December 19, 2008

Infant Rites of Passage
Devin, Bulgaria

Having an 11-month-old of our own, Tatiana and I pick up lots of little pieces of information regarding 'exotic' traditions associated with newborns. There are several rites of passage that people commemorate for infants within the first year or so of their life. These typically include crawling, speaking, walking, and solid foods.

Cultures seems to celebrate (or ignore) such milestones in their own way.

Tatiana tells me of a tradition in India where the entire family takes hierarchical turns feeding an infant a small spoonful of food for baby's first meals of solids.

Here in Bulgaria, we've been told how when a baby beings to crawl a blanket with several objects is placed in front of the child, each with a specific symbolic meaning. The child then crawls over to the objects and chooses their supposed (professional) destiny in life. (Don't they do something like this for reincarnation-tests of the Dalai Lama?)

Georgi, our current host, tells us of a tradition involving a loaf of bread covered in honey that's rolled on the floor to celebrate a child's first steps. It's actually quite a large event, bringing together an entire extended family as part of the festivities.

I'm still searching for a comprehensive resource that might've cataloged such things across a variety of country or ethnic groups. If you know of one, please reference it in the comments.

Comments:

Canada

Maya

February 19th, 2009

uhmmmm interesting… as i psychologist the first thing i thought was "collective unconscious" (of Carl. G. Jung).. if you have tons of time and dont get bored easily, since i must face the fact that this kind om psychological stuff you either love it or hate it, you can do some research there, basically, is that there is an universal "memory" that leads us to no matter the culture of the location in the world, to highlight, know and create symbolisms of things that are important as humanity not individuals….
ok, enough with the lecture, class dismiss!

The United States

a

March 18th, 2010

Bulgarians can be very superstitious when it comes to babies. One thing that I remember from when I was growing up there is you never say how cute, beautiful or handsome a baby is. It's considered dangerous invitation to the bad spirits to harm the baby. Lot's of stuff like that. Kept the old grandmas involved in the child's life. Over there the most common babysitter is good old grandma.

Note: Comments are open to everyone. To reduce spam and reward regular contributors, only submissions from first-time commenters and/or those containing hyperlinks are moderated, and will appear after approval. Hateful or off-topic remarks are subject to pruning. Your e-mail address will never be publicly disclosed or abused.