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Strange cultural customs

strange-cultural-customs

Strange is no doubt a relative word, depending usually on your perspective. What is business as usual to you might as well be downright alien behaviour to someone from another part of the world or even the town. This doesn’t excuse your odd habit of digging up the backyard in the dead of the night, you weirdo, but it does mean that when referring to cultures it’s not always easy to identify the connotation behind the words when ‘weird’ or ‘strange’ are used to describe them. They do, however give birth to some healthy but most often emotionally charged discussions. So, in the most cringe-worthily politically correct way possible, here are a few strange cultural customs from around the world;

  • Zuo Tang, China

Zuo Tang

While a little tear shedding is expected on such a significant day in someone’s life, but when your spouse-to-be starts balling their eyes out at the prospect of being married you know there’s something wrong. Not in China. According to the Chinese culture, wedding preparations include a hefty dose of sobbing with a side of snot. The bride must start crying a month before the wedding, with her mother joining her ten days later and after a further ten days pass the grandmother joins along with any other female relative. Presumably with a giant bag of chocolates. The tradition started when the mother of the princess of the Zhao State was getting married off to the Yan State fell to her knees and cried.

  • Tree Marriage, India

Banana tree

In Hindu astrology, if a person is born on a certain period when a particular astrological combination is in occurrence they can’t get married without Mars rage spitting all over their nuptial bliss and cursing the spouse. This is one of the strange cultural customs of the world, and people who are born with this influence are called manglik and can marry a tree, preferably a banana tree according to custom and yes there’s a joke in there waiting to be made, and then marry the flesh and boned love of their lives because the curse only lasts so long. So when Mars sees you climbing all over that banana tree it descends its wrath upon the poor unsuspecting probably not even willing to marry you tree while you skip along merrily with your new partner. Hope you’re happy.

  • Famadihana, Madagascar

Famadihana_reburial_razana_ancestor_Madagascar

Famadihana is a fairly popular festival which means turning of the bones and how can a name like that ever mean something good? So people bring out the bodies of their ancestors, re-wrap them in fresh cloth and then dance with them to live music. Because not even death can save you from awkward family reunions. The belief behind this custom, being one of the strange cultural customs, is that the spirit of the dead require appropriate ceremonies and complete decomposition, which may take some time, to join the after world.

  • Ma ‘Nene’, Indonesia

In a Regency of South Sulawesi Island in Indonesia, Tana Toraja there is another one of the strange cultural customs where family member drag the dead out of their final resting place. Apparently the people aren’t buried in the ground but in boxes which are laid inside tombs carved into solid rocks. Out of incredible respect or maybe a great vendetta, the corpses are taken out cleaned and redressed, any damage to the boxes repaired and placed back again.


2 thoughts on “Strange cultural customs”

  1. Wow! Even I hadn’t heard of the banana tree one and I’m Indian. Thanks for the education. Look forward to reading more…..

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