10 Response Essay Topics on the Rite of Passage

Topics and ideas
Posted on October 11, 2016

When a significant societal change arises in a person, it is known as the ‘Rite of Passage’. This is a kind of celebration so to speak, which marks the person leaving one group to enter another[1].

In this first guide, we’re discussing 10 facts on the rite of passage for a response essay that will help you to write a perfect one.

Once you have read all the facts and determined which ones best suit your requirements, a second guide will assist you further with 20 topics on rites of passage and a sample essay from one of the topics to make it even easier to write a stellar and highly compelling response essay.

Finally, the third and last guide will help you outline and shape your response essay to make it nice and presentable to your professor. In other words, our complete series will assist you in not only writing a response essay on the rite of passage, but also on how to improve it and make it stand out from your classmates’ essays:

  1. The Jewish people have a tradition where young boys and girls up to the age of 12 or 13 years gather in a ceremony where they celebrate Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. It’s a ceremony where these young individuals demonstrate their commitment towards the religion and their responsibility to follow Jewish laws. The ceremony is, however, held only after certain accomplishments have been met by these young people. These accomplishments are often based on learning and preparation for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.
  2. In the Brazilian Amazon, the Satere Mawe have a special rite of passage where young boys of age 13 are tested to pass a test, which shows whether they are man enough or not. The ritual is actually very painful. These young boys have to endure agonizing pain and shouldn’t show their weakness by crying out in pain or giving up. According to the rite of passage of the Satere Mawe tribe, this shows the boy’s readiness for manhood. This ritual continues for several months, making the boy wear a set of painful gloves, weaved with bullet ants, at least 20 times in his life.
  3. In Rumspringa, found in the Amish religion, young women who turn 16 are given the rights to enjoy their life freely and without any supervision. During this tradition, these women can wear modern clothing, drink alcohol as much as they like and do whatever they want to in order to experience what life has to offer beyond their religion and upbringing. It is their choice to either come back to the Amish religion or wander freely forever. However, they need to return back to be baptized and accepted by the community before they turn 26, which marks the end of Rumspringa.
  4. There are many areas in Central and South America where girls who turn 15, celebrate their Quinceanera; this is a catholic tradition where girls commit themselves to their family and faith, and renew their baptized vows. Once that is done, the tradition follows up with a ceremony where their friends and family dance and eat.
  5. In North Baffin Island, young boys and girls of the Inuit tribe go out in the wilderness with their fathers once they are 11 or 12 years old. According to this tradition, these teenagers test their hunting skills while adapting to the harsh arctic weather to become strong and adept as a survivor. A Shaman is called upon to be the medium between men and animals and open the line of communication[2].
  6. Malaysia, which is a Muslim country, has its own rite of passage where young women of age 11 celebrate a specific ceremony, known as “Khatam al Quran”. In this ritual, Muslim girls recite the holy book “Quran” for several years to master its verses. When they turn 11, they demonstrate their maturity by reciting the last chapter before friends, relatives and family inside a local mosque.
  7. In some parts of China, when boys and girls turn 20, they are given a fun opportunity to wear traditional dresses and pay tribute to the Confucian lifestyle. These ceremonies are known as Guan Li (for boys) and Ji Li (for girls). The tradition for girls is rather complex than those of boys[3] . Girls have the opportunity to make hair buns, attach hair pins and pay tribute to the Chinese ancestor Huangdi.
  8. Similar to the Confucian tradition, Seijin-no-Hi is a tradition which is celebrated in Japan by young females who turn 20 years old. In this tradition, the women dress up in their traditional attire and attend a ceremony at local city offices where they receive gifts and party with friends and family. This tradition originated 1200 years ago and acknowledges the Japanese belief that at this age, the woman has reached maturity.
  9. In Vanuatu, there is a tradition where 7-year old boys are permitted to perform a land dive, similar to a bungee dive. However, there are no elastic cords that are found in a bungee dive. Instead, their ankles are tied to vines which lack elasticity. This could lead to broken bones, joint dislocation and even death. At first, young males are allowed to jump from a shorter tower where they mark the end of their childhood and during their growth, they jump from taller towers to show their adulthood, manhood and worthiness to be a part of the tribe.
  10. In Ethiopia there is a rite of passage performed just before marriage, similar to a bachelor party folks celebrate in the US, but very different in terms of tradition. In “Hamar Cow Jumping”, males must jump over a neutered cow at least four times and should be naked while performing the ritual. This symbolizes that they are leaving their childhood behind and once successful, they are considered men of the Maza. These Maza Men spend their next few months supervising this tradition throughout the Hamar territory.

Well done! You have successfully read through 10 fascinating facts on the rite of passage on different regions and tribes. You should now be able to write a stellar response essay on this subject. Before you start writing though, we recommend having a look at our second guide where you check out 20 topics on the rite of passage and a sample response essay.


  1. Salkin, J. K. (2005). Putting God on the guest list: How to reclaim the spiritual meaning of your child’s bar or bat mitzvah. Jewish Lights Publishing.
  2. Wright, J. (2012). From childhood to adulthood: Looking at rites of passage. British Journal of School Nursing, 7(3), 148-149.
  3. Shachtman, T. (2007, May 29). Rumspringa: To be or not to be Amish. Macmillan.
  4. Alvarez, J. (2007). Once upon a Quinceañera: Coming of Age in the USA. Penguin.
  5. Guemple, L. (1986). Men and women, husbands and wives: The role of gender in traditional Inuit society. Études/Inuit/Studies, 9-24.
  6. Tamuri, A. H., Ismail, A. M., Noor, A. H. M., & Pisol, M. I. M. (2013). Teachers evaluation on the implementation of j-QAF Quranic recitation models. International Journal of Islamic Thought (IJIT), 3, 1-17.
  7. Carrasco, R. (2009). Introduction to Ikebana: Seijin no hi–Kado Offerings for the Japanese Coming of Age Festival.
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