Rites of Passage
Although there are many different types of rites of passage they differ in many ways, some much more extreme than the others. There are so many different cultures that have a ton of different ways of expressing rites of passage. The three different cultures that will be discussed are the United States of America, Malaysian, and Balinese adolescents. Some of the things that will be discussed are the different forms of rites of passage, the different ages that they take place at, and how they affect all the different societies.
The best definition of a rite of passage is a ritual event that marks a person’s transition from one status to another. This can be in many different forms, some being a lot
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It is usually performed with a knife on a banana tree by what is called a mudim, which is somebody who is trained in performing circumcisions. The event is an elaborate one with many people invited to the occasion. Girl circumcisions are a private event that is done when she is an infant. As in many cultures marriage is probably the biggest event in the Malaysian culture. The bride and groom must give full consent when joining in marriage although close families still do arrange marriages. The wedding usually lasts two days with the first day everyone going to the bride’s house and then everyone going to the grooms house the second day. Parents scatter leaves and flower pedals on the bride and grooms palms during the bersanding ceremony which signifies their blessings. As in most cultures death is a very sad time in the Malaysian society. After death the deceased is presented in the middle of the living room for all of the loved ones to offer their last respects. They are then carried to the graveyard to be buried. The mourning period lasts for one hundred days with the only special prayers held on the first three days, the seventh day, the fortieth day, and the hundredth day. (www.everyculture.com)
In the Balinese culture there can be as many as thirteen life cycle rituals performed depending on the family’s social status. Some of the events that can occur are the sixth month of pregnancy, birth, the