28 Weird Cultures and Traditions From Around the World
Weird Cultures and Traditions from a Few Select Countries in the World...
They say a nation's culture resides in the heart and soul of its people (Mahatma Gandhi). Culture defines us and guides our interactions and relationships with others.
There are some cultures that are so lovable, you find yourself wanting to spend a little more time observing it. On the other hand, there are a few others that are so weird, they are almost off-putting.
Almost every nation of the world has that weird culture that is so vile, they don't spend a lot if time advertising.
Twenty-Eight Weird Cultures in the World
Here are 28 of such weird cultures in the world.
Weird Cultures in India
India is a beautiful country and one of the leaders in movie production with the ever-growing Bollywood industry.
However, as beautiful as the country is, it is home to a few weird cultures and traditions that would leave you with your jaws hanging loose. Here are a few of such bizzarre cultures and traditions:
1. Baby Tossing from the Roof
This culture would ordinary make anyone scared for the safety of the child, especially the child's mother, however, Indians perform this culture with great enthusiasm, as they believe it brings prosperity to the family.
The culture which has been in practice for over 700 years and mostly practiced by Muslims and Hindus, sees a child been dropped by as high as 7 feet.
A small consolation though, there are usually men waiting with a sheet at the bottom to catch the baby as he falls.
2. Thaipoosam, Tamil Nadu or Flesh Piercing
Yet another tradition not for the faint hearted is the Thaipoosam, Tamil Nadu or flesh piercing.
This culture is practiced in Southern India and usually begins with a 48-day-fast, at the end of which the piecing begins.
Partakers in this festival pierce their bodies, including their faces with hooks and skewers. Sometimes, a hook is passed into one cheek and comes out of the other, an act done to impede speech at the time.
Weird Cultures in Japan
Japan, home to one of the world's most loved food, sushi, also has some cultures that will leave you amazed. Here are a few of these:
3. Napping on the Job is Permitted, Encouraged Even
While a lot of employers around the world would be upset if they caught an employee napping on the job, the reverse is the case in Japan.
In Japan, it is believed that only a hardworking employee would want to take a nap. Napping is also seen as a way of 'recharging your batteries', a clear sign of commitment that is clearly valued.
4. Unparalleled Suicide Rates
Japan is known to have one of the highest suicide rates the world over and the most preferred method of dying is jumping in front of a moving train.
Do You Think There is No Such Thing as a Weird Culture and a Country is Entitled to Their Beliefs?
Weird Cultures in China
China, home to the cute giant panda and the infamous kungfu, also has a few shocking cultures that will leave you speechless.
Here are a few of them:
5. Ghost Marriage
While the wedding day is known to be one of the happiest days in a woman's life, this is not so for a few women or men in China.
These women engage in what is called a ghost marriage where they are married off to a dead man. After the wedding, they are expected to move in with the family of the dead man and remain celibate until their death.
Ghost marriage could also involve two dead people if both families want to still become integrated.
This weird culture is done for a number of reasons, some of which include:
- Ensuring the younger brother doesn't get married before the elder (a case of the deceased being older)
- Still going ahead to tie a couple together if one passes away after an engagement has been done.
- Integrating an unmarried daughter into a family.
6. Long Nails as an Unorthodox Sign of Wealth
While it is common to see women growing out their nails to beautify their fingers, it is quite the opposite in China as some men are grow out their nails.
In most cases though, these men grow the nail of just one finger and this act is seen as a sign of wealth.
7. Uncommon Dishes
Even people who are quite daring when it comes to trying out new dishes would balk at some of the dishes offered in China.
Some weird foods you can expect to see include dog meat, cow's stomach, chicken feet, frog lungs, fish eyes, and eggs preserved for a hundred years.
8. Rejecting a Gift or Compliment is a Sign of Politeness
While it is customary to accept a gift offered and thank the giver, doing so in China is considered rude and could even be seen as a sign of vanity.
It is expected that you reject the gift or compliment the first time it is offered before going ahead to accept it.
Weird Cultures in Nigeria
9. Marriage and Luck
In Nigeria, if a man marries a new bride and things suddenly take a downward turn for him financially, it is considered the wife is jinxed and has brought bad luck his way.
10. Widowhood Rite
In most parts of Nigeria, a woman who loses her husband is subjected to a gruesome and humiliating ordeal to prove she has no hand in her husband's death.
In most of theses cases, she's locked up in a tiny hut for three months without the option of taking a bath, has her hair shaved off and she is made to drink some of the water used to wash her husband's corpse.
Refusal to do any of these earns her the name: a witch who mostly likely killed her husband.
11. Magun (Thunderbolt)
A woman suspected of infidelity is laced with a charm, usually by her husband.
The way the charm works, if she goes ahead to meet with said lover, the lover dies after the act. On the other hand, if she doesn't, then she dies after two weeks.
12. Sharo: The Endurance Test
In Northern Nigeria, a young man has to prove he has come of age by taking part in the sharo festival.
This festival involves the man being severely whipped (by someone called a challenger) and he must show no sign of pain or he fails the test.
If "successful", he is considered a full-fledged man and can go ahead to take a bride.
13. Fattening Room
In Calabar, Nigeria, a young bride is kept in a room dubbed the fattening room where she's fed all manners of high-calloric delicacies with the intention of getting her fat.
14. Sole Heir
In some parts of Nigeria, when a man dies, his wealth isn't distributed among his children as expected, but is given to the first male child.
Every other child would hitherto look up to this heir for their upkeep and God help them if he isn't the caring type.
15. Pregnancy and Witchcraft
A pregnant woman is not expected to move about around noon for fear the baby in her womb would be exchanged with a spirit.
If she must, she has to attach a safety pin to a prominent part of her cloth, usually around the stomach region as a sort of appeasement to the spirits that wander during the day.
In some parts of Nigeria, a woman who just lost her husband is subjected to some humiliating practices to prove she has no hand in his death.
Some of these include being locked in a room for three months without the option of a bath and drinking a little of the water used to wash the husband's corpse.
Weird Cultures in South Africa
16. Cattle as Bride Price
In Zulu, it is not uncommon for the father of the bride to request cattle's as the bride price for his daughter. Depending on the bride in question, the groom could be expected to provide as many as 20 cows to the father of the bride.
17. Food Prepared from Dead Bodies
The Chewa people of South Africa have a weird culture where a corpse is washed during its burial ceremony, the water is then collected and used to prepare a meal for the whole community.
Weird Cultures in Ghana
18. Deformed Children are Killed
This weird culture of killing deformed children used to be so rampant in some parts of Ghana but is fast declining.
It was believed these children were harbingers of evil and to expel the evil, they had to be killed.
19. Human Sacrifice
This is another weird culture that is fast declining
When it was practiced, healthy children would be sacrifice to the gods in the belief this act would bring prosperity and good luck their way.
Weird Cultures in USA
20. 24-Hour Restaurants
Most countries have restaurants that have a fixed number of hours they're opened for business, after which they close. However, in the US, it is customary to see restaurants that run for 24 hours and you can get a meal there anytime you walk in.
21. Refill on Drinks
Again, when you buy drinks in most countries, you get that one drink and that's that. In the US, however, it is common to keep getting refills after the first purchase made.
Would you partake in a weird culture just to make your host happy?
In China, it is common for a woman to be married off to a dead man in what is known as a Ghost Marriage
Weird Cultures in Mexico
22. Punctuality is Mostly a Myth
In Mexico, it is customary for a person to arrive late for a meeting; this is one practice that is seen as the norm.
23. Men and Women Have Different Public Transport
Although not the norm, men and women mostly have different transport in Mexico and it is customary to see cabs scattering to just one sex.
Weird Culture in Greece
24. Teeth Tossing for Wealth
In Greece, a child popping a tooth is jokingly celebrated and the teeth is tossed to the roof in the belief this will bring on wealth.
Weird Cultures in Spain
25. Baby Jumping
To ward off evil, a child is placed on a mattress in the streets and a well dressed man jumps over the child in the belief this wards off evil.
26. Tomato Fight
You would expect tomatoes to be used in meal preparation, but in Spain, there's a fun, although weird culture where tomatoes are used as weapons in one of the largest festivals/fights in the country.
Weird Cultures in South Korea
27. Red Ink Symbolizing Death
In South Korea, writing a person's name using red ink is strongly frowned upon as only dead people's names get written this way and it is believed doing so is inviting death to the person.
Weird Cultures in Indonesia
28. Cohabiting with the Dead
In some parts of Indonesia, it is common for the family of a deceased to dress the body up and live with until the corpse is ready to be buried
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Farrah Young