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9 Shocking Customs From Around The World That Exist Even Today

9 Shocking Customs From Around The World That Exist Even Today

The story 9 Shocking Customs From Around The World That Exist Even Today appeared first on StoryPick.

The purpose of traditions is to keep the faith of people alive in their respective religions. However, there are also certain traditions that are born right out of the bizarre human mind. These are the traditions that have no substantial originating reasons or purposes. Instead, they are celebrated as a result of certain cooked-up beliefs and feelings that some people just do not want to let go off.

Here are certain shocking ones from around the world!

1. Bullet Ant Glove tradition- Testifies if you are a man or not!

There is a reason why bullet ant is called so. Its sting is believed to be the most powerful one, and the potent venom will zone you out in the land of nothing but sheer pain. It is also alleged that the pain caused by the sting of bullet ants is equivalent to being shot by a bullet. Now who would want to mess with such dangerously venomous bullet ants? Who else except obviously the Satere-Mawe tribe of the Amazon rainforest! This tribe follows a custom whereby a boy is said to enter adulthood only after he deals with bullet ants first hand (quite literally).

  • The elders collect not one, but a swarm of ants from the forest, and drug them.
  • The drugged ants are left loose in the gloves made of woven leaves. By this time, the drug effect on the ants starts to subside and they become too agitated and get ready to sting.
  • The young boy puts on the gloves infested by the killer ants. He keeps them on for 10 minutes, and not just for once. The poor guy has to do it as many times as it takes for him to bear the pain without shedding a single tear. Because it is only then that he is said to become a real man. Sometimes, the number of attempt goes up to 20!
  • The feeling of bullet ants chewing on hands is described by a tribesman to be equivalent to placing the hand on naked fire. But this is not the most painful thing, the level of pain that occurs after the gloves are taken off is unprecedented and it is now that the hands swell up like crazy.

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2. Baby tossing- Apparently, to give the kid the gift of good health!

This could easily be one of the most shocking Indian customs. The name of this particular ritual in which wailing newborns are thrown from as much as 15-30-50 ft above onto a cloth held by some men down below, remains a mystery. But the astonishing thing is that it has been in existence since about 700 years, and is practised by both Hindu and Muslim Indians, in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

  • A devotee climbs the temple wall on a rope, with a bucket carrying the baby, hanging off his back.
  • Once he reaches the baby-dropping spot, which is several feet above, he takes the baby out of the bucket and hands it over to the throng of men standing near the boundary. One of these men, (I assume the father), holds the baby by his feet and hands, swings it back and forth, does a little bit of chanting in the name of God-pleasing, and drops the baby.
  • The baby, learning what death feels like at such a young age, lands onto a blanket held by 14-15 men on the ground.
  • After the baby takes one bounce on the blanket, it is handed over to the mother. And unsurprisingly, it takes a long while for the baby to recover from the shock.

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3. Hanging Coffins – Because the dead have to be protected from the dogs and enemies on the ground

This ages-old tradition is just as creepy in practice as it is in its name. It is practised by the members of Igorot tribe of Mountain Province in the Philippines.

The elderly of the tribe feared getting buried in the soil because they knew that underneath the Earth bed, their corpses will rot quickly. Also, they wanted their corpses to be safe from dogs and their enemies (savages from Kalinga and eastern Bontoc province), and what could be a place safer than the steep cliff walls!

  • The corpse is put into the coffins in a foetal position, with legs curled back towards the chin.
  • Afterwards, the corpse is wrapped in a blanket and tied with rattan leaves, thus being turned into a package resembling a football.
  • A group of men make holes in the cliff walls, and hammer in the nails that would support the coffin.
  • On their way to the cliff, the mourners try to keep themselves in contact with the corpse because they believe that the fluid secreted from the corpse are harbingers of success.
  • At the burial site, young men climb up the cliff and place the corpse inside the hanging coffin. To make sure that bodies fit well inside the coffin, the bones are cracked. These days, however, the relatives are afraid of breaking bones of the deceased and hence, the corpses are placed in long coffins instead of the traditional smaller ones.

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4. Famadihana- Because the dead would like to shake their legs!

A funerary tradition of the Malagasy people of Madagascar, it is also known as ‘the turning of the bones.’ The strange custom involves retrieving the body from the crypt, wrapping it in a fresh cloth (preferably silk shrouds), and then dancing with the corpse on the sound of live music.

  • The custom is born out of the notion that the spirit of the dead finally joins the previously dead ancestors. And this, is the moment of joy for the families.
  • It is ritually celebrated once in seven years and brings together even the extended families.

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5. Bathroom Ban of Tidong- Three-day ban on newlyweds from using the bathrooms

The wedding traditions are more or less adorable and special in all communities world over. But in case of Tidong community of Indonesia, the story is slightly different, and of course, weird. The newlyweds are not allowed to use the bathroom for three days post the wedding! Now what reason can be compelling enough to keep the newlyweds from clearing out their gut and emptying their bladder? The Tidongs do have a reason behind this though and it is, Legen – wait for it- Dary. Legendary!

  • They believe that if the couple use the bathroom in the prohibited duration, then they would bring upon themselves bad luck, failed marriage, infidelity, and death of their children at young age.
  • The couple is kept under a tight watch of several relatives and offered minimal food and drink to make the three-day no-bathroom period easier. (Like that would help!) After the three-day ritual comes to an end, they are bathed and then commences the normal life.

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6. Man Down Russian Drinking Game- Drink till you pass out

The Russian society is known world over for its heavy drinking culture. And this particular tradition is a testament to same.

  • The game is played in groups of three, and with of course vodka, preferably of Russian standards.
  • Each man has to continue drinking, as giving up in between is regarded as an insult.
  • The game goes on until one of the three men passes out and falls.

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7. Foot Binding- Because it is a status symbol

This one comes from the crazy land known to the world as China. It involves extremely tight binding of a young girl’s feet to keep them from growing big. And not just that, some women were made to undergo this ordeal simply because they belonged to wealthy families. Because they were not required to move their feet much, they were kept bound. And eventually, it came to be known as a symbol of status and beauty in Chinese culture.

By the 20th century, the custom began to die out, owing to the fact that it gave birth to life-long disabilities.

  • The binding was initiated before the arch of the foot could fully develop. And to make the complicated process of binding easier, the feet were made to soften by soaking them in a mixture of blood and herbs.
  • Toenails were cut back as far as they could so that the ingrowth could be prevented.
  • The bandages were prepared by, again, soaking them in blood and herb mixture.
  • The toes were then curled back and squeezed into the foot’s soul so hard that it broke.
  • The girls, obviously, could not walk, work, or do any kind of movement with their feet.

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8. Kanamara Matsuri- The festival of the penis!

Another weird one, Kanamara Matsuri is basically a penis festival celebrated in Japan. And why? Because of this story :

Legend has it that inside the vagina of a young woman, hid a sharp-toothed demon called vagina dentata. And the demon castrated two men on their wedding nights. The shocked woman consequently, consulted a blacksmith, who created an iron erect penis to break the teeth of the demon. And so, the iron penis became an enshrinement worthy object. 😀

  • The festival is celebrated each year at Kanayama Shrine. Initially, prostitutes came here to pray for protection against STIs. (Condoms? What are they?)
  • Couples also come here to pray for a smooth delivery, and harmony in married life.

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9. Finger cutting tradition of Dani Tribe- To mourn the dead

The death of a loved one brings mourning. Dani tribe of Papua in Indonesia however, embraces the mourning phase a little bit too seriously. They amputate their fingers to show their sorrow for the deceased.

  • The women of the tribe are supposed to mutilate one of their fingers every time someone in the family passes away. After the chopping process, the fingers are left to dry and then, burned. Women are also made to smear their faces in clay and ashes.

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It is human mind that makes world strange. And these man-made customs are a testament to the same.

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The story 9 Shocking Customs From Around The World That Exist Even Today appeared first on StoryPick.