Rites of passage research – Term Paper

Life experience of men and women

When someone transits from one stage of their life to other, men and women find it essential to have an experience and some teachings given. These teachings are about what is expected of them once they cross over to the other stage of life. A rite of passage, therefore, involves ritual activities and life teachings that are meant to give a new sense of maturity and advancement to an individual.

I can describe rites of passage as diverse. The world is made up of numerous kinds of culture, people in different cultures have their rites of passage different from other people. In the African context, the transition from puberty to adulthood came with some rituals that marked as a rite of passage. One that is practiced until today is circumcision.

Circumcision; it involves the removal of the foreskin from a human penis (Remondino, 27). In most cases, circumcision is done during the transition from puberty to adulthood. It involves different stages for one to completely go through the process.

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Circumcision care stages

This rite has three stages; the first one includes seclusion. They are kept away from the rest; this is done purposely to prepare them physically, psychologically and socially for what is expected of them (Remondino, 79). This stage takes around ten to fourteen days. Once this phase has successfully been completed, the practical part of the passage is done. This involves the removal of the foreskin, this is the phase that proves them to be men and no longer boys. This stage successfully ends with the initiates being men and not boys. The final stage involves the healing process, and the elders giving advice on what is expected of the initiates as they go into adulthood.

In most communities this rite of passage is done on boys, however some communities have both boys and girls go through it. It should be noted that circumcision on girls is illegal and is referred to as female genital mutilation (Remondino, 165).

Circumcision is done under a number of contexts. It brings social fulfillment to the initiate, there are communities that demin those that are not circumcised. It has a health benefit, a person that is circumssied is less vulnrable to sexual transmitted diseases as compared to one that is not. Circumcision is also comes with an aspect of religion. Abraham in the bible were circumcised as well.

An importance of circumcision procedure

Circumcision has over the decades proved to be the most used rite of passage. The transition stage especially, which involves a number of activities like change of names, behaviour reversals and ordeals and tests that are meant to keep them focused on the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal in this particular situation is to ensure that the initiates successfully move to adulthood.

In some communities, for example, in Africa the Maasai community. Circumcision is a very important rite of passage. During times of circumcision a lot of people come together to celebrate the initiates. Through coming together, this binds the community together and promotes unity. Once the initiates have successfully transitioned they are accepted into the new stage and this also brings to them a new sense of belonging. This also helps improve the social ties between them.

The importance of rites of passage in our communities can not be underestimated. I agree that times have changed and most westernized countries no longer practice this rites of passage. However communities in Africa, Asia and South America still practice them and they are very symbolic to them.

Work Cited

Remondino P. History of Circumcision. Honolulu, Hawaii: University Press of the Pacific. 2001. Print