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Tale of Bizarre Rituals

Updated on May 14, 2013


One of the most terrible rituals I have ever heard of is the Hindu ritual of Sati. This horrible ritual involves the Hindu widow throwing herself on the funeral pier of her husband; committing suicide by burning herself alive! This is done supposedly as a sign of respect and dedication to her dead husband; showing that she cannot live without him. I have a feeling that it wasn't a woman that came up with this awful ritual. Widows were either forced to do this by others or they did it on their own because they knew it was expected of them. These poor women had no other options; widows were not treated well; they were left to fend for themselves after their husbands died. Thank goodness this ritual has been banned in Modern day India. This ritual makes me feel thankful that I was raised in a country that does not condone this type of horrible ritual.


Foot Binding

I remember the first time I heard about the practice of foot binding was when I was a teenager learning about Geisha girls. I wondered why they all walked taking very tiny steps. When I was told about the foot binding ritual that they went through I was horrified! In China this had been common practice up until the earlier part of the 20th century. The poor Chinese woman that went through this endured unbelievable pain. Their toes would all be individually broken and then bent back under their feet. They would then be bound by a large piece of wet cloth which when it dried it would tighten the bind even more. The woman couldn't take big steps because they were left with feet that were too tiny for their bodies so they could only take small steps. I myself have always wished I had smaller feet but if it meant going through this horrible procedure to get them- I say no thanks I will keep my big feet!


Say Hi by Spitting!

In the culture of the Masai tribe of East Central Africa to spit at one another is a form of greeting or also done when saying goodbye. It is also used in a blessing ritual of a new born baby in which people spit on the baby this is supposed to bring the baby good luck! When Masai are making a business deal they seal the deal by spitting at each other. I don't think I would make a good Masai Tribes person as the act of spitting just grosses me out. A neighbor of mine has a ritual that every morning when he leaves his house he spits. I wonder if this neighbor has Masai blood somewhere in his bloodline. It is funny how an ordinary act like spitting can be seen in some cultures as an endearing ritual and by others it is considered a revolting ritual or habit. I wonder where the ritual of where two people sealing a deal spit on their own palms then shake hands comes from.



This is a ritual that is practiced by an assortment of African Tribes. This ritual involves a 3 day old baby, burning of some Sifudu leafs. Relatives gather at the home of the baby where there is a fire burning Sifudu leafs which give off a strong smell. A woman then take the infant and swings it upside down through the smoke of the fire seven times; she then hands the baby to the mother who passes the baby under her leg. This ritual is done as it is believed to prevent the baby from becoming shy or timid and will never be exposed to fright. Personally I would say that being swung upside down over a fire sounds pretty frightening to me!


Strange Rituals

Do you think that the Sati ritual is still practiced today?

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    • Pamela-anne profile image

      Pamela-anne 4 years ago from Miller Lake

      Thanks for your kind words and taking the time to leave a comment much appreciated. I just hope that the Sati ritual is gone for good- how horrible for the poor women who were forced into this barbaric ritual. bye for now :)

    • Riviera Rose profile image

      Riviera Rose 4 years ago from South of France

      I think I'm right in saying it was the Brits in India who outlawed the Sati ritual, finding it barbaric. And one of the reasons behind Muslims being allowed several marriages is to protect widows - a brother is meant to marry his brother's widow so that he can take care of her financially and offer her a home, etc. I hadn't heard of spitting or sifudu either - good to learn something new!

    • Pamela-anne profile image

      Pamela-anne 4 years ago from Miller Lake

      My aunt and uncle used to live in Zambia they lived there for 10yrs then immigrated here to Toronto, Canada. I have always wanted to visit Africa ever since I was young and was obsessed with "Elsa" the lion. I am not real good in the sun as I look like the walking dead-very pale; I must avoid the sun if not I will turn into a big red tomatoe! We are blessed that we are not from cultures that practice such horrid rituals that's for sure take care and stay connected my sister in faith!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Interesting article. Disgusting rituals. Thanks for sharing this information. I share your gratitude that I do not belong where any of those rituals are performed.

    • shofarcall profile image

      shofarcall 4 years ago

      This was so interesting Pamela. I knew of Sati and the binding of the Geisha's feet but not the detail that went with it. The spitting greeting was new to me! and I live in Africa though not in Kenya! And I did not know of Sifudu. Doesn't it make you glad, that being of the family of Christ, we are told to take care of the widows and that we do not have to adhere to rituals and superstitions. That we have a Saviour and Redeemer who protects us from all things when we call on His precious Name. God Bless PS voted interesting and up

    • Sue Bailey profile image

      Susan Bailey 4 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

      Interesting hub. Voted up and interesting. Shared with my followers.

    • Pamela-anne profile image

      Pamela-anne 4 years ago from Miller Lake

      Hi DDE thanks for your support I guess you must have been pretty disgusted by the foot binding ritual I will stick with my big feet! Take care have a great day!

    • Pamela-anne profile image

      Pamela-anne 4 years ago from Miller Lake

      Thanks kidscrafts for your support it is so true what one culture thinks is normal rituals others are appalled by them. Take care have a great day!

    • Pamela-anne profile image

      Pamela-anne 4 years ago from Miller Lake

      Thanks readers for your input and support much appreciated pam:)

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Incredible Tales of Rituals, ''Say Hi by Spitting!'' sounds weird and must be so strange to actually do it by another like me. Binding the feet another different ritual I had no idea of. Rituals such as these are so much believed in other cultures, got me thinking

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      I agree with you with the first ritual; just terrible! I think even if it's banned, there are some women who will be pushed to go through it!

      When you think of it, I am pretty sure that some people in other countries would ask themselves some questions about our way of life as well!

      As an adolescent, I lived in Belgium and when I met my then future husband who was from Holland... two small countries beside each other.... you should see the difference just there!

      Great hub! Thank you for sharing!