Culture shock is something we have all experienced at least once in our lifetime. There are some surprising traditions to be found everywhere we go such as there exists, a pre-wedding tradition in Egypt in which the bride gets pinched by her friends for good luck. We can learn a lot about a country and its culture from such traditions and practices. As such, here are 15 of the most surprising world traditions that still continue to be practiced even to this day:
1 No toilet paper, India
Those travelling to India will definitely be surprised to find out that toilet paper is not commonly used in Indian bathrooms. Instead, you are most likely to see a small bucket of water next to the toilet for the purpose of washing up afterwards. It is generally regarded as a bad idea to use toilet paper since it can clog the pipes and create extra waste.
2 No using the bathroom after marriage, Indonesia
Among world traditions, In Indonesia, a bizarre marriage tradition exists within the Tidong community wherein a newly-wed couple is not allowed to go to bathroom for three days after the ceremony. It is considered bad luck if they do go to the bathroom within these 3 days. The married couple’s family member watch over them to ensure that they this tradition is not broken while only small amounts of food and water are served to the couple.
3 Greet others by spitting, Maasai
Believe it or not, but the Kenyan Maasai tribe have a customary way of greeting and showing respect by spitting. In many cultures this act is considered to be very rude and disrespectful, but not for the members of this tribe who always spit into their hands before shaking on them. This is even done to newborn babies and brides to bring them good luck and bless them.
4 Don’t gift a yellow rose in, Mexico
While gifting roses is a great way of expressing emotion in almost every part of the world, when it comes to the color of these flowers certain countries relate some special meaning to them. One of the surprising world traditions, in Mexico, a yellow rose is considered to signify death and thus, should never be gifted to anyone.
5 Smashing plates before a wedding, Germany
Among traditions in the world, in Germany, a few weeks before any traditional German wedding they follow a certain tradition known as Polterabend. This tradition involves the couple’s guests bringing pottery which is smashed at the couple’s home. The bride and groom clean up the mess later which is also an act that is considered to encourage teamwork for their upcoming marriage and to bring good luck.
6 Throwing cinnamon on single people, Denmark
In Denmark there is an old 16th century tradition that persists till today which is if a person remains single then on their birthday, they will be showered by cinnamon by their friends. This is basically a reference to the Danish spice merchants who always kept travelling around the continent due to which they never had time for marriage.
7 Arrive late, Venezuela
In Venezuela, even if you have to attend any kind of event such as a party or a meeting, it is common for people to arrive later than the scheduled time. When it comes to business and big social events, Venezuelans prefer to enjoy a relaxed pace and arriving late showcases the practice of making a big entrance.
8 Don’t clink glasses before drinking, Hungary
If anyone is unfamiliar with Hungarian drinking customs, then they are sure to be surprised to find out one of the world traditions that in Hungary people don’t clink glasses at the bar before drinking. This tradition has a historical background which dates back to 1848, when Austria defeated the Hungarian revolution and celebrated by drinking and clinking glasses. This only resulted in Hungarians resolving to not clink their glasses for 150 years.
9 Getting bitten by bullet ants, Brazil
One of the most bizarre world traditions is in the Sateré-Mawé tribe of Brazil has a peculiar coming of age tradition for boys, in which he has to wear gloves filled with bullet ants and perform a traditional dance. The bit of a bullet ant is considered to be one of the most painful insect bites in the world and hence, this ceremony proves to be a real challenge for the youth.
10 Bungee jumping for a good harvest, Vanuatu
Men living on the Pentecost island of Vanuatu perform a strange ritual which involves strapping vines around their ankles and jumping off tall wooden towers. This practice is believed to ensure a bountiful harvest. It is also believed that by initiating a good land dive, a man’s physical health can be improved as well as bring good luck during the yam harvest season.
11 Wearing funny hats when single, France
On the 25th of November, Sainte Catherine is celebrated on this day in France. Sainte Catherine happens to be the young patron saint of unmarried women. Women who have reached the age of 25 years wear green and yellow hats signifying faith and wisdom, on this day. Some “Catherinettes” celebrate the day with hopes of being married soon, while others tend to embrace their single life with pride.
12 Crying before your wedding, China
Among world traditions, In a Chinese traditional wedding, the bride usually cries a month before getting married. In fact, a few days later the bride’s mother and other family members also join in her weeping and also to express their joy for her upcoming marriage.