Art & Culture

Some weirdest tribes and traditions around  the world

Some of the weirdest tribes and traditions from around the world that people still follow

Names, where do they belong & what they do

  1. The Mari Lwyd (Wales) :

Mari is taken around a village traditionally, often between Christmas Day and Twelfth Night, She is dressed with festive lights and decorations, and is usually accompanied by an ostler, and in some regions like Ystradgynlais in the Swansea Valleys, other folk characters like a jester and a Lady. This brings the tradition closer together with Mummers’ Plays, a tradition of performances by the working classes in the 18th century.
When the groups get to a house, they sing Welsh language songs or wassails, or more traditionally indulge in a ritual called pwnco: an exchange of rude rhymes with the person who lives there. If the Mari and her gang get entry, the household is said to have good luck for the year. The Mari is well-known to be mischievous – trying to steal things and chase people she likes – as she goes about her bidding.

  1. La Tomatina (Spain) :

La Tomatina is a festival that is held in the Valencian town of Buñol, in the East of Spain 30 kilometres from the Mediterranean, in which participants throw tomatoes and get involved in a tomato fight purely for entertainment purposes. 

  1. Teeth-Tossing (Greece) :

If you’re living in Canada and you’ve got a loose tooth, you know what to do: just wait for that tooth to fall out, stick it under your pillow or in a special container, and wake up the next morning to money that’s all yours! All thanks to the Tooth Fairy!

The Tooth Fairy also makes the rounds in the United States, Great Britain, and most of northern Europe. But in other places in the world, the Tooth Fairy has unusual relatives who help out. Or there are customs for what to do with baby teeth that might bring luck, but no cash.
In some parts of the world the Tooth Fairy has whiskers and a tail instead of wings and a wand. That’s right, there’s a Tooth Mouse! In France, she’s called La Petite Souris, which means “the little mouse,” and at night this small and stealthy mouse sneaks under pillows to exchange the tooth for money or treats.
Spain has a tooth-loving mouse too, named Pérez. This mouse does the tooth collecting for a lot of other Spanish-speaking countries, like Mexico, Peru, Chile and Colombia. In Argentina, instead of under the pillow, kids leave their tooth in a glass of water – not only does the mouse get the tooth, he also drinks the water. Picking up all those teeth is thirsty wor
In many Middle Eastern countries, kids don’t leave their teeth for a mouse or a fairy. Instead they take their tooth outside and throw it up in the air, aiming for the sun. It’s thought that this will make the new teeth grow in faster and be even stronger than before.
In Japan, they throw their teeth too, but the bottom teeth are thrown up into the air, while the top teeth are tossed to the ground – it’s to copy the direction the teeth grow in. A good, straight throw is supposed to bring in straight new tee
Throwing teeth around is a popular thing to do in a lot of places, but in some countries kids are aiming for the roof. Kids in Greece, Botswana, Sri Lanka, Brazil, and Ethiopia throw their teeth on the roof. They do the same in China, Vietnam, Korea and India.
Historically, kids who lose teeth from their lower jaw will throw their teeth onto their roof, while upper jaw teeth go on the floor or even under it (the idea is the new tooth will be pulled towards the old tooth).

  1. Red Ink Ban (South Korea) :

These are some common superstitions in Korea: Writing names in red is thought to bring bad omens, including failure and death. This shamanistic belief originated in China as red calligraphy was reserved for execution decrees. This shamanistic belief may have spread to Korea while it was a vassal state of China.

  1. Itchy Palms (USA) :

According to some people, an itchy left palm means money is coming your way, while an itchy right palm means you’re about to lose money. Others believe the same thing, but with left and right reversed. … First, there’s the itchy palm superstition popularized by the Saxons.

  1. Camel Wrestling (Turkey) :
    Camel wrestling is a sport in which two male Tülü camels wrestle, typically in response to a female camel in heat being led before them. It is most common in the Aegean region of Turkey, but is also practiced in other parts of the Middle East and South Asia. 
  2. Nag Panchami (India) :

Naga Panchami is a day of traditional worship of Nagas or snakes observed by Hindus throughout India, Nepal, and other countries where Hindu adherents live. The worship is offered on the fifth day of bright half of lunar month of Shravana (July/August), according to the Hindu calendar.

  1. Switzerland — Honesty shopping :

The Honesty Shop in Switzerland
Europe’s first village store which depends entirely on trust and honesty.
There are no shop assistants, no cameras and no supervisors in this shop. You just browse the shop and pick what you want, put the correct money in an envelope, pop it in the honesty box provided, and feel good about yourself.

  1. Colombia — “Tranquilo“:

The flights will likely be canceled, the buses won’t run on a schedule or sometimes at all, and you’ll probably show up to school as a teacher and there won’t be any class — for two weeks. No importa. Tranquilo. It’s not important, don’t worry, chill-out. This prevailing attitude in Colombia creates a constant air of tranquility because everything will work out, especially with the overwhelming kindness of every Colombian who will go out of their way to help you when you’ve missed a bus, don’t have a plane, or need something to do when you have no work for two weeks. And I’m convinced this tranquilo lifestyle is why all Colombian maintain the look of eternal youth.

Eating 12 grapes at midnight. As the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve it is traditional in Colombia to eat one grape per chime – so 12 grapes in all – and make a wish each time you eat a grape! So you’ll need to have 12 grapes ready and 12 wishes already prepared in order to ring in the New Year Colombian-style.

  1. South Korea — NOT tipping :

For someone who was raised in the United States and has worked in the food service industry throughout university, tipping is in my blood. I want to tip everyone as a way of showing my gratitude for their service, and solidarity with them in their work. But no sooner did I attempt to display my gratitude in a charming cafe in Seoul, then my tip was snatched quickly by my host with a sharp glare. In South Korea along with many other countries, employees in the food service industry are given fair wages and take pride in their work, and it is insulting to attempt to tip them. A habit and concept maybe the world would do well to consider.

  1. Colombia — Tinto time :

Tinto is a tiny cup of rich, dark coffee sweetened with panela (sugar’s sweeter relative), and tinto time is all the time. You simply stop at one of the hundreds of carts of tinto being wheeled around, or at stands in the street for ten minutes to enjoy your sweet-caffeinated pick-me-up, catch up on the local gossip, and chat with friends. Tinto time means you’ll probably be late for that meeting, but since everyone stops for tinto, so will everyone else.

  1. China — Noodle slurping :

After a long train ride, we were starving and were drawn to a ramen restaurant by its alluring aroma and the promise of warmth. But as soon as we entered, we were hit by the sound of slurping. For such a polite Asian culture, this seemed out of place and rude. Clearly, this was a custom I had yet to understand, but as soon as my host explained it, I was excited to partake. The slurping makes the food more enjoyable, the meal more comical and tells your host you loved it. The world would enjoy meals more if we allowed ourselves the polite Chinese custom of slurping (and the childlike delight of noisy, interactive eating).

  1. Japan — Pushers on the subway :

The Japanese subways are pristine and quiet enough that I’ve heard many pins drop, except when there are tourists aboard and you can hear them from two train cars away. But just like any other metro system, Japan’s subway is crowded during rush hours. But instead of settling for the inefficiency that personal space demands, Japan has “pushers.” They are exactly what they sound like — employees whose sole job during rush hour is to push more people onto the train cars. You thought there wasn’t space enough for you? Wrong. There’s space for you AND ten complete strangers.

  1. Germany — Crossing the street :

We could go on and on about the efficiency of Germany — from the buses and the trains that run perfectly on time to the incredible timeliness of every citizen — but one of the best German organizational habits that should be adopted worldwide, is pedestrians waiting for streetlights. In New York if you don’t jaywalk, you’re an obvious tourist; in Vietnam traffic NEVER stops for pedestrians; and in Mexico, pedestrians are just as sporadic as drivers. If the whole world was to adopt the organized and predictable street of Germany, the world would be a safer place.

  1. Iceland — Christmas Eve books giving :

We obsess over the eternal question of Christmas gifts; do we spend tons of money on new technology for our loved ones or just stick with the always-safe gift card? Will they read too much into a “fitbit”? Iceland has solved this problem with the Christmas Eve tradition of giving a book. After everyone unwraps the books, they spend the evening reading together. Iceland has preserved the culture of books in this beautiful Christmas custom which many countries would do well to emulate!

  1. Thaipusam – The festival of piercings, Malaysia :
    Every year during Thaipusam, hundreds of thousands of kavadi are carried by devotees, mostly male, as they walk miles or climb steep stairs to give thanks to Lord Murugan. Body piercing, mostly done on the cheeks and back, is observed by some devotees as part of their penance to show endurance and willpower.
    The festival of Thaipusam was brought to Malaysia in the 1800s, when Indian immigrants started to work on the Malaysian rubber estates and the government offices.
  2. Famadihana – Dancing with the dead :
    Famadihana is a funerary tradition of the Malagasy people in Madagascar. During this ceremony, known as the turning of the bones, people bring forth the bodies of their ancestors from the family crypts, rewrap the corpses in fresh cloth, and rewrite their names on the cloth so they will always be remembered. 
  1. Famadihana – Dancing with the dead :
    Famadihana is a funerary tradition of the Malagasy people in Madagascar. During this ceremony, known as the turning of the bones, people bring forth the bodies of their ancestors from the family crypts, rewrap the corpses in fresh cloth, and rewrite their names on the cloth so they will always be remembered. 

17.  Don’t ask for salt when at a host’s place in Egypt.

It’s a common habit to grab the salt and pepper and add a little extra flavor to your food. Salt is so ubiquitous that we think nothing of adding a dash here and there, and we certainly mean no insult by it. In Egypt, it’s a completely different story. Salting your food in Egypt is considered a huge insult, and when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The chef prepares your food to taste a certain way. When you add your own spices, it effectively changes the flavor, implying the dish was inadequate as presented. If there aren’t already salt and pepper shakers on your table at a restaurant, don’t ask for them. The same goes — perhaps even more so — for dining in someone’s home.

  1. Don’t show up on time in Venezuela.

Tradition. It is a custom to show up late in Venezuela because if you show up early or on time, it is considered being rude or greedy. It is recommended to show up 10-15 minutes late.

  1. Polterabend – Break the dishes and get the newly weds to clean the mess in Germany :

Polterabend. Polterabend is a German wedding custom in which, on the night before the wedding, the guests break porcelain to bring luck to the couple’s marriage. The belief in the effectiveness of this custom is expressed by the old adage: “Shards bring luck” (German: Scherben bringen Glück)

20.  Huli – Papua New Guinea :

The Huli are one of the most famous tribes on Papua New Guinea, an island in Oceania that is home to hundreds of unique traditional tribes.

  1. Kazakhs – Kazakhstan :

Kazakh, also spelled Kazak, an Asiatic Turkic-speaking people inhabiting mainly Kazakhstan and the adjacent parts of the Uighur Autonomous Region of Sinkiang in China. … The Kazakhs are the second most numerous Turkic-speaking people in Central Asia after the Uzbeks.

  1. Rabari – India :

The Rabari, also called the Rewari or Desai, are an indigenous tribal caste of nomadic cattle and camel herders and shepherds that live throughout northwest India, primarily in the states of Gujarat, Punjab and Rajasthan. Other Rabari groups also live in Pakistan, especially in the region of the Sindh desert.

  1. Loba– Nepal :

Most people designated as “Lhoba” within the modern-day Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) actually refer to themselves via a diverse set of endonyms, speak different languages, and do not traditionally self-identify as a single entity.  The two main tribal groups which fall under the designation “Lhoba” in the TAR are the Mishmi people (simplified Chinese: 义都; pinyin: Yìdū), who speak the Idu Mishmi language, and the speakers of the Bokar dialect of Abo Tani, who are found in far greater numbers inside Arunachal Pradesh, a state of modern-day India claimed by China.
Other groups identified by Chinese authorities as “Lhoba” include the Tagin people, who speak the Bangni-Tagin language.

  1. Gaúchos – South America :

Gaucho, the nomadic and colourful horseman and cowhand of the Argentine and Uruguayan Pampas (grasslands), who flourished from the mid-18th to the mid-19th century and has remained a folk hero similar to the cowboy in western North America. The term also has been used to refer to cowhands and other people of Rio Grande do Sul state in Brazil.

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