Maturity traditions by culture

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Many coming-of-age traditions combine solemn religious ceremonies with fun birthday parties.

Lunabella Peralta, Events editor

Around the world different cultures mark the movement to maturity in unique ways. Some of these traditions are better known then others, like bar/bat mitzvahs and quinceañeras. However, there are coming of age traditions in several other cultures that are equal in their message to signify the transition of childhood to adulthood.

One of the most well-known coming of age celebrations is the Jewish tradition known as a bat mitzvah for girls or bar mitzvah for boys. Depending on the branch of Judaism, girls celebrate when they turn either 12 or 13, and boys celebrate when they at the age of 13. The meaning of this ritual is for the maturing young adult to display dedication to the faith and acknowledge the new chapter in life.

Locally, people are generally familiar with the quinceañera, commonly celebrated among Central and South American cultures, including the Mexican culture. In this celebration, a 15-year old girl renews her faith to her religion and family and the family hosts an elaborate party. This is similar to the debut, a celebration in the Philippines for young women who are turning 18.

A similar tradition, Khatam Al Koran, is practiced in the Muslim faith. This features girls at the age of 11 going through a ritual that signifies maturity and is done at a Mosque with friends and family.

In China, the Ji Li and Guan Li honor boys and girls at the age of 20. The young adults dress in traditional clothing and practice historical traditions including paying tribute to Chinese ancestors.

On the North Baffin Island near Alaska, Inuit boys and girls display their skills in the wildness with their fathers at the age of 11 and 12 to show that they are maturing. In this tradition they must use skills passed down from generations.

These different celebrations show how important tradition and culture can be. The unique transition into maturity can be shown in all cultures around the world.

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