The Most Bizarre Ceremonies Still Done Today

28 September 2015


Cultural diversity is the real wealth of our world that makes it colorful and interesting. It is almost impossible to give a precise number of different nations and their cultures, customs and traditions that exist today on Earth. But we can decisively claim that there is no way you can research all of them during one lifetime. Although it is critical to be open-minded towards other cultures, sometimes that is truly everything but an easy job. In some parts of our planet, there are still many cultural practices that raise plenty of eyebrows and interest. Even if we leave out all our possible prejudices and suspiciousness, we will still wonder why do these practices still exist. Honestly, when you see the list below where there are only some of the most bizzare ones, no one will blame you for being skeptical.


Finger Cutting

Photo: heplaidzebra.com

Indonesia has 300 distinct native ethnic groups, and 742 different languages and dialects. Among these people, there is a tribe called Dani, and they have a specific way of mourning their deceased family members. Namely, every time they lose a close family member they cut one of their fingers as a sacrifice to their ancestral ghosts. They have an efficient way of implementing this ritual - first they tie their finger with a string for thirty minutes and after it becomes numb they cut it off. In the end, they burn the wound to create the new scar tissue. Also, we should say that this practice is reserved only for women, and some of them have cut almost all of their fingers.


Self-Flagellation

Photo: Chris Price

Another painful custom associated mostly with Shi’ite Muslims, who are a little bit different than their Suni coreligionists. Muslims all over the world accept the religious event called Ashura, but Shi'ites dedicate it to Imam Husein. He was the grandson of Prophet Mohammad, who died in the famous battle of Karbala in the 7th century. During this fight, Husein, and his comrades were repeatedly hit on the head with blades until they fell dead. In memory of that event, Shi'ites spill their blood as a way of mourning the fact that they could not be there to save Husein's life. So if you visit for example Iran during the Ashura and see hundreds of people covered in blood, don't be afraid they are only dangerous for themselves and not for you.


Endocannibalism

Photo: tripfreakz.com

The Amazon is the biggest rainforest on the planet, and it is still a place of many mysteries for humankind. But the Yanomamö tribe that lives in villages located deep in its jungles is well-known, especially for their endocannibalism custom. Namely, after the death of a close family members, his or hers relatives wrap the corpse in leaves, allowing the insects to pick at it for 30 to 45 days. After that process, they collect the bones, pulverize them and mix into a banana soup. In the end, this "delicious meal" is served to all who eat it and by performing that ritual they help the soul of the deceased to find a way to paradise.


Carrying One’s Wife over Burning Coal

Photo: scoopwhoop.com

Some may say that this custom is now weird - most of the women will probably like it, but guys will probably agree with us. China is an enormous country with many unusual customs, and although this one is specific only for some parts of this country, it is one of most romantic. The tradition says that a husband should carry his bride over a pan of burning coals before crossing the doorstep of their new home. If the groom manages to accomplish the task, his bride will have a smooth and prosperous labor, at least according to tradition.


Living with the Dead

Photo: soulask.com

It seems Indonesia is the country with most bizzare traditions on our list because they have another active partaker. Some ethnic groups in Toraja district have a quite spooky custom of living with their deceased relatives. They drape the corpse in particular clothing and keep him or her safe in a separate room in the house before proper burial. The scariest part of the story is that this process can last for months. It is not so easy to determine the origin of this custom, but it is sure it has nothing to do with tradition. In fact, the main reason many people decide for this practice has to do with high prices of burials and funerals. Since most of them don't have enough funds to pay for all of that, they decide for this terrifying custom.


In the end, we should respect other people's customs and traditions, no matter how bizarre they might be. And if it happens that you can't help yourself then try to avoid visiting those places, and everything will be just fine.

 

 

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