Adult Ceremony of Jino - the etiquette with the most national characteristics
Date: 15th birthday for girls and 16th for boys
Place: Yunnan Province
Activities: The Adult Ceremony, held upon a girl of the Jino ethnic minority reaching fifteen years old or a boy sixteen. To the Jino people, the ceremony is of such great importance as it indicates the transition from childhood into adulthood with both clothing and hairstyles are changed to indicate this fact.
The ceremony for men was called the capping ceremony, which means doing hair in a bun or coil and wearing a cap. In ancient times, the capping ceremony was held in February in an ancestral temple and the date was chosen by the person to be capped by divination. Three days before the ceremony, he would select an honored guest to perform the rite as well as a capping assistant to help out. During the ceremony, the host (in most cases, the father of the person to be capped), honored guest and the person to be capped were supposed to wear ceremonial attires. The man was first capped with an inner cap, followed by a cap and a scarf. After the three steps, the mans hair was combed into a bun, which suggested the beginning of adulthood.
Traditionally, after the completion of capping, the honored guest would deliver a congratulatory speech to the capped person. The speech was something like this: On this auspicious day, you are granted an adults attire. Its time for you to stop behaving like a child and to act as an adult. Be sure to maintain dignity and achieve moral excellence. Wish you a long life, a successful career and good fortune. After that, the capped person would perform a formal bow to his mother. Then the honored guest would give him another name, which was the style name of the ancients.
The ceremony for women was called the hair-pinning ceremony, meaning gathering hair into a knot and using a hairpin to hold it. The hair-pinning ceremony for women of ancient times was held after a womans engagement and before her wedding. It was held when the woman turned 20 at the latest. The procedures were almost the same as those of a capping ceremony, with slight differences. For example, the participants were mostly women, the woman coming of age would be granted an elaborate cornet, and the venue of the ceremony was usually inside a main room or an inner chamber.
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Traditionally, young Tibetan girls in Gansu and Qinghai Provinces usually have a grand "Dai Tou" (literally it means to "wear a head") ceremony when they are 13 or 14 years old. "Dai Tou" is a common expression for getting married. However, during this ceremony, it is not a real man that is married to the girl. It is said that the girl is supposed to hold the wedding ceremony with the blue sky above people"s head.
Because the girl is married to the blue sky, this ceremony is also called "Dai Tian Tou" ("wearing the head of the sky"). In fact, the ceremony of marrying the sky is the ceremony showing that young Tibetan women have entered adulthood.
After this ceremony, girls can identify themselves as adults and can have social contacts with people. They could have love relationship and take their beloved boyfriends home as they will.
To have a child is acceptable for adult women in the community. Women after the ceremony can either get married or stay at her parents" home forever. Women can ask their lovers to become sexual partners. Unmarried women can live with their sons and daughters and form a matriarchal family.