Instead, they view these ages as representing starting points for adulthood rather than as things that immediately render them adult,” (Waters 171). The coming of age rituals avail in establishing a heightened sense of responsibility to young adults, which in turn benefits our society; these rituals cause a person to feel seasoned and as if they are truly coming into their own. At this point in their lives, young adults are akin to baby sea turtles that have almost made it to the ocean; they are crawling to the ritual that will “make” them an adult.
Itercresco not only enables adolescents to discover their roots in the context of cultural traits, religious spirituality, and relevant philanthropy, which will assist them in becoming productive members of society. With attention to common perceptions of “adulthood”, Itercresco interlaces practices such as volunteerism and going to an art museum to encourage the youth to be emotionally, spiritually, physically, and financially independent. “Itercresco”— the name is a combination of the Latin translations of the words “growing” and “journey”.
The ritual, which occurs at the age of sixteen, involves seven months living in the country and town from which either the teenager’s mother’s or father’s family originates; the young adults have the option to choose the region they wish to further explore. If there is still family living in the town or city, the teenager may spend one out of the seven months with the relatives if they allow them to. If the young adult no longer has family in that vicinity, they will live on their own and off of the land as much as possible for the duration of the seven months.
The adolescents are sent away with seven thousand dollars and half of these funds must be used for philanthropic purposes. The rest of the money must endure the seven months, but they are allowed to find work. In fact, acquisition of employment is highly encouraged, as it will further fuel attention to a responsible persona. The funds for the philanthropic aspect cannot simply be donated; it must be actively used to benefit the town or city. In this day and age, preparation of the nation’s youth for the fast-paced society they are subjected to is integral.
Itercresco seeks to ready adolescents for the “real world” by exposing them to society in a mature light and fashion. This generation requires a well-rounded persona in order to be successful. Being cultured is imperative in our community; knowledge of classic literature, film, art, and music seems to be the necessity in the modern time. For example, trips to the Louvre in Paris and Gershwin Theatre in New York City can drastically provide new outlooks on life as well as knowledge not previously present.
Self-discovery and understanding on a religious level is also an integral aspect to being a productive member of society; apprehension of one’s inner self and a sense of self-awareness serve as foundations for being self sufficient and independent. Spending time immersed in learning about the spiritual aspects of different religions and examining one’s own views on spirituality and religion can provide immeasurable wisdom and erudition. A simple trip to a mosque or synagogue can shed light on a myriad of beliefs and ideals that may shape one’s future outlook on life.
Giving back to the community and having a sense of responsibility for one’s environment is also an important aspect of being a contributing party to one’s community. Anything from assisting with building homes for citizens displaced by natural disasters to singing for the elderly can spawn a sense of obligation to one’s commonality and environment. Itercresco and its various parts successfully establish activities in lieu of producing and spawning successful and contributing members of society that can maintain stable employment and admirable relationships, for example.
The coming of age ritual ensures that a sense of independence and stability will be met at the end of the journey because it requires tasks that build and cultivate accountability. At first glance, the young adults find the discovery of the cultural traits is most jocular in Itercresco. The new understanding of the clothing, music, and fine arts of their region of origin proves to be a refreshing aspect of the coming of age ritual. At least one concert must be attended as well as one dance performance, art show or exhibit, or heatrical performance. The young adult may or may not choose to adapt to clothing styles, but while attending shows or performances, he or she must wear garb similar or identical to the citizens of the province. In further examination of the cultural aspects of the region, the purpose of Itercresco seeks to educate and entertain young adults with their own roots and origins. Itercresco solicits a sense of feeling connected to one’s heritage while ensuring the teenager is having a convivial experience.
The exploration of the culture will help the adolescent to become more well-rounded and refined, which will in turn better prepare them to participate and converse effectively in society. Self identification and spiritual discovery are the most important standpoints of Itercresco; they give the young adult an opportunity to find out who they are as a person, what they seek for their lives, and what they will rely on as their rock and stronghold. Itercresco encourages young adults to learn about the regional religion in order to expand knowledge of their own roots and even perhaps to positively influence the spiritual journey.
By no means is the young adult to have the regional religion forced upon them; the young adult is encouraged to take all religious leanings with a grain of salt and discover for him or herself what they need spiritually. To better understand the region’s roots, young adults learn and understand the common creation story the majority of the citizens believe. They can choose to unearth and learn about the creation story by asking family, neighbors, citizens, or by researching through books and other writings.
The young adults are also expected to explore the ethereal quests of their ancestors to better understand where they come from. They are also encouraged to journal their progress through their metaphysical ventures throughout the seven month duration. The purpose of this portion of Itercresco is to establish independence. Thinking and feeling for oneself, as well as having control and knowledge over one’s emotions and religious or spiritual beliefs, is a significant step towards adulthood and establishing one’s aptitude.
This autonomy is crucial to being an adult in our post-modern society. In a hypothetical sense, if a family tragedy of some sort occurred, a faculty over one’s emotions and actions is expected. Hence, why personal understanding is promoted during Itercresco. The philanthropy aspect of Itercresco is the most personal of the discovery aspects. It takes the young adults heart and projects in into something that will benefit the community from which they inherit their culture.
The young adults will choose something that is not only close to their hearts, but something that can truly benefit the community. The mission is to give back to the region that took part in establishing their existence. During the philanthropy, if funds or resources fall short, they are responsible for recovering what they need to complete the philanthropy; they can take donations or use any earnings from jobs they have done. The philanthropy can p from anything—from donating school supplies to building a garden to sustainably grow food. The possibilities are endless.
The young adults choose a task that will touch their own lives as well as the lives of others in the community. The adolescent is not only performing the philanthropy to finish with the particular area of Itercresco. Every commonality has needs and Itercresco’s foundation bases and prides itself on connection to heritage; who better than to aid in fulfilling the needs of a populace than an individual whom derives their roots from said territory? After the philanthropy is completed, a book of photos and journals is compiled to aid future generations in their philanthropy.
The community outreach is integral to Itercresco, as it will determine the compassion and service they are willing to give back to the community; this is critical as this is what stands to be the backbone of society. Fulfilling the different areas of Itercresco combine to be beneficial to one’s maturity as well as their inherent growth as a person. Discovering and spending time immersed in one’s roots helps a person better understand one’s heritage; knowing oneself guides who a person toward individualized identity.
Young adults are meant to glean experience, knowledge, and a new sense of independence from Itercresco. Julia Alvarez soundly states in her work, Once Upon a Quinceanera, that her own ritual gave her “a new community to belong to, a narrative I could follow into adulthood” (37). This quote proves accurate for Itercresco as the ritual gives a new sense of established belonging to a community the young adult already had ties to. Itercresco is in pursuit of reintegrating the teenager into their society with a cultivated and sophisticated outlook on society, their lives, and their environments.
The highlighted sense of responsibility, independence, and feeling of belonging of Itercresco provides immeasurable benefits and internal growth for the teenager moving into adulthood. Works Cited Barrios, Barclay. "Once Upon a Quinceanera. " Emerging: Contemporary Readings for Writers. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martins, 2010. 228-48. Print. Waters, Mary C. Coming of Age in America: The Transition to Adulthood in the Twenty-first Century. Berkeley: University of California, 2011. Print.