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10 Extremely Weird Traditions From Around The World

Created by: infozooms | Last Updated: 07/24/2010

Murder, eating dead bodies, self-castration...the making of a horror movie? No, these are just some examples of strange rituals practiced around the world. Although most of these have ceased, some are still practiced in third world countries. Here are ten weird traditions to make you scratch your head.
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1. Masai spitting

The Masai tribe, located in Kenya and Tanzania, greet each other by spitting. When greeting elders, a tribesman must spit in his hand before offering a handshake, thus showing respect. The men spit on newborns, telling them that they are bad. It is believed that if a baby is praised, it will be cursed with a bad life.
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Points: 13

2. Human sacrifice

In many ancient cultures, the act of killing a human being as an offering to a higher power was practiced. People were killed in a manner to appease gods or spirits, which sometimes included burning, beheading or even being buried alive. Most religions now condemn this weird tradition, but it is still occasionally being practiced in remote areas of the world.
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Points: 11

3. Yanomamo ash eating

Located in Venezuela and Brazil, the Yanomamo tribe has retained many of their ancient customs and weird traditions. Their religion forbids keeping any part of the body of a deceased person. When a person dies, his body is cremated and the crushed bones are added with the ashes. The ashes are then given to the family and must be eaten. The tribe believes that a person dies because someone has sent evil on him.
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Points: 11

4. Living with the dead

The Torajans, an ethnic group located in Indonesia, celebrate death. Because it may take months to save enough money for the celebration, the dead body is wrapped in cloths and kept under the family's home. It is believed that the person's soul remains with the family until the burial. Once the funeral is held, the body is placed in a coffin and put into a cave.
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Points: 10

5. Seppuku

Seppuku, a form of self-sacrifice, was a common practice of the samurai warriors. The warriors used it to avoid being taken by enemies. Sometimes the daimyo ordered a warrior to commit seppuku. The main reason for this ritual was to restore or protect one's honor as a warrior. Only those of the samurai caste were allowed to participate. The warrior was bathed and dressed in white robes. After eating his favorite meal, his instrument was placed in front of him. He would write a death poem. Then he would open his clothing and plunge his knife into his abdomen. His selected attendant would then cut the warrior's neck, leaving just a small band of flesh attaching the head to the body.
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Points: 7

6. Dueling

During the 15th to 20th centuries, dueling took place in Western societies. Using swords or some other agreed upon weapon, two people would agree to fight in order to restore one's honor. Those of wealth, used dueling pistols. The goal of dueling wasn't to kill the opponent, but to demand satisfaction from the offender.
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Points: 6

7. Foot binding

During the 10th through the early 20th century, foot binding was a ritual in China. By age six, girls were put through this ritual. Each foot would be soaked in a mixture of animal and blood. Toenails were cut back and the feet were massaged. Each of the toes were then broken and wrapped in long tight bandages. The feet would not be able to develop normally, causing them to break and become deformed. Typically, feet would be only four to six inches long.
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Points: 6

8. Eunuchs

A eunuch is a castrated man. In ancient China, castration was a traditional punishment or a means of gaining employment. During the Ming Dynasty there were 70,000 eunuchs, some by self-castration. Some of these individuals had powers that were greater than those of the prime ministers. Self-castration became illegal and by 1912, less than 500 eunuchs existed and their jobs ended. Eunuchs castrated before puberty were valued for their exceptional high pitch voices.
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Points: 1

9. Concubinage

Concubinage is a time when a girl or woman is in an ongoing, quasi-matrimonial relationship with a man of a higher social class. The man typically would have a wife and one or more concubines. Concubinage usually was voluntary by the girl or her family, but sometimes it involved sexual slavery. Concubines had limited rights and their children were acknowledged as the man's children.
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Points: 1

10. Geisha

In Japan, a weird tradition that began in the early 1900s still exists today, but with some modifications. By the 1930s, there were 80,000 geisha--a group of young girls committed to the art of Japanese singing, music and dancing. Many of the girls were purchased from poor families and brought into the geisha house. Today, becoming a geisha is a choice.
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Points: 1
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