

Mepandes is a very important tradition in Indonesia and is seen as an important part of growing up. It is a way for the girl to show that she is ready to take on the responsibilities of adulthood. The ceremony is also seen as a way of honoring the girl’s transition to womanhood and is a source of pride for the family.

4

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka In the Tamil population, girls who haven their first period are then considered women, and on the very first day they are kept in isolation, given a huge meal and given gifts of jewelry and nice clothing. Their first makeup session is also part of the ritual - very glamorous.

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In Sri Lanka, the coming of age ceremony for girls is known as the ‘Uposatha’. The ceremony is held in the girl’s home and is usually attended by close family and friends. During the ceremony, the girl is dressed in traditional clothing and adorned with flowers and jewelry. She is then taken to a nearby temple where a priest performs a blessing ceremony. After the ceremony, the girl is presented with gifts such as clothing, jewelry, and money. This coming of age ritual is an important milestone for girls in Sri Lanka and marks the transition from childhood to adulthood.

5

China

China One of China’s Confucian coming of age ceremonies is called Ji Li, and involves a Han woman aged 15 to 20 dressing in traditional Chinese clothing and taking part in a hair washing and styling ceremony.

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In China, the Ji Li ceremony is usually accompanied by offerings of fruit, incense, and tea. During the ceremony, the young woman is given advice from her elders on how to be a good daughter and wife. After the ceremony, the woman is presented with a certificate of adulthood. The Ji Li ceremony is a traditional Chinese rite of passage that has been practiced for centuries.

6

Latin America

Latin America The biggest coming of age ceremony for a girl in Latin America is her quinceanera, which involves a huge party and church blessing when she turns 15 years old. It goes by various names in countries across Latin America.

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In Latin America, the quinceanera is an important coming of age ceremony for girls when they turn 15 years old. It is a widely celebrated event in Latin American countries, with each country having its own unique traditions and customs.

The quinceanera is traditionally celebrated with a huge party and a church blessing. In some countries, the girl celebrating her quinceanera wears a special dress and a tiara, symbolizing her transition into womanhood. She is often accompanied by a court of honor, which consists of her family, friends, and other important people in her life.

At the quinceanera, the girl is often given gifts to commemorate her transition into adulthood. She may receive jewelry, a doll, or a Bible. She may also receive advice from her parents, godparents, and other important people in her life.

In some countries, the quinceanera celebration includes a dance. The girl celebrating her quinceanera typically dances with her father, godfather, and court of honor. This is usually followed by a traditional dance with her court of honor.

7

Japan

Japan Japan’s official Coming of Age Day - Seijin-no-Hi - is always the second Monday in January, and is celebrated by men and women who have turned 20. It involves government-organised celebrations and the female participants wear long sleeved kimonos with fur lining.

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Japan’s Coming of Age Day, or Seijin-no-Hi, is an important milestone for many young adults in Japan. It is held on the second Monday of January every year, and is celebrated by men and women who have reached the age of 20. The day is marked with official government-sponsored celebrations, with female participants wearing traditional long-sleeved kimonos with fur lining.

In Japan, the Coming of Age Day is a highly anticipated event. It is seen as a way of symbolizing the transition from childhood to adulthood, and marks the age of legal adulthood in Japan. On the day, participants attend a ceremony at a local government office, where they are addressed by a local official and receive a certificate. After the ceremony, the participants are encouraged to attend parties and gatherings with their peers, family, and friends.

The celebrations are also a chance for young adults to show off their style, with many participants wearing colorful and stylish kimonos and other traditional clothing. It is also a time for young adults to reflect on their lives and plan for the future.

8

Judaism

Judaism People of the Jewish faith all over the world with celebrate a Bar or Bat Mitzvah when they turn 12 or 13. It is seen as an acceptance in to the Jewish faith and is celebrated with a church ceremony and a big party afterwards.

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Judaism is one of the oldest religions in the world and is practiced by millions of people around the globe. The Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a coming of age ceremony that marks the transition of a Jewish person from childhood to adulthood. During the ceremony, the individual recites a blessing and reads from the Torah. Afterwards, they are given the responsibility of observing the commandments of the Jewish faith. After the ceremony, families usually host a celebration to mark the special occasion. Bar and Bat Mitzvahs are important milestones in the life of any Jewish person, and are a source of pride for their families.

9

Sioux/Ihanktonwan Oyate Reservation

Sioux/Ihanktonwan Oyate Reservation This reservation in South Dakota holds a four day ceremony for girls who have started their period which involves the girls going to "moon camp" - staying in a special tee-pee together and being fed and watered by other women: they are not allowed to do it themselves.

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The Ihanktonwan Oyate or Yankton Sioux ritual highlights the importance of womanhood within the community. As the girls embrace their new phase of life, they are taught about their responsibilities and roles through ancient wisdom passed down by elders. This sacred period of seclusion, guidance, and celebration not only serves as an educational experience but also acts as a rite of passage, marking their transition into respected members of the tribe. Cultural teachings and stories are shared, instilling a sense of pride and continuity in these young women.

10

South Korea

South Korea Every third Monday in May, men and women in South Korea who have recently turned 20 have a mass celebration - known as Gwan Rye - to mark entering in to adulthood. National dress is worn and roses and kisses are given out!

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In South Korea, the Coming of Age ceremony is known as Gwan Rye. This ceremony is held every third Monday of May to celebrate those who have recently turned 20. It is a time for young adults to be recognized for their transition into adulthood.

During the ceremony, participants are encouraged to wear traditional Korean clothing, such as the Hanbok. This colorful, traditional clothing is usually made of a light cotton material and is often decorated with vibrant colors and intricate embroidery. Men and women wear different styles of Hanbok, and the outfit is usually completed with a traditional hat.

At the ceremony, young adults are presented with roses and kisses as a symbol of their newly achieved adulthood. The roses are usually given to the women and the kisses are given to the men. This is a way of honoring the youth and celebrating their transition into adulthood.

Gwan Rye is an important event in South Korea, as it marks the transition from childhood to adulthood. It is a time for young adults to reflect on their journey into adulthood and to celebrate their accomplishments. It is also a time for parents to recognize and celebrate their children's growth and development.

11

Amish

Amish In the Amish community, young people go through Rumspringa, a period in which they leave the community and live in the ‘modern world’ for a time before deciding whether or not they want to go back to the Amish way of life.

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The Amish are a religious group of people who live in small, rural communities in the United States and Canada. They have a long-standing tradition of coming of age ceremonies known as Rumspringa. During this period, young people are allowed to leave the Amish community and explore the outside world.

The Amish believe that this period of exploration is important for their youth to gain a greater understanding of the world and to decide if they want to commit to the Amish way of life. To ensure that they remain safe during this time, the Amish youth are usually accompanied by an adult chaperone.

During the Rumspringa period, the youth are allowed to try out different activities and experiences that are not typically part of the Amish lifestyle. This can include attending public schools, participating in sports, going to movies, listening to music, and even driving cars.

At the end of the Rumspringa period, the Amish youth must decide if they want to stay in the Amish community or leave it for good. Those who choose to stay are baptized and become members of the Amish church. Those who choose to leave are not considered part of the Amish community anymore.

12

Mali

Mali In Mali, young Fulani women are ushered in to adulthood via the process of Tchoodi - facial tattoos, most often around their lip area.

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The Tchoodi tradition, while beautiful, symbolizes courage and strength as the tattooing process is known to be painful. It's not just a rite of passage but also a meaningful adornment that carries significant cultural and personal symbolism. These intricate facial designs are celebrated amongst the Fulani, one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa. They hold deep ancestral meaning and often indicate social status within the community. As traditions evolve, the art of Tchoodi remains a poignant reminder of the enduring customs that define the heritage of Mali's young women.

13

Apache

Apache Native American Apaches have the Sunrise Ceremony that lasts for four days. Girls who have started their period take part in a series of activities including changing, praying, face painting and running.

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The Apache tribe in North America has a unique coming of age ceremony known as the Sunrise Ceremony, which is specifically for girls who have started their period. This four-day ceremony involves a series of activities that symbolize the transition from girlhood to womanhood. These activities include changing clothes, praying, face painting, and running. The girls are also taught important lessons about their role in the community and their responsibilities as women. The ceremony is seen as a way to honor and celebrate the girls' journey into womanhood, and it holds great cultural significance for the Apache people.

14

The Philippines

The Philippines Filipino girls who turn 18 have a ‘debut’, which is something very similar to an American sweet sixteen or a Latina quinceanera.

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In the Philippines, the traditional coming of age ceremony is called a ‘debut’. This is a special celebration that marks a young woman’s transition into adulthood when she turns 18. It is similar to an American Sweet Sixteen or a Latina Quinceanera, but with its own unique Filipino twist.

The debut is usually held in the evening and is a formal, black-tie event. It is a very special occasion for the young woman and her family, who will usually invite close relatives and friends to join in the celebration. The debutante will often wear a white gown and a long veil to symbolize her purity and innocence.

During the ceremony, the debutante is presented to her family and guests, and is often accompanied by an escort. The debutante will then make a short speech to thank her family and friends for being there to celebrate her special day. She may also perform a dance or a song to mark the occasion.

15

Brazil

Brazil In the depths of the Brazilian Amazon, young boys in certain tribes are welcomed to manhood via the process of living through the intense pain of a bullet ant bite!

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The Sateré-Mawé people, indigenous to this lush and vibrant region, have a particularly daunting initiation ritual. Known as the Tucandeira ritual, it involves young males inserting their hands into gloves filled with the venomous bullet ants. This trial is not just a test of endurance, as the sting of the bullet ant is said to be one of the most painful in the world, but it is also a spiritual journey that connects them to their community and nature._Response: The Sateré-Mawé people, indigenous to this lush and vibrant region, have a particularly daunting initiation ritual. Known as the Tucandeira ritual, it involves young males inserting their hands into gloves filled with the venomous bullet ants. This trial is not just a test of endurance, as the sting of the bullet ant is said to be one of the most painful in the world, but it is also a spiritual journey that connects them to their community and nature.

16

Inuit Population

Inuit Population When they reach 11 or 12, Inuit boys go out in to the wilderness to test their hunting skills with their fathers to try to survive the brutal arctic conditions.

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Inuit culture is an ancient and rich tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation. The Inuit are a group of Indigenous peoples who inhabit the Arctic regions of Canada, Greenland, and Alaska. The Inuit population is estimated to be around 150,000, with the majority living in Canada.

Inuit culture is deeply rooted in the land and the environment and is based upon a strong connection to the natural world. It is a subsistence lifestyle that has been sustained for thousands of years. Inuit people rely on the land for their food, clothing, and shelter. Hunting and fishing are important parts of the Inuit way of life and are essential to their survival.

Inuit culture is also deeply spiritual and is based on a belief in the power of the spirit world. The Inuit believe that the spirits of the land, animals, and ancestors are present in all aspects of their lives. They practice traditional ceremonies and rituals to honor and communicate with the spirits.

17

Malaysia

Malaysia In Malaysia, a Muslim girl’s 11th birthday marks her coming of age. In the Khatam Al Koran ceremony they attend mosque and read a special chapter of the Koran before celebrating with family and friends at a private ceremony.

18

Kenya

Kenya Young male members of the Maasai tribe mark their coming of age and entrance to the warrior class by sleeping out together in the forest the night before they are circumcised; a traditional symbol of moving from boyhood to adulthood.

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In Kenya, the coming of age ceremony for the Maasai tribe is known as Eunoto. It is a week-long ceremony that marks the transition of young men from boyhood to adulthood. It begins with the young men sleeping out in the forest the night before they are circumcised. This is followed by a series of rituals and dances which includes the warriors dressing in traditional Maasai clothing and painting their faces. After the ceremony, the warriors are given the right to carry weapons and take part in tribal meetings. Eunoto is an important part of Maasai culture and is seen as an important rite of passage for young men.

19

Ethiopia

Ethiopia In Ethiopia, before a young man is able to marry, he must first prove his worth by jumping over a cow four times whilst naked!

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In Ethiopia, a coming of age ceremony is held for young men to prove their worth before they can marry. This ceremony involves the young man jumping over a cow four times while completely naked. The ceremony is seen as a way for the young man to demonstrate his strength and courage as he embarks on the journey of adulthood. It is a symbol of respect for the cow, which is seen as a sacred animal in Ethiopia. The ceremony is also seen as a way to show gratitude for the cow, which is an important source of food and income in the country. It is a tradition that has been passed down through generations and is still practiced in modern day Ethiopia.

20

Vanuatu

Vanuatu Young men on the small island of Vanuatu enter in to adulthood by jumping off a 100 feet high tower with a bungee cord made from vines attached to their ankles!

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Vanuatu is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. It is made up of 83 islands, of which 66 are inhabited. The island nation has a population of around 270,000 people and is home to a diverse range of cultures and languages.

The coming of age ceremony practiced in Vanuatu is known as the N’gol ceremony. It is a ritual that marks the transition from childhood to adulthood for young men. During the ceremony, the young men must climb a 100-foot tower and jump off with a bungee cord made of vines tied to their ankles. This is a symbolic act of bravery and courage, and it is believed that it will bring the young men good luck and strength in the future.

The N’gol ceremony is an important part of the culture in Vanuatu, and it is seen as a rite of passage for young men. It is believed that the ritual will bring them closer to their ancestors and help them to become better men. The ceremony is also seen as a way for the young men to prove their bravery and courage, and to show their commitment to their families and communities.

21

Australia

Australia Certain Aboriginal communities in Australia will send their teenage boys out in to the outback and ask them to survive alone for anything up to six months. It's known as the "Walkabout".

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

Oops sorry ;)

Thanks for the article! My students are going to research coming of age ceremonies around the world and this article is a good starting point.

The fact ritual in Ghana is really clever, we should imitate it around the world.

Very interesting.

Cool stuff! Thank you very much! Thank you very much!

The Australian one is wrong. Walkabout is the whole tribe moving around, for hunting purposes.

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