Rite of Passage

Discovering different traditions and ceremonies

As the end of the school year approaches, students begin to prepare for their final assessments and projects. The long days of studying and completing an avalanche of schoolwork seems never-ending. However, it is at this time of the year, after all the work is done, that students partake in what is the most memorable part of their academic careers; a "Rite of Passage" known as Graduation.

In our last unit for Religion and Culture, students investigated different "Rites of Passage" from different countries, cultural traditions and religious rituals. Every culture shares the practice of marking or celebrating, the time in a young person’s life, when they are considered leaving childhood and entering adulthood. Whether it is through an academic achievement, a physical test of endurance, a religious ceremony or a festive celebration, moving into the adult stage of life is a moment worth recognizing and unique to its cultural group.

Students learned about different tribal traditions from Native American tribes, Indigenous tribes from the Brazilian rainforest and the Pacific islands. Students were then asked to research a Rite of Passage ceremony from their culture and present it to the class. A variety of ceremonies were discussed. Religious ceremonies from Christian and Judaic groups, as well as "classic" school Graduations, proms, and milestone birthday parties, such as Sweet 16’s and Quinces (15’s), were presented by the students. It was a perfect way to mark the beginning of the end of the school year and on their way to Graduation from SIS.