Saturday, January 5, 2013

Rite Of Passage

South Africa

Under Xhosa tradition this rite of passage is more elaborate. While the circumcision man was sharpening the knife with a rock, the boy sat on a coconut under a guava tree whose leaves he chewed – to disinfect the wound. “Are you ready?” Before the boy could answer, he lifted the foreskin, inserted the knife and in rapid succession hammered it with a stick! “Spit on the cut.” He did. And the pain, the hotness, and raw feeling it felt gave way to a scream that has woken the entire neighborhood! That was my rite of passage. I was a man!

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