Puberty as a Celebration
Many cultures and communities across the world mark important stages in life with ceremonies, like; puberty is a common celebration in many parts of the world, including India. Here are some of the ways puberty is celebrated worldwide –
In India, most communities don’t acknowledge puberty with a celebration; usually, the mother talks to the daughter and initiates her into this phase of life. If you are wondering about how to talk to your daughter about periods, then check this helpful article. Majority puberty celebrations in India take place in the south and are called by different names, like, Saddangu in Tamil Nadu and Aashirvada in Karnataka. Mostly the sequence of events starts from isolating the girl for a certain number of days followed by a cleansing bath and then a celebratory party.
- Sri Lanka
When a young girl in Sri Lanka gets her first period, it is lavishly celebrated with friends and family. On the first day of her period cycle, she is bathed by close relatives and then kept in isolation; she is fed delicious foods. She is bathed again and dressed in a sari with jewellery which is significant as this attire symbolizes that she has now become a mature woman.
In Japan, a celebratory party is thrown for both girls and boys when they ‘come of an age’, somewhere around their 18th year; they dress in traditional Japanese clothes. The main ceremony is called ‘Seijin Shiki’ and after the ceremony, a party is thrown for both boys and girls which is very similar to a prom, however, without any alcohol.
This might sound surprising, but, in Indonesian culture, especially in the province of Bali, a tooth filling ceremony is conducted when a young person steps into puberty. Only four incisors and two canines and filled and it is said to help people get rid of evil forces like desire, greed and anger. Done before sunrise, the whole procedure is conducted by a priest.
Quinceanera is very popular celebration of puberty across the Americas, even though, it finds it roots only in Latin America. It is a lavish party thrown for the girl on her 15th birthday just after a prayer in the church that solidifies her commitment towards her faith and her people. A dance between the girl and her father is one of the main highlights of the party.
Whatever be your way of initiating your child into puberty, understand that more important than a party or anything else is to make sure that your daughter feels comfortable as she steps into puberty. Ensure that she understands that this is a natural and healthy process; talk to her and teach her about hygiene and how she should use pads, period panties and other products.
You can also think of gifting a period starter-pack which would be a great way of initiating her into puberty in a fun-educational way and welcoming your young daughter into womanhood!