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Ritual Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Born to die – vodou ritual and the importance of Gede

At the heart vodou practitioners believe, “People are born to die” (375). The vision of death is ever present in their life and it is what gives them energy. Haitians search for balance in their existence, but balance in vodou is a dynamic force of living with conflicting ideals harmoniously. In the face of such poverty, disease and death in their society this idea has become necessary to survival. This chapter entitled Gede, focused on Alourdes, a vodou priestess. Alourdes treats friends and family and others in her village. When people present to her they come with problems with such things as love, family, work, financial troubles and physical maladies (346). Though Alourdes acknowledges these areas of difficulty she seeks…

Jain Man Fasts to Death

A 76 year old Indian man died of starvation that is called “santhara”. It is an old practice in Jainism where a person fasts for a number of days and is believed to help the person achieve salvation. Some people are still not amenable to this practice as they believe that this is a sort of suicide. On the other hand, Amar Chand, the man who died, believed that it would help him cleanse his soul as he has been ill for some time already. “Santhara” is a religious ritual described as intended death by fasting. During the process of fasting, the person is given time to reflect on his life, which is reason why this is considered to bring…

The Ritual and its Different Meanings

This paper is about the practice of human sacrifice in Aztec culture. Archival research was employed as a methodology to gather the information relevant to the topic. Libraries were visited and books discussing the topic were used as references. Books about the Aztec people and Mesoamerican history were consulted to provide the details of the human sacrifice ritual and what it meant for the Aztec people. Aztecs are known today as the people of an ancient civilization with rich culture and high forms of knowledge. One widely known aspect of their culture however, is human sacrifice. Aztec warriors are known to capture opponents in the battlefield and slaves and use them as offerings to the gods. A priest would carry…

Ritual practices

John A. Grim of Yale University explained that the term “indigenous” is a generalized reference to the thousands of small scale societies who have distinct languages, kinship systems, mythologies, ancestral memories and homelands. Much of these indigenous cultures were found in North America long before the European settlers arrived. Some of these cultures had their own way of living and unique ways of worshiping their gods and practicing rituals. Diversity in the belief of the divine, their spirituality and nature would be the most identifiable aspect, wherein some believe in reincarnation, concept of dual divinity and the “interrelationship of the microcosm of the body with the macrocosm of the larger world” (Grim, 2006), while others believe in kinship in animals…

A family ritual to strengthen family bonds

As I was answering the Family rituals questionnaire, I felt good as i was somewhat compelled to reminisce the activities which I shared with my family when I was a child. It feels good to see that our family got a high score in the questionnaire. In only proves that we have been quite close as a family. I was only mesmerized as I recalled those moments when we simultaneously scan our old pictures and laugh at the way all of us looked in the past. I also enjoyed recalling the fond memories of our excursions when I was still a child. Personally, I do not want to change that kind of relationship which I had with my family in…

Ethnocentrism: Culture and Editorial Board

ABSTRACT There are many issues that can be attributed to an individual’s cultural beliefs and how they can relate to another individuals specific cultural beliefs and set standards. Sometimes these issues can be minor and dealt with appropriately, but in other cases these cultural differences can be monumental and cause different societies to wage wars against one another. The way that an individual judges or perceives other cultures beliefs and standards based on the guidelines of their own culture is what sociologist refer to as ethnocentrism and is what we are going to be looking at in further detail in this paper. There are many factors that contribute to the persistent societal disputes and disagreements that are forever occurring throughout…

Man to Send Rain Clouds

Culture instills a significant role in family life. Family traditions are often passed down from one generation to the next, and usually produce added complexity from outside influence over time. The original identity of the belief continues to be apparent, although more ideas have been added to the basic cultural belief. In Leslie Silko’s short story, “The Man to send Rain Clouds”, this predicament arises. Although a constant influence of Catholic beliefs are apparent in the Pueblo people’s society, Leon and his family still display their Native American identity through their actions present throughout the story. Silko explains that her people “were well informed about [culture],” and that “old traditions were dying out” (Silko, “Language” 772). The local Catholic Church’s…

“Shaving” By Leslie Norris – TAH

In the story “Shaving,” by Leslie Norris, a sixteen-year-old Rugby player, Barry, changes and accepts the inevitability of his father’s death. Barry’s character and maturity are changed as he dealt with the emotional crisis before him. The author’s use of physical description, nature, and the ritual of shaving reinforce Barry’s transition from boyhood to the responsibilities of manhood. Leslie Norris uses the physical traits of Barry’s coat, strength in sports, and hands as examples of physical changes from boyhood to manhood. The coat, which is now very tight on Barry’s body, leads him to reevaluate his self-perception. Norris makes this point explicitly in the opening paragraph: He flexed his shoulders against the tightness of his jacket and was surprised again…

Being religious is not a matter of subscribing to doctrines

In oral/first traditions, being religious entails much more than simply subscribing to a set of doctrines.  It is instead a world view, a way of ordering society, and a means of reckoning with the natural and supernatural.  It deals with the unseen and, in the absence of science, does not create boundaries between natural phenomena and the divine or supernatural.  According to Walter Burkert, “Religion is manifest in actions and attitudes that do not fulfill immediate practical functions.  What is intended and dealt with cannot be seen, or touched, or worked upon in the usual fashion of everyday life.”  (Burkert 5) Being religious is not a matter of subscribing to doctrines (which, in Western societies, is separate from science and…

The theme of subalternity in mahasweta devi’s Rudali

Mahaswetha Devi was born in 1926 in Dhaka, in a privileged middle-class Bengali family. She is an extraordinary woman who has written and fought for the marginalized tirelessly for the past six decades. she is a culmination of an activist and a writer working for the betterment of subaltern in her own way of protesting against the atrocities on down trodden by the main stream society. Mahaswetha Devi’s literary oeuvre comprises stories around contemporary social and political realities, a majority of which span a reasonably free time range in independent India, and are located in fictitious or real settings. Before going to trace the theme of subalternity which is prevailing in Mahaswetha Devi’s literary composition, let me explain what subalternity…

The Lottery

The Lottery The specific details Jackson describes in the beginning of “The Lottery” set us up for the shocking conclusion. In the first paragraph, Jackson provides specific details about the day on which the lottery takes place. She tells us the date (June 27), time (about 10 A.M.), and temperature (warm). She describes the scene exactly: there are flowers and green grass, and the town square, where everyone gathers, is between the bank and post office. She provides specifics about the town, including how many people live there and how long the lottery takes, as well as about neighboring towns, which have more people and must start the lottery earlier. In the paragraphs that follow this introduction, Jackson gives us…

Rite of Passage

Every person begins their life with a birth and ends it with death. In our lives, there will be other rites of passage that will still have great importance; celebrating birthdays, graduation from school or collage, getting jobs, marriage, having kids, transition from child to adult and even divorce. Rites of passage help many people feel part of their respective society. Making their lives sweeter or bitter. Easier or harder. Better or more difficult. Their changes are huge, but not only for the person itself, but for their new roll on a society as well. Since forever, people want to be accepted. They even feel the need to be accepted in their society and it has always been the same…

Lottery Discussion Answers

Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery” – Discussion and Analysis Questions Answer the following questions in complete sentences on your own paper. Provide quotations (with page/line numbers) from the story to support your answers. 1. Why has Jackson chosen common people for her characters? Could she have chosen characters from other levels of sophistication with the same effect? What is the irony of the tone of this story? 2. What seems to have been the original purpose of the lottery? What do people believe about it? 3. Is it important that the original paraphernalia for the lottery had been lost? What do you suppose the original ceremony was like? Why have some of the villages given up this practice? Why hasn’t this…