Travel Experiences

Kids around the world: From childhood to adulthood

Kids around the world: From childhood to adulthood
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As you may know, not all societies or cultures consider adulthood the same way. Ones may believe a kid is already an adult when thirteen, while other may think the end of childhood is at eighteen. It all depends on the country you’re coming from. Since we’re pretty used to the phase of adolescence in Western countries (and how it affects to the mood, hormones and way to relate to people), let’s see how kids around the world take their first steps to become well recognized adults.


Algoquines aborigines, Canada

Young members of this american tribe, when becoming adults, have to go through a rite where they must consume a kind of drug called wysoccan, so they can forget all their childhood memories. If they end up remembering some things, they take the drug once again.


Mentawai Islands, Indonesia

kids around the world indonesiaSource: Pinterest

When Mentawai girls start becoming young women, they usually start sharpening their teeth. This is because it’s believed that this kind of custom makes them prettier. Beauty is very important for mentawai people: they think that ugly bodies’ souls will drown forever.


Okrika, Nigeria

In order for their girls to become women, they have to go to the river to sing for days and days, until eventually, they’re rescued. This happens because it’s a cultural belief that they have a romantic relationship with the spirits of the water, and singing is the way to get rid of them and start their adult life.


Satere-Mawe tribe, Brazilian Amazon

kids around the world brazilSource: Travel Tyrant

This rite is known as the “bullet ant” one. It consists on the young boys from this tribe getting their hand in a bag full of bullet ants. They must keep it inside for 10 minutes, without shouting or complaining, given that this insect bite is one of the most painful in Earth (30 times more than a bee’s sting).


Ogiek tribe, Kenya

kids around the world kenyaSource: Suggest Keyword

In this African tribe, it is believed that young boys and girls are cursed by a mythic beast. When they reach adulthood, they must become “one” with the beast by daubing their bodies in mud and start roaring. Once they do it the same way as the beast does, they will be considered adults.


Quinceañera, Latin America

This is a celebration that takes place in almost every Latin America country, when the girl who’s turning fifteen, throws a huge party for their family and friends, with very eye-catching gowns and a typical father-daughter dance to commemorate the fact that she’s not a girl anymore.


Amish, United States

When young girls turn 16, they do “Rumspringa”,  where teenagers spend a weekend away from their families, having fun with total freedom. They can do what they please, in order for them to see if they’re prepared to assume the obligations of being an actual adult amish. If they want, they’ll come back to be actually baptized by their community.


Inuits, North Baffin Island

kids around the world inuitsSource: Global Citizen

Between the ages of 11 and 12, Inuits boys and girls will go out to the wilderness with their fathers, so they can teach the kids their hunting skills, getting them also used to that extreme weather of the Arctic. A shaman will participate in this rite, “opening the communication” between men and animals.


Maasai, Tanzania and Kenya

kids around the world maasaiSource: Reuters 

Young boys must be initiated when they are between 10 and 20 as a “warrior class” man for the tribe, meaning that they must sleep in the forest for one night, coming back for one day of singing and dancing. They also drink a mixture of alcohol, milk and cow’s blood before being circumcised.


Iatmul tribe, Papua New Guinea

kids around the world New GuineaSource: Pinterest 

Young men have to go through some ceremonial activities that include ritual scarring on their upper back and chest in order for them to be initiated. By cutting their own skin, they mimic the texture of a crocodile’s skin, the most important animal in Iatmul mythology.  


When researching the information for this article, all I was thinking about was how awesome it must be to witness some of these wonderful passages. That’s why I truly encourage you to travel around the world, see things and learn as much as you can about how amazing we all humans are, everyone with our own rituals, ways of showing love, traditions and customs. Every mile traveled will be worth it.



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