Travel Log 13: “Connecting Rites of Passage and Digital Storytelling” by Chase Chiga. Shanghai, China.

Rite of passage can be an important milestone in the lives of many people throughout the world. In the paper by Blumenkrantz and Goldstein, they talk about how most Americans do not experience rights of passages especially during the transition from child to adult. In my personal experience, however, I do not believe this is necessarily true. While I do agree with what they are saying with “The lack of clearly established rites of passage in America is partly due to the ambiguity about when and how one becomes an adult in contemporary society” (Blumenkrantz, page 43) I still argue that these rites of passages exist in American society just not as built up as in other cultures. For example, a big one that everyone in this program has experienced in one way or another is heading to college. I know for me this was a big deal in my family. While it wasn’t a big community celebration or anything like that it was followed the steps of a rite of passage from a kid to adult. I was preparing to finally leave home and head across the country to start a new life. It honestly is tough to say if the absence of a true rite of passage would be a hindrance to the development of a global community. I mean it is hard to see a truly global community last without these bringing it together but communities like America do show that they are sometimes unnecessary.
One key point for within the rite of passage that I will focus on is Program success relies on Relationships. I feel like this is central to my rite of passage and experience due to the impact building new relationships have on my life over here. Developing friendships are super important in thriving abroad in shanghai. If you avoid creating friendships with the locals you will not experience china and learn from it. Friends are able to guide you through your rite of passage and lead you to success. The second important aspect I feel I need to address in my digital story is Time Alone for Reflection. This is important for truly learning from your experience. These opportunities allow me to take in the lessons I have learned and gain more from them improving my rite of passage and time as a whole. Lastly, an important key point is Giving Away One’s Previous Attitudes, Behaviors, etc. this step is very important for adjusting to a new community. The lack of the ability to complete this leads to issues when adjusting to the new community to the point that you are unable to actually complete the transition and fail in the rite of passage. I was able to give away some of my previous attitudes about my host nation and it has let me grow better as a person within it.


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