A taboo can be referred to any custom that prohibits practicing a particular action or thing. The fact is, every culture has at least one taboo and while you might know many of your cultural taboos and a few from other nations that surround you, there is a high possibility that you do not know most taboos from other cultures. Hearing those taboos might sound lame or interesting.
We will be going through some of the most fascinating and funny taboos from different cultures around the world. Get yourself ready as some of them might make you laugh out loudly, but they are real as the country itself.
You are not allowed to call the genital using its actual name.
In case you have a chance to visit Japan, make sure that you never break this taboo at any cost. Never dare to call out the name of a genital loudly while in Japan as doing that is considered an extreme abomination, especially if the genital is a female one. What you have to know is that Japan is among few countries that still hold on their ancient culture and life in Japan is extremely connected to respect.
Most Americans find it hard to adhere on this taboo from Japanese culture, as in America someone can just shout out any body part and no one cares about it. If you are forced to mention genitals during a conversation while you are in Japan, just use the word “Asoko.” This is a default way of referring to those parts without worrying about the gender, and this will save you from trouble.
Limitations between males and females
When it comes to the Middle East countries’ culture, you might find yourself in a serious trouble in case you touch a female that you are not related to. Being a male, no matter how excited and happy you are, never ever go giving handshakes to women while you are in the Middle East. This is entirely against the eastern cultural taboos.
Besides, it is not allowed to be in the same elevator with a woman or women. When you are in any Arab country, women will naturally move out of the elevator when you just walk in. In many Arab countries there are separate transportation vehicles for males and females, particularly in Saudi Arabia. Make sure that you respect that and only use your gender’s cabin otherwise, you might find yourself behind bars. But the Western world thinks that those taboos are a way of men to under grade women and they use taboos to violate women rights. What do you think?
Never ever try to ask someone about how much they earn
Now here is a funny Mexican social cultural taboo. In case you have an opportunity of visiting Mexico, remember that asking someone how much he or she earn might get you in trouble, as it will make you look like a rude and arrogant fella. Do not expect to get a good reaction about it. This is due to the fact that Mexicans have a huge gap between the rich and poor, as there is huge income inequality. You will never know which person earns a lot and who earns too little. Just preserve that question for yourself no one needs to be asked such a question down there.
Never sip a drink until eye contact
Sweden is such a nice place that many people dream of visiting, but do you know about the drinking taboo in Sweden. The Swedish culture has got this one funny and amazing drinking taboo that you will have to know before walking into a bar or café for a drink while you are there for a visit.
It does not matter what you are drinking, never drink until eye contact maintains with your Swedish drinking fella. You have to adhere to the rule if you do not want to offend your Swedish friend.
You will have to makes sure that each person who is seated on the table has a personal eye connection with you before thinking of sipping your drink. Do not worry of appearing awkward as no one will even think of it while you are in the Swedes.
Never ever whistle while inside a house
Whistling while you are indoors is considered to be one of the rudest behavior in Ukraine. Besides, the Ukrainians do believe that if you whistle while inside, you are likely to lose a lot of money after you are done. Besides they do not like to be confused with Russians. So make sure to adhere on this taboo while you are in Ukraine, as you do not want to seem rude to your Ukrainian friends.
Never carry any item from the archeological site
If you have a chance of visiting Honduras and then come across anything that somehow resembles an artifact, never ever dare to touch it. This is a very serious cultural taboo to them. In case you break this taboo, you might end up behind bars, and you are fortunate enough, you will have to pay fines for your crime of breaking this serious taboo.
Never point at the moon using your finger
There is a cultural taboo in Taiwan that believe in the moon goddess called Chang’e. According to the legend, this goddess is so powerful, but shy as well. So pointing you fingers to the moon means that you are pointing your fingers directly at her, which for her seems to be an offensive act.
Legends as it is, states that there is a punishment of pointing a finger at the goddess of the moon, Chang’e will chop off the offender’s ear. We are entirely not sure if these allegation are real or not but you surely wouldn’t want to offend Chang’e and get your ear chopped. Make sure that you will never point at the moon while in Taiwan.
Never ever try joking about religious issues
When it comes to the polish people, religious matters are so serious to them and that means religious taboos are extremely serious. They will find it offensive if you speak badly of regions matters or even question about their Catholic beliefs. One topic that you should never ever meddle with is the pope, and to be specific the late Pope John Paul II as he means a lot to the entire people of Poland.
Never raise your hands against your parents
This is a general unspoken taboo that can be found in every part of the world even though it exists in every culture, but it is a big deal in Vietnam. If one hits his or her parents for any reason, the Vietnamese do believe that thunder will strike the person and claim their life. Who would want a thunder to strike him or her? I bet there is no one out there.
Never ever practice Nazi greeting
In case you are walking, I Germany streets and you do not want to offend the German people, and then make sure that you never do the Nazi greeting. Doing that is considered one of the rudest and offensive acts in Germany. Besides, you can be arrested because of doing that and you will probably be facing a five-year prison sentence.
Another thing to consider is that never start any Hitler topic, as there is a high possibility that you will end up mentioning something offensive. To be on the safe side just make sure that you avoid any topic related to Hitler and his Nazi ideology.
Setting a flag ablaze is one of the serious crimes
This taboo might not seem so interesting as compared to others, but knowing about it might save you from problems. They is no doubt that Americans love so much their national flag, as you can see them having hats, caps, t-shirts, etc. printed with their flag upon them. Burning an American flag can lead you into a serious problem. If you do not want to get into trouble just make sure you do not even dare try to burn an American flag.
Never eat shell fish or pork
In Israel, shellfish or pork is not on their menu. This taboo applies in many of the Muslim countries too. So when you visit Israel, make sure that you abstain from eating any pork or shellfish in any form that they might appear. Besides, if you are a woman make sure that you do not wear shorts.
Never compare with Americans
While you are in Canada just keep your opinion for yourself if you think anything is beneath the American people. It doesn’t matter whether it is their health system, government policy, Canadian dollar, system of education… whatever it may be just never compare it to the American people.
Just make sure that you do not mention anything that will make them feel inferior to the Americans, as doing so is taken as being offensive. Many Americans will not allow this unusual taboo against America.
Never call Cyrillic as “Russian alphabet”
When you are in Bulgaria avoid calling Cyrillic the “Russian alphabet”, as this is considered rude and offensive to their culture. Bulgarians hate it so much that you could even get kicked out from their country. Never ever even talk about it in any way.
Another tip to adhere while in Bulgaria is that, never wear shoes while you are in someone’s home unless he/she allows you to do that. If you do not know what you should do about this, just ask your host. Asking what you do not know is better as it will help you to do the right thing when you are in a foreign land.
It is so important that you should understand the cultural differences before you plan for your trip to a foreign country. This is so important as it will save you from facing difficulties or problems.
In Indonesia there is a place known as Bali, and here is a peculiar ritual which is performed by both genders before getting married. They have to fill two of their teeth. The reason behind this is that, by doing so they believe that they keep away any evil forces and powers such as lust, anger, greed, confusion, jealousy, stupidity, as well as intoxication from attacking the couple.
This is famously known tradition that means the day of the Geese. Upon this event, a goose is covered in grease and then tied extremely high upon a water body. Men then try to capture the goose as they jump from a floating boat. The main objective is to rip off the head of the goose as they grab it. For me this act should disqualify them from being gentlemen. But the competition to the locals is a way of testing their endurance, strength, and agility, that would make them eligible to get married to a woman they adore.
As of currently, the custom is no longer involving a live goose, as animal activists got involved in the matter. Besides this event is merely practiced in Lekeito as a part of the big feast in San Antolin.
Bending a foot in China
In China younger girls were forced to go through a very painful process that involved foot bending. For over a thousand years, the Chinese had this ideology that made them think that having a small feet were marks of beauty and adorability among females. This belief led to Chinese men and women to intentionally limit the girls’ feet from naturally growing. Back in the 1940, this tradition was eventually prohibited due to the pain that young Chinese girls had to go through during the process.
The Nag Panchami festival
This is a festival that that is celebrated in India and the festival is all about snake worshipping that are normally collected for the event. The event is normally celebrated in the rural parts of Maharashtra and in different temples. During this event, people dance to the music tunes while carrying snakes in pots which are then placed upon their heads and then join the procession that leads towards the temple. After chanting and praying, the snakes are then sprinkled with a mixture of turmeric as well as red powder and then offered with a mix of milk and honey, and then they are released into the temple’s courtyard. Despite the fact even dangerous snakes are used in this ritual such as cobras, there has never been anyone who has ever been reported to have suffered from a snake bite.
The burial ritual in Venezuela and Brazil
In case a person from the Tanomani tribe passes away, then his/her body is set on fire. Then the remains of the bones and ash powder are mixed into a plantain soup which the people who are attending the funeral celebration drink. According to their believe, this pleases the dead person’s soul and will find the resting place within their bodies.
Piercings in India
There is no country with strange believes and practices as India. It is amazing about how Hindus display their devotion to their Lord by piercing their body parts as well as the tongue. This practice, which is known as the Hindu Thaipusam Piercings, is extremely bloody but colorful. Besides, there is no doubt that it is extremely painful. I would not dare try that.
Setting witches ablaze in the Czech Republic
Most of us end the winter by celebrating with a clean spring, while some people take it to the streets having a lavish carnival with outfits for Mardi Gras. In Czech people celebrate the temperature year period in a different fashion, by setting fire on a hag thus creating a kind of bonfire. During the last night of April, big numbers of Czechs gather around the hillside bonfires celebrating Palen Carodejnic, which is the annual witch burning event. To make sure that the hags remain in position, which are normally identical to the Guy Fawkes that are burnt in England during the Bonfire Night event.
The Sardine burial
This is practiced in Tenerife, where it is a custom tradition that is practiced among the Spaniards and this is the actually burying of a sardine, accompanied with a funeral that is full of mourners in black costumes. Normally this occurs during the highly spirited moments within the Christian calendar such as lent as well as advent period.
The Mundras which is practiced among the Buddhists and Hindus
This involves seals, marks or gestures that are placed upon people, in the belief that they will bring good fortune to the individual helping in controlling his/her life flow. They do believe that the energy (prana) will enhance focus thus making it able in achieving specific goals.
This is can be found in Philippines, and it is a custom that involves the practice of transferring the entire home to a new site. The villagers gather and then lift up the home carrying it to a new location. They do that for a number of reasons including predicted floods or landslides.