Living On Our Heads: Righting an Upside-Down Culture
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The third mourning period lasts until the anniversary of the death. During this time mourners do not attend public parties or celebrations, but can cut their hair. However, mourning may be suspended during important Jewish holidays in order to take place in the celebration and prayer.
Rites of passage are rituals in themselves.
Rituals that mark a person's transition from one social state to another. So, the following components help in the ritual of passing from one state in life to another. In the film Whale Rider , a story of modern day rite of passage in a traditional Maori village and into the Whangara culture of modern day New Zealand.
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Since then, the chiefly leadership role has been passed down to the firstborn male of the first born male, establishing a patriarchal society. The grandfather ignores her at home and further alienates Pai by forbidding her from participating in the warrior rituals with the rest of the male initiates. The canoe stands above land on blocks.
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This is where Pai seeks refuge and calls out to her ancestors. The second sacred place is the beach, where she has her sacred encounter with the whale. Trials and tribulations: Pai sets out to seek the ways of the warrior by sneaking onto the training compound, only to be caught by her grandfather, and to be humiliated in front of her male initiates. In one very important scene, Pai is being honored at school and dedicates as a gesture, a traditional tribal performance to her grandfather.
Her heart is broken when he fails to show up. Revelation: A truth is revealed to her Uncle Rawiri one afternoon, as Pai retrieves the lost sacred artifact the whale tooth of her grandfather. Symbolic death: Near the end of the film, Pai has her sacred encounter with the beached whale. She climbs up onto the back of the lead whale, in an attempt to get the whale to re-enter the water. The whale responds and off she goes with the whale into deeper waters. She almost drowns and is hospitalized for a few days. It is during this time that her family is remorseful, especially her grandfather and reconsiders his point of view on who should be chief.
Resurrection and rebirth: The film fades from a lonely scene of Pai in her hospital bed to a vibrant ceremony of Pai in the finished canoe of her father. With her grandfather by her side, the fully crewed canoe is ocean bound.
It is safe to assume Pai will fulfill her duties as the new chief. A pilgrimage is a journey on behalf of ritual and religious belief. Often pilgrims try to obtain salvation of their soul through this physical journey. Most times the journey is to a shrine or a sacred place of importance to a person's faith.
The institution of pilgrimage is evident in all world religions and was also important in the pagan religions of ancient Greece and Rome. Pilgrimages attract visitors from widely dispersed cultural backgrounds and physical locations, offering them the opportunity to be brought together because of the origins of their faith. Relevant to so many different cultural contexts, there is no single definition to describe to the act of pilgrimage. However, similarities are noticeable. Pilgrimage usually requires separation from the common everyday world, and in displaying that separation pilgrims may mark their new identity by wearing special clothes or abstaining from familiar comforts.
Frequently, pilgrimages link sacred place with sacred time i. The hajj always occurs on the 8th, 9th, and 10th days of the last month of the Muslim year. The location of sacred sites and shrines often represent some great miracle or divine appearance, they may also appropriate the places that are holy to older or rival faiths. A factor that unites pilgrimage locations across different religions is the sense, variously expressed, that a given place can provide privileged access to a divine or transcendent state.
The hajj is the fifth pillar of faith in the Islamic faith. It occurs on the 8th to 12th day of Dhul-Hijah, which is the 12th month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Members of the Islamic faith are encouraged to perform the hajj , a pilgrimage to Mecca, at least once in their lifetime. However, religious law allow exclusions on grounds of hardship. Mecca is known by Muslims as the dwelling place of Adam after his expulsion from paradise and as the birthplace of Muhammad — , the prophet of Islam.
The Huichol are an indigenous group of maize corn farmers who reside in Sierra Madre of northern Mexico. Maize, along with deer and peyote-which the Huichol have linked together-are key ingredients for their way of life. Peyote is a rare cactus found in Mexico containing the chemical mescaline which induces hallucinogenic experiences if ingested properly.
However, a pilgrimage must be first undertaken to find the peyote; beginning an approximate mile trek. The location the pilgrims of Huichol are destined to find the peyote is a representation of "Wirikuta, the original homeland where the First People, both deities and ancestors, once lived. The pilgrim then chews the peyote button to ingest the mescaline. The group then begins to gather peyote for the rest of the community. The pilgrimage for peyote is an example of a culture actively holding onto their past.
Instead of allowing their traditions to fall through the cracks, the Huichol use a holistic experience to preserve their religion and culture. Two examples include Carnival and Halloween. Carnival The Carnival celebration occurs as a way to let loose before the strict rules of religion are set in place for lent.
Typically, during Carnival everyday customs, rules, and habits of the community are inverted. Kings become servants, servants become kings, women dress as men and vice versa. The normal rules are overturned and indulgence becomes the rule. The body is granted freedom and obscenity are expected. Work and diets are omitted as people take to the streets to eat and party the days away.
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Carnival is a festival traditionally held in Roman Catholic and, to a lesser extent, Eastern Orthodox societies. Regardless, many people participate in the carnival tradition today. The Brazilian Carnaval is one of the best-known celebrations today, but many cities and regions worldwide celebrate with large, popular, and days-long events. Festivities are held in hundreds of different countries worldwide. Mardi Gras occurs in February right before the season of Lent. Ever since its introduction Mardi Gras has been celebrated in that area of the United States for many years.
It's common to see people wearing minimal clothing, flashing for beaded necklaces, and partying in the streets. Much of this behavior is overlooked by police who only react when it is taken to the extreme or is in the more "family friendly" areas. Traditionally, large bonfires were built and people gathered to offer food and animals as sacrifice to the many deities. The Celts, pronounced Kelts, were polytheistic and offered gifts to specific Pagan Gods throughout the year.
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After the celebration had ended, people would relight the hearth in their homes with fire from the communal and sacred bonfire. This fire was thought to protect the people especially on the night of October 31, when the ghosts of the dead and otherworldly spirits were believed to return to earth. These church-sanctioned holidays were similarly celebrated with bonfires, parades, and costumes consisting of saints, angels, and devils. The idea of Satan is a Christian concept that did not exist in pagan beliefs. In order to believe in one idea of ultimate evil the Devil the Celts would have had to believe in one concrete idea of ultimate good God , but they worshiped several Gods.
These traditions went under further construction as further generations began to relocate away from ancestral grounds.
A sacrifice is an offering of something of value to an invisible force, and is done in many cultures and religions. Sacrifices are also made out of selfless good deeds. The word "sacrifice" in Latin means "to make sacred. In pre-Columbian Mexico, the Aztecs sacrificed hundreds of humans in accordance with their ritual calendar in what is referred to as a human sacrifice. The most common sacrifice was for the sun God, Huitzilopochtli, in which a knife is used to cut under the ribs to get to the human heart, which was then forcibly removed.
During the Bronze period of ancient China, sacrifices were very common in the worship of ancestors. It was believed that when a person died their fate was decided by spirits.