05/16/2022

4 Bizarre Customs Around the World

Each culture has its own traditions. We are usually not aware of the diversity of cultures and traditions until we encounter them by ourselves. And, believe it or not, the cultural shock will make you puzzled when it comes to some cultures. Despite some being distinctively charming, others are totally bizarre. Take a look at some of the strangest customs people around the planet practice.

Dead Bodies Being Consumed by the Yanomami Tribe 

This tribe living in the Amazon rainforest on the border with Venezuela and Brazil is afraid of burying their dead. The following groups believe that no physical evidence should be left of the body so the spirit can rest in peace. Cremated remains are mixed with plantain soup, served to the family of the deceased. They believe that by eating this, they will contain the soul of their lost loved one.

Sam valadi, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Gerewol Festival by the Wodaabe Tribe

Throughout history, women have been evaluated based on their physical appearance and talent. The Wodaambe tribe, on the other hand, expects its men to be good-looking. At the Gerewol festival, men put on their best outfits and appear in front of the women to showcase their talents. They compete in a dance competition where the winners are chosen based on their physical appearance and dancing abilities.

(re)Dressing the Dead in Famadihana, Madagascar

Death is often associated with sorrow and silence, even if it means visiting the grave of a loved one who passed away long ago. In Madagascar, however, July and September are marked by the custom of Famadihana where they dig out the remains of the dead and dress them in new clothes. Re-wrapping a dead person’s bones in fresh cloth is known as the ‘turning of the dead.’ In addition, relatives prepare a ritual that asks their deceased ancestors for blessings and things they might need while on earth. The atmosphere of the event is not spooky, but rather more like a party with plenty of rum.

Eric rakotomalala, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons – cropped

Bullet Ant Gloves of the Satere-Mawe Tribe

This Amazonian tribe requires boys to prove their manhood with a tortured and terrifying tradition when they reach their maturity. They trap bullet ants which are then dipped in a drug by a medicine man, who then binds the deadly bugs in woven mitts. As a result of their powerful sting, bullet ants are compared to bullets hitting flesh. To cope with the pain, the young men wear the mitts on their hands and dance to take their minds off of it. Each Satere-Mawe man is required to go through this ritual at least 20 times in his lifetime.