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According to Taiwan folklore, QiniuMa (七娘媽) is a child-protecting goddess, with temples for worshiping by the youngsters. Qiniuma is also the weaving maiden (織女), in charge of matchmaking (媒撮之合). When teens turn sixteen years old, they will make a wish to this Goddess in a temple to receive blessings. Tradition has it in that the 16-year olds come to worship at the QiniuMa Temple with “adult ceremony” or “coming of age ceremony”.

 

The Health Department of Tainan plans to carefully re-create such a tradition. The site will have life-size make-belief billboards for picture-taking of this milestone event to be held on August 23. The ceremony signified the assumption of adult role in the family by sharing financial responsibility and by making no-smoking commitment. Realizing the maturity process and coming of adult age, the youth is expected to build self-control, discipline, and becoming responsible for one’s behavior.  Tempted by peer pressure, curiosity, glamour-seeking to start smoking, the youth, during the adult ceremony, will be blessed and make a pledge to resist such temptations and makes no-smoking commitment by saying loudly “no” to smoking behavior. The “adult ceremony” will contribute to a unique tobacco-free culture.

 

Taking advantage of such a tradition, Tainan City Mayor Ching-Te Lai (賴清德) will present certificates to those youngsters turning 16 at the red ribbon cutting ritual of this coming-of-age ceremony which falls on Thursday. This ceremony integrates the long-held religious tradition with the new no-smoking behavior commitment. After that, the Department of Health will give out limited editions of 250 commemorative cell phone storage cases and QiniuMa calligraphy brushes to participants as mementos.
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Modify Dete:2015/01/26 Publish Date:2012/08/27