The beauty of the world lies in its multiculturalism. With the population spread to every corner of this diverse planet, every tribe/society has its own culture and traditions. For them, it’s not so unusual but for the remaining world, some customs can be unique and exciting. I have listed here 6 of the most shocking and age-old customs which are still practiced globally. I am sure you would be surprised to know about them.
Dancing with the dead- Madagascar
The Malagasy tribe in Madagascar follows the ritual of dancing with the dead bodies once in seven years. It’s a part of Famadihana custom to take the dead bodies of their ancestors out of the burial place and wrap it again in fresh cloth. Then, they dance around the tomb while live music is being played.
Breaking the dishes for newlyweds – Germany
It’s a German wedding custom called Polterabend in which family and friends of both the bride and groom break dishes one day before the wedding. Mostly, porcelain culinary is broken as a good luck charm. Afterward, the couple has to clean the mess, practicing ‘working together in difficult times’.
Baby Tossing for Goodluck – India
The Karnataka state of India is notorious for this weird 500 years old ritual of throwing off the baby from the balcony. The newborn baby is held by his hand and feet and is shaken and then dropped by robed priests to be caught by baby catcher some 30 feet below. The crowd of hundreds of onlookers witnesses it before being taken to his mother. Hindus link the ritual with the baby’s good fortune.
Penis Worship – China
In a strange annual festival in Japan, a slogan like ‘All Hail Wang’ is very common. To clarify a bit, Wang is not a person, instead, it’s a penis. Yes, you heard it write. People around Kanayama Shrine in Kawasaki worship penises. Processions in the streets follow many inflatable erected penises. The underlined meaning of the demonstration is the protection against sexually transmitted diseases for the prostitutes who come here and pray at the shrine.
Bullet Ant Gloves – Brazil
Becoming a man in the SatereMawe tribe of the Amazon Jungle can be very painful. The bullet ant insect is famously known for its excruciating sting so much so that the unbearable pain it causes is compared to a bullet piercing the flesh of the human body. When a male reaches the age of maturity, they are supposed to collect these ants and hand over to their elders. The aspiring man has to wear the bullet ant glove for 10 minutes while dancing around.
Finger Cutting when Loved One Dies – Indonesia
Although rarely practiced now, this bizarre custom of the Dani tribe in the western New Guinea province is quite upsetting, especially for women. At the death of your loved one or a close family member, a woman has to have the top half of her fingers cut to mourn the loss. The amputation at the funeral ceremony is done to ‘satisfy ancestral ghosts’ which is later followed by cauterization to stop blood flow.