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What are the strange and unusual cultural from around the world? (Part II)

Culture and customs are inextricably related. Both have evolved over a long period of time. Customs are typically peculiar to a particular society and are based on local values and circumstances. These can be applied to a broad range of situations in everyday life.

The wait is over, (Part II) is here. We've already discussed the Straw Bear Festival in the United States and the Lath Mar Holi in India, but that's just the beginning.

different customs in different places of world
Unique Customs (Part II)

Let's look at a few more odd customs from around the world:

Cake in the Face (Mexican Birthday Traditions), Mexico

It's probably not a good idea to spend your birthday in Mexico if you like to eat your birthday cake elegantly. Mexico has a variety of special birthday traditions.

Mexican birthday traditons
The Cake Smash

The best Mexican birthday tradition is "la mordida," in which the birthday girl or boy's hands are bound behind their backs and their face is shoved into the cake for the first bite, as everyone around them yells "Mordida! Mordida!" Mexican cakes, especially tres leches, are very creamy. The Spanish word for a bribe is "mordida," but this colloquial expression has the connotation of "taking a bite" and is usually used in birthday celebrations.

Mexico is one of the few Latin countries that have a birthday song that isn't just a Spanish version of "Happy Birthday." The song Las Maanitas (the Little Mornings) describes the beauty of the morning when the singer arrives to greet the birthday boy or girl. It used to be sung only in the morning; nowadays, it can be sung at any time, usually after the candles on the birthday cake have been lit. 

Many Mexican birthday parties have a piata in addition to plenty of food and drink. The piata is most commonly made of paper mache and is decorated to resemble a festive item or animal. It is decorated with bright colors and packed with candies, sweets, and small toys to reflect happiness and joy. Partygoers are blindfolded and take turns hitting and cracking open the piata in order to get their hands on the treats inside. The Piata Song, "Dale, Dale, Dale," is sung by everyone in the audience.

No Tooth Fairy (Tossing Teeth), Greece

Do you put your teeth under your pillow to be exchanged for money by the Tooth Fairy? The tooth fairy is a children's fantasy figure. According to custom, if a child loses one of their baby teeth, they can put it under their pillow, and the tooth fairy will come and replace it with a small payment while they sleep. Every country has its own tooth fairy story.

tossing teeth in greece
No Tooth Fairy

For good luck, Greek children throw their teeth on the roof. After that, they make a wish for safe and solid adult teeth. They even recite a rhyme that goes something like this: "Take sow my tooth and give me an iron one so that I can chew rusks." In certain parts of Greece, a mouse rather than a sow is invoked. In recent years, the Greeks have introduced their own version of the American Tooth Fairy.

New Year's Eve, Bolivia

Bolivia has two new Year, one on January 1st and the other on June 21st. (The Aymara New Year falls on this date.) The New Year's Eve festivities on December 31st are remarkably similar to those in other South American countries.

celebration of new year's eve in Bolivia
Lucky New Years Underwear

The traditional dinner is roast pork, which symbolizes abundance and wealth, and is accompanied by a champagne toast. The Spanish tradition of eating 12 grapes while making wishes is well-known, but the wearing of colored underwear is the most important custom. The colors yellow and red are associated with prosperity and good fortune, while the color red is associated with passion. You'll notice that underwear is a common commodity among street vendors.

And those who are spending the evening with their families will always go out dancing after midnight. Theme parties are common in La Paz (80s, metal, etc). Many people, however, take advantage of the fact that New Year's Eve comes during summer vacation and fly to the tropical yungas and Amazon rainforest or Lake Titicaca. Coroico (on the tropics' edge) and Sun Island (on Lake Titicaca's edge) are said to have better parties than La Paz.

Weighing Public Official, Wycombe, England

The annual Mayor Weigh-In in High Wycombe, England, attracts a crowd ready to boo a rise in the mayor's weight, despite the fact that elected officials are greeted with far fewer rotten fruit and tomatoes.

Mayor Weigh-In – High Wycombe, England
Mayor Weigh-In

The Mayor's Weigh-In is just a show of symbolic act. Every mayor's weight is taken in public by men dressed in period costume, using a scale from the 1700s, at the start of their term. The mayor's weight is registered and held for the next year when he is weighed in front of a crowd once more. This time, however, a town crier announces whether the weight has increased, decreased, or remained constant.

It was used as a real instrument to assess corruption in the town of High Wycombe when it was first adopted in 1678. The residents of the town will see if the mayor was "getting fat" on the taxpayer's pound by weighing him each year. The mayor was crooked and a drunk slob when the city was established. However, his shabby tenure as mayor set in motion an unusual tradition that is still practiced every year 340 years later.

Shoe Sweets, Spain

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which lasts a week, kicks off the Christmas season in Spain on December 8. In December, Spanish families will visit Seville, in the southwest, where the warm weather allows flowers to bloom. They watch ten costumed boys perform an ancient dance called Los Seises to honor the Virgin Mary, Spain's patron saint, in Seville's great cathedral. Families in northern Spain use colorful carpets, flags, and flowers to decorate their balconies. They keep candles burning in the windows all night.

show sweets in Spain
Best Spanish Tradition

Los Reyes Magos, Los Reyes Magos, Los Reyes Magos, Los Re In Spain, the Three Kings of biblical legend, also known as the Three Wise Men in English, take precedence over jolly old St. Nick. These three men, according to the Bible, traveled from all over the world to Bethlehem to carry gifts to the newborn Jesus. Whether or not they were real kings is debatable, but their gift-giving legend has persisted.

Spanish children leave their empty shoes by the front door or window on the eve of Three Kings' Day, expecting to find them packed with sweets and gifts the next morning. Many children often leave three glasses of warm milk and candy for each of the kings, as well as hay or grass for their starving camels. The next morning, the previously empty shoe should be filled with and surrounded by presents, while naughty children in Spain might be given a lump of coal, similar to what happens at Christmas in the United States.

Female Genital Mutilation, Africa

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is the practice of removing the female genitals completely or partially across Africa, as well as in a number of Asian and Middle Eastern countries. It is a horrifying technique that is illegal in many countries around the world. It is most often performed on small children. The fact that it is still so prevalent demonstrates how difficult it is to break such a deeply rooted cultural tradition.

FGM/C is Global
FGM/C is Global

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a social practice with strong socio-cultural and religious roots in Africa. It refers to a series of non-medical operations performed on the genitals of females of various ages, such as complete or partial removal of the female external genitalia or other injuries to the female genital organs. Several studies have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that FGM does more harm than good to the women who are mutilated. As a result, the narratives and experiences of African women regarding FGM are discussed in detail in this study, with an emphasis on whether they are beneficiaries or victims of the procedure.

FGM is unmistakably a cankerworm that has eaten away at African women's rights and well-being, leaving them powerless victims. As a result, governments and community officials must provide medical services to victims and combat the incidence of FGM in their jurisdictions. This can be accomplished by increased public knowledge of the practice's negative consequences, women's education, and collective rejection of the practice, as well as effective sanctions for those who engage in it.

These customs are examples of various cultures from around the world. They are cultural practices that, to those unfamiliar with their context or roots, can seem unusual. Each tradition, on the other hand, is part of a distinct community that has evolved over several centuries.

What is a peculiar tradition from your own culture that you would like to share with others? Leave a comment in the box below to tell us about your traditions.

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