Rites of Passage

In cultures throughout history the journey through age has been marked by the rites of passage.

Wikipedia defines it as: “a rite of passage is a ritual event that marks a person’s progress from one status to another.”

Vanuatu rite of passageFrom the tribes of Africa to the Australian Aborigines the journey from boy to man is marked by a whole host of trials, tests and rites of passage. Some of the most extraordinary are captured on 10 Bizarre Rites of Passage. Including the Vanuatu land divers, who as an act of manhood climb rickety old structures and dive headfirst to the ground – it’s bungee jumping Vanuatu style! As the boy gets older he climbs higher and plummets headlong towards the ground.

From Boy to Man

So too in modern Western society the rites of passage are marked by key events in a young man’s life.

My son is encountering one of his earlier rites of passage. Unlike other cultures he doesn’t have to confront lions, leap off rickety structures or be isolated with groups of men. No, my son’s rite of passage is much worse, more confronting – he’s embarking on the modern day rites of passage! It deserves a heading …

The Modern Rites of Passage

Blue tooth fairyThe modern rite of passage my son is confronted with is the dreaded tooth fairy! That’s right, no lions, no fearful leaps off towers, Fletch has a wobbly tooth and is awaiting its release so he can receive the fabled stash from the tooth fairy.

But our modern rites of passage go beyond just the tooth fairy, there are others, so here’s my top 10 list of modern rites of passage:

Top 10 Rites of Passage

  • The move from The Wiggles to Ben 10
  • Standing up to go to the loo
  • Sitting in the front seat of the car
  • Owning your first DSi or numerous other i devices
  • Money for the canteen
  • Tying up your own shoelaces
  • Pocket money!!!
  • Learning the mantra “no, I can do it”
  • First day of big school (kindergarten)
  • The art of deception – at 12 asking “what is Santa bringing this year?”

I’m guessing there are a few Westernised rites of passage I’ve missed, they may only be geographically limited to Australia … any others?

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6 responses to “Rites of Passage

  1. Love your “Top 10 Rites of Passage”–especially the “No, I can do it.” I remember that one well! Back in our kids’ days, the tooth fairy only got a quarter–dare I ask what the going rate is today? Love your post!

  2. There’s one more I’m looking forward to – going from sneakers with Velcor straps to real shoelaces!

  3. I have an adjunct to the “Wiggles to Ben10” move: that’s the ability to use the remote by himself! I wonder how many DVRd shows have been lost during this rite of passage?

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