Geography in the classroom
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Geography in the classroom
Resources to support the NSW secondary Geography curriculum
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13 amazing coming of age traditions from around the world

13 amazing coming of age traditions from around the world | Geography in the classroom | Scoop.it

"The transition from childhood to adulthood -- the 'coming of age' of boys who become young men and girls who become young women -- is a significant stepping stone in everyone’s life. But the age at which this happens, and how a child celebrates their rite of passage into adolescence, depends entirely on where they live and what culture they grow up in.  Looking back, we'll never forget the majesty that was prom, or the excitement of hitting the dance floor at our friends' co-ed Bar and Bat Mitzvah parties, and why should we? Embarassing or amazing, they were pivotal moments in our lives that deserve remembering. On that note, here are thirteen of it the world’s most diverse coming of age traditions."

 

Tags: gender, folk culture, culture, indigenous, worldwide.


Via Seth Dixon
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Elizabeth Sheppard's comment, October 3, 2014 3:07 AM
Its interesting to see the different cultural traditions that are set at different stages in a persons life as the beginning into adulthood for most. I don't think I would want to be a male in the Brazilian Amazon, or the island of Vanuatu where you literally put your life on the line to prove your ready for adulthood. It shows the differences and what is considered important or the role the person plays in society. I think the mention of the sweet 16 for American girls was a pretty weak presentation. America is a melting pot and represents so much more than that.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 27, 2014 11:59 AM

These traditions reflect the cultural geographies they take place within. In the Brazilian Amazon, the locals use the bullet ants native to the area to use in their Bullet Ant Initation. On North Baffin Island, where Inuits must be able to navigate and hunt in the wilderness of the artic, their coming of age involves a hunting journey that begins with them opening up the lines of communication between men and animals a relationship that the survival of the community hinges on. In the Amish tradition, they send their youth out into the world to witness the perils of modern society as a way to provide them with the choice of Amish Living. In Central and South America, girls have a Quinceanera where they girls solidifies their commitment to her family and faith two very important ideals of that culture. These coming of age traditions reflect the cultural differences between places throughout the world.

Lydia Tsao's curator insight, March 24, 2015 1:34 AM

I think this article could also fit into the view of culture of gender. The fact that there are separate celebrations in Jewish culture represent the divide between men and women. The Satere-Mawe tradition of wearing bullet ant gloves in order for boys to demonstrate their "manliness" is actually quite sexist. It demonstrates how men must behave in "manly" ways and not cry in order to be viewed as a "true" man. This creates a mentality in boys from a very young age that they must not be "feminine," and that they must be more headstrong than girls to be viewed as a man. The same goes for the Vanuatu tradition. Young boys have to go to the extreme (jump from tall towers with a simply a rope around their legs to keep them from dying) to prove their manhood. Of course these traditions are an important part of their culture, and I have no right to criticize, but I am simply providing an alternative analysis of these traditions.

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The Living Bridge

In North East India just north of Bangladesh is the province of Meghalaya. 

 

This is an astounding video that shows a (literally) natural way that local people have adapted to an incredibly flood-prone environment.  The organic building materials prevent erosion and keep people in contact during times of flood.  The living bridges are truly a sight to behold. 

 

Tags: environment, environment adapt, SouthAsia, water, weather climate, indigenous.

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Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 30, 2014 7:51 PM

The people of North East India have found an amazing response to bridge destruction during the annual monsoons. Instead of building bridges year after year, they turn to a more resilient and natural building medium. By spending generations entwining and weaving roots into a specific growth pattern, living bridges span the rivers. A living bridge takes years to accomplish, and families and villages dedicate their lives to taking care of them. The future of the bridges is dependent on the dedication of the youth. As the world's population increasingly moves to urban areas, the fate of the small villages and their natural traditions could be lost. 

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 2014 7:46 PM

This video is fascinating. not only does it show the ingenuity of man, but also its care for nature. when Monsoon season comes to the province of Meghalaya, the people use the roots, planted years ago, to form a bridge that allows them to travel back and forth over the river that was caused by the monsoon. If only the entire world could see this video and realize that there are many ways to coexist with nature and that if we take care of nature then it will help take care of us.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 2:30 AM

This is truly an amazing video. It shows the old traditions of the country and how close many of the people are to nature. It seems almost like a fantasy with the growing of these multi-generational living bridges. Especially when compared to many western nations who seem t prefer to keep nature to itself and build up human utilized lands.