1. Brothers and sisters care for each other
On the island of Tonga boys give the first pick of the harvest, fruit or other things, to their sister. Their sister gives them a cloth in return, which the boys use at important times in their life, like weddings and funerals.
Tongan-Polynesian cultures; Tonga; 1990; barkcloth from the paper mulberry; RV-09-220
For girls in Latin America, there is one birthday that is more important than all the others: their fifteenth. From then on they are not girls anymore, but women. And they celebrate with a big party, with champagne, which they are then allowed to drink. If they are lucky, they will be taken to the ball in a coach, just like Cinderella!
Mexico; 1980-1990; wood, steel, lace, paper, satin, wax; TM-5290-270
Tell each other: what present would you like to get when you turn 12, 18, 50, 75 or 100?
3. The keys to happiness
Brides in Korea used to get a key-ring like this from their mother. Can you see the coins, fans, flowers and butterflies in the decoration? There are also characters (Korean letters) that mean ‘gold’, ‘happiness’ and ‘seven treasures’. When the mother gives this present she wishes her daughter all these good things in her marriage.
Korea; 1800-1900; cast copper alloy; RV-666-91
4. For men only
This tube, a type of container, is a gift for boys. They get one when they are old enough to be seen as men, and there is a ritual to celebrate this. The boys use the tube to carry a white powder, a lime made from baked shells. They chew this with areca palm nut, a fruit that gives you an energy boost.
Sepik cultures; Papua New Guinea; 1900-1952; bamboo, wood; RV-3018-13
5. Here you are my child, you’re a woman now
On the Indonesian island of Sumba important men gave a comb like this to their daughters. They wore it in their hair to show that they were old enough to get married.
Sumba, Indonesia; 1900-1950; tortoiseshell; 7082-S-451-961
6. Kimono with swinging sleeves
Japanese parents gave this kimono to their daughter as a present for her eighteenth birthday. This type of kimono is specially for young women who are not married yet. You can see that from the long sleeves. They wave very elegantly when the wearer moves her arms.
Japan; around 1980; silk; WM-77253