The “Rite of Passage”
Defined as a ritual or experience that marks a major milestone or change in a person’s life, the “rite of passage” is a threshold that one must pass through. The importance of rituals is to recognise and celebrate the crossing of the threshold, and the change in life circumstances or transition that is taking place. The ‘Gap Year’ became the new age ‘rite of passage’.
However, rather than providing a guided experience by mentors or mature members of their community, they became a volunteer adventure, or a sort of extended holiday from responsibility, with some of the important aspects of a ‘rite of passage’ but perhaps missing some fundamental structural elements.
Belgium anthropologist Arnold van Gennep coined the phrase “rite of passage” in the early twentieth century to describe a three-phase pattern (separation, transition, incorporation)