Right from the Jewish bar mitzva to the Janeu ceremony celebrated by Hindus, young boys around the world have varied celebrations to commemorate becoming a man. Similarly, women in every culture have their own set of traditions and rites that officiate reaching puberty. This rite of passage is a special one that highlights how diverse communities usher a young girl into womanhood. It also showcases the best of one’s culture beautifully as many societies celebrate menstruation. Let’s take a look at what these are around the world-
- The Tamilian Manjal Neerattu Vizha
While some people continue to fight the stigma around menstruation, there are several communities in India that celebrate a girl’s first period. This tradition is best seen in the Tamil community when a daughter in the family hits puberty. The family then hosts a lavish ceremony known as Manjal Neerattu Vizha. It is also known as the Ritu Kala Samskara and it is often where the teenager wears a traditional sari for the first time. Attended by friends and relatives, this is where the girl is bedecked by flowers and the ensuing puja celebrates her womanhood and commemorates her transformation into a lady physically as well as emotionally.
- The American sweet 16 tradition
In America when youngsters reach the age of 16, it is convention for many of them to throw a sweet 16 party. While this is mostly done by girls, some boys too throw their own sweet 16 celebration. It is attended by friends from school as well other teenagers from their community. It is a lavish bash that has entertainment, music and lots of presents for the teenager on their special day. This is done at the age of 16 because that’s when a youngster is allowed to apply for their driver’s license and can even get a job in the USA.
- The Hispanic Quinceanera
A tradition that is widely maintained in Central and South America, teen girls have their Quinceanera soon as they turn 15 years old. This rite of passage is conventionally commemorated at church with a Catholic mass. The teen is encouraged to refresh her baptismal vows, as she speaks of her love for her family and community along with committing herself to her faith. There is also a huge party with great food and music right after where she has a special father-daughter dance.