Every religion and culture on this planet has some uniqueness what outsiders consider odd traditions, but which seem perfectly acceptable to true believers. Each religion has ceremonies and practices that mark life’s milestones: birth, marriage, the transition to adulthood, and death, many of which may sound unusual to non-practitioners. Sometime people practice some rituals which are adopted as a part of religion, sometime they practice cultural traditions which seems bizarre to others. There are a lot of traditions that seems really bizarre to the world where it is not followed. Here is a list: 10 bizarre traditions that are still observed around the word.
Bullet Ant gloves
When boys of this Amazonian tribe come of age, they must prove their manhood in a tradition that’s torturous and terrifying. The young men trap bullet ants which are then drugged by a medicine man, who places the deadly creatures in woven mitts.
It is said the sting of a bullet ant can be compared to a bullet hitting the flesh. The young men then have to wear the mitts on their hands and dance for ten minutes to take their mind of the pain. Satere-Mawe men have to go through this ritual at least 20 times in their lifetime.
Hindu Thaipusam Festival Piercings
Hindus with facial and body piercings make pilgrimage to Malaysia’s Batu Caves. Hindu devotees in Malaysia are celebrating Thaipusam, a religious celebration dedicated to Lord Murugan, the god of war.
‘Night Hunting’ in Bhutan
Known as Bomena in eastern parts of the Himalayan kingdom, young men looking for love and marriage set out at night for a different kind of hunt. They break into the rooms of eligible spinsters and spend the night there. If caught, they have to marry the girl, or work in her father’s fields as a punishment.
This tradition is much debated today as women are subjected to rape and an invasion of privacy.
Burial Ritual Yanomami
When a Yanomami dies, his body is burned. The ash and bone powder is mix into a plantain soup. His people then drinks the plantain soup consisting of the dead person’s ash and bone. They believe that by ingesting the remains of a love one, his spirit will live within them forever. Every body must be cremated, because the Yanomami think that leaving a dead body to decay is horrifying. In addition, the soul will be unhappy if he couldn’t find a resting place in the bodies of his loved ones. A dead body must be dispose of as soon as possible, because the soul may come back and haunt the remaining ones.
Celebrated by Hindus in Southern India and South East Asia, the festival of Thaipusam observes the victory of Lord Murugan over an evil spirit. Devotees pierce themselves with sharp objects through different parts of their bodies while going into a complete trance. Some even go as far as pulling vehicles with hooks pierced into their backs.
Tooth Filing, Bali
While most of us file our nails, Balinese men and women have their teeth filed in preparation for marriage. Smoothed teeth are symbolic of control on sinful emotions like lust, greed, anger and jealousy. These mark of a passage into adulthood, and is an extremely gruelling and painful experience.
Baby Throwing, India
The bizarre ritual of throwing newborn babies off a temple 50ft high and catching them in a cloth has been celebrated in India since last 500 years. It is practised by couples who are blessed with a child after taking a vow at the Sri Santeswar temple near Indi, in the state of Karnataka. The ritual is observed by both Muslims and Hindus every year and takes place amid tight security.
The ritual takes place in the first week of December, and is believed to bring health, prosperity and luck to new arrivals. Around 200 babies are dropped by their parents every year while crowds sing and dance. Most of the infants are under two years old.
Death is a time of sorrow and silence even if it means visiting the grave of a loved one who passed away years ago. Not in the Hauts Plateaux of Madagascar though, because July and September witnesses the custom of Famadihana. The ‘turning of the dead’ involves exhuming the remains of deceased relatives and re-wrapping their bones in fresh cloth.
Relatives also take time to ask their dead ancestors for blessings and things they might need in the world of the living. While this is not spooky, it is described by many travellers as more of a party with plenty of rum to go around. Some revellers dance to tunes from the accordion along with remains of the dead.
Finger Cutting of Dani Tribe
The Dani (or Ndani) tribe is the indigenous people that inhabit the fertile lands of the Baliem Valley in West Papua, New Guinea. The members of this tribe cut off their fingers as a way of displaying their grief at funeral ceremonies. Along with amputation, they also smeared their faces with ashes and clay, as an expression of sorrow.
They will cut off their hand`s fingers to express love to someone they love very much. When a person in Dani`s tribe passes away, his relative like wife or husband cut off his hand finger and bury together with the dead body of her husband or wife, as a symbol of love to her husband or wife. Finger represents body and soul that will always live together with his/her spouse. The number of fingers that will be cut off depends on how many persons She/He loves even though she/he will lose all of her hand`s fingers and will be unable to perform household chores effectively.They will cut off their hand`s fingers to express love to someone they love very much. When a person in Dani`s tribe passes away, his relative like wife or husband cut off his hand finger and bury together with the dead body of her husband or wife, as a symbol of love to her husband or wife. Finger represents body and soul that will always live together with his/her spouse. The number of fingers that will be cut off depends on how many persons She/He loves even though she/he will lose all of her hand`s fingers and will be unable to perform household chores effectively.