Different cultures use different rites of passage to marktransitions from childhood to adulthood. Transitions are caused bythe desire to move from one stage of development to another. Theroots of these transitions are cultural beliefs that were borrowedfrom the ancestors. The greatest transition for me as a boy intomanhood was leaving Shanghai for Tibet. I could barely wait to get toTibet. Experiencing the freedom that comes with being alone andhaving to take control of my life was not something I was used to. Itwas an exhilarating experience yet at the same time scary. I alwayswanted to become an independent man and live the little boyish waysof clinging to my family’s cover for many years. When thisopportunity presented itself, I knew that I had to go for it thoughit was quiet terrifying at first. The dilemma was real but just as Iwas wondering what is right and wrong, it dawned on me that I wasseeking to become a man and actually feel what real men go through. Icould almost count the advantages that come with the title of ‘man’as compared to being a boy. There was this small boy inside of mesaying that I am growing into a man too fast to take the next step.Nothing in life comes easy is a saying I was once told and if Iwanted to outgrow my boyish status I had to do things that only mencan do like take control of the next step in my life.
The trip to Tibet is where it all started. After living with myparents and relatives in Shanghai all my childhood years, being allalone on the trip was great. Although Shanghai and Tibet are in theAsian continent, specifically China, the two cities differ greatly.While Shanghai is viewed as the extroverted lavish city with manypeople, Tibet is a quiet place, richly conservative with authenticChinese cultures.
Three things that happened to me while in Tibet
1. Learning about Tibet’s rich culture
My trip to Tibet opened my eyes to the rich culture of Chinesepeople especially the Tibet. I got to learn about their religion likehow Buddhism was introduced to the Tubo people from the Chinesecentral plain, Nepal and India. The Nepalese, Indian, Arabic and HanChinese cultures significantly influenced the development of theTibetan culture. Apart from having borrowed their culture from otherpeople, Tibetian people are exceptional at making their cultureremain unique. Tibet’s architecture and art is amazing. Myexploration journey made me realize what freedom comes withdiscovering all the rich cultures that different people have to offerfrom a personal view. It got me appreciating what a unique world weare living. I had never taken time to appreciate all the differentcultures we have but always assumed that they are just there to stay.Taking this trip to Tibet gave me a one on one experience with whatcultural diversity means. Seeing Tibet’s plastic art reminded me ofhow rich our Chinese culture is.
2. Strengthening my spiritual life
Tibet has fabulous monasteries. It is a highly spiritual cityoffering moments of serenity and peace (Bradley 1). Being in such aplace so free from all the noise and Shanghai’s mayhem changed myperspective of things greatly. The change was expressed throughbecoming conservative person who valued peace and avoided quarrels atall costs. I also grew a deeper respect for loyalties, their actionsand self-image. Actually seeing the monasteries gave me a closerconnection to my spirituality. Each monastery represented a higherlevel of connection between a Supreme Being and me. The rootsignificance of connecting with one’s spirituality is getting tounderstand your souls better and attain inner peace which issomething I achieved by visiting Tibet.
2. Increased value, principles and beliefs as a young man(self-discovery)
My values, taste, principles and beliefs were quiet feeble beforevisiting Tibet. Having grown up in Shanghai I had very littleexposure and value for culture. While Shanghai is viewed as the apomp paradise, full of fun, wealth and large populations (WCCF 1),Tibet is conservative and can be termed as Chinese treasure house dueto its rich preserved undiluted culture. Shanghai is the largestmainland city in China and is a great commercial capital that seeksthe status of the world city. Its relative wealth and size makes itvery cosmopolitan and thus diverse cultures reside here. Tibet on theother hand is home to Tibetan people who created distinctive cultureslong before most ethnic groups in China. The particulartransformations were very significant to the transition I was makingand exploring Tibet. Unlike Shanghai where everything was thrown tome on a silver platter, being in Tibet taught me about maturity. Itreawakened me to value work and appreciate that life is what you makeit and not what you are given. Tibet city made me understand that itis possible for me to work hard and achieve my life goals. It createdvirtues of independence and self-reliance that make a big differencebetween a boy and a man. My thoughts on life completely changed as Irealized that life is not always about what we have but what we makeout of it. While Shanghai life seemed glam and gleam, Tibet was thereal struggle.
Roles that influenced the transition
Popular culture, historical events, education and the family playeda crucial role in my emergence as a man. The culture and my familyinstilled timeless values that make me who I am today. Historicalevents and education prepared me to transit perfectly throughteaching me on what to expect as I move from being a boy into a man.
The transition alters a person’s place in the world in everyaspect. It places you in a higher level whereby your responsibilitiesand roles to the society increase. You are expected to becomeindependent and a more productive person in the community. Inconclusion, making this decision, I felt that I was on the rightpath. It felt as though I found all that I was looking for and mywhole life had changed. The transition gave me an opportunity to takecontrol of my life and free myself from the shadow of my parents. Ihad always wanted to grow up and experience freedom which happenedduring this stage of my life. I have always been told that freedomcomes at a price and I guess I paid for it through this transition.
Starting the assignment on my greatest transition from a boy to aman was not very challenging. All it required was for me to recallevery detail. The transition activities will forever remainmemorable, particularly visiting the monasteries to get a deeperspiritual connection. I started writing the essay from the top to thebottom. My purpose is to explain about the most memorable lifeexperience a period of change from being a boy into a man.
To ensure that this essay was flawless, I proofread it twice butstill needed correction. Taking a peer review helped me correct minormistakes like no punctuations in the work. Besides that, myclassmates commended me for writing a spectacular narrative essay.They praised me for having few grammatical errors and the essaycoherence. According to them, the essay was also very realistic inexplaining the significance of the transition period.
The happiest thing in this essay is the ability to express who Ireally am. I tried using synonyms and applied few expressions thatworked perfectly for me. My classmates confirmed the success ofsynonyms was evident in the whole essay. However, using drama or plotwas not possible as this narrative is about real life events.
My goal for the future revision of this essay is extensive researchon Tibet to become more knowledgeable on the place. Tibet’s cultureis differs from Shanghai and to compare and contrast the two cities,a thorough library research and online, will be useful.
ABCD writing components have been very useful to writing this essay.Between audience, behavior, condition and degree I feel moreconfident with the behavior component as it describes my ability as alearner. I am however not very confident with the C- condition andwill work towards improving it.
Bradley, Mayhew. Introducing Tibet Why I love Tibet,2015, retrieved from http://www.lonelyplanet.com/china/tibet
World cities culture forum, Shanghai, 2015 retrieved from http://www.worldcitiescultureforum.com/cities/shanghai