Write a 2 pages paper on rite of passage from childhood to adulthood. Rite of Passage from Childhood to Adulthood The rights of passage for Americans have significantly changed since the end of the 19th century. Currently, the Americans treat the transitional period of a child as adolescence stage. In tandem with this, I affirm that my right of passage from childhood to adulthood varies significantly from that of Pygmies.
My first right of passage was physical maturation. My parents stopped treating me as a small child when I attained the age of 12. At this stage, they believed I could make right decisions about my life. My next stage after physical maturation was sexual initiation. At the age of 14, I was taught how to handle a person of the opposite sex. My next level after passage from childhood to adulthood was the attainment of education. According to my parents, education was very essential stage in my life since it is the one that influences a person’s decisions. After my high school education, I was allowed to have unlimited vocational experience that included legal entitlement to drive or drink alcohol. My last transitional stage is marriage. As a married person, I will be entitled to making decisions for my family.
As I had argued before, the Americans’ rite of passage from childhood to adulthood varies significantly from that of the Pygmies. Unlike the Americans, the Pygmies’ initiation was associated with children mimicking what adults do. The mimicking was one way of preparing the children for adult roles. After this, both boys and girls were taught about their respective roles in the society. Boys were taught how to hunt whereas girls were educated about herbs and edible fauna. Unlike the Americans, The Pygmies also circumcised their boys as a way of passage from childhood to adulthood. The last stage of transition from childhood to adulthood for the Pygmies is marriage (Turnbull, 1962).
The Pygmies rites of passage are very significant in life. For instance, the mimicking of adults enabled children many things pertaining adult life. The adult behaviors taught young people on how to observe societal norms. The Pygmies also regarded the teachings they taught different genders essential since they prepared boys and girls for their future roles in their families. The most respected rite of passage by the Pygmies is circumcision. The Pygmies believed the blood shed through circumcision enhanced blood-brotherhood. In addition to this, they believed that the circumcised men were fully prepared for the caring roles. According to Turnbull (1962), “circumcised men are mutually obligated to help and care for each other for the rest of their lives.”
In conclusion, the passage of life from childhood to adulthood of the Americans has changed significantly. The new observances for the passage are totally different to the ones that were practiced in the 19th century. The rite of passage of Americans from childhood to adulthood consists of five stages. physical maturation, sexual initiation, attainment of education, vocational experience, and marriage. The rites of passage from childhood to adulthood vary significantly between cultures. The Pygmies rites of passage include mimicking adults, learning gender roles, circumcision of boys, and marriage.
Turnbull, C. (1962). The Forest People. New York: Simon and Schuster.