How do rites of passage manifest in cultures around the world? How do our modern informal rites compare to more strictly codified and ritualized rites of the past?
In Europe, young boys who trained to be knights would have to undergo a trial or test of strength and skill, usually a battle or punishing sparring in order to be considered “a man”.
Coming from a modern western society our rites of passage have become more informal, in the United States, getting a driver’s license, graduating high school, and entering and completing college are all seen as rites of passage in order to be considered a real adult. I’m curious how these rites of passage manifest in other cultures and how a more rigid pathway to adulthood affects the transformation from child to adult.
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Very interesting observation.
Long ago I read a statement from a Native American Elder that asserted that the modern world is filled with boys -not men. Her argument was that without an official rite of passage into adulthood, the body may have reached maturity, but the spirit had not.
This has stuck with me and framed my perspective of the world for some time.