Culture Shock: 35 Strange Customs and Traditions That Will Open Your Eyes


Aboriginal custom

Aboriginal custom

Aboriginal custom throughout Australia forbids husband from talking to their mother-in-law or even seeing her. "Avoidance relationships are a mark of respect. The relationship is one of respect, but avoidance."

27. The tradition for standing during the Hallelujah chorus of Handel's Messiah started because King George II stood during it at the first performance in England, and then everyone else had to stand up, and no one knows why George stood up.

28. There exists a 3000-year old Chinese tradition called Ghost Marriages, in which two people who have died single are married to each other. In some cases, the parents of unmarried men buy female corpses so that their sons could have a wife in the afterlife.

29. The Spanish have a tradition called Twelve Grapes in which they eat a grape with each bell strike at the midnight of December 31.

30. Fāl-gūsh is the Persian custom of eavesdropping on the conversations of random passersby in order to divine the future.

31Ainu tribe

Ainu tribe

The Ainu are the “lost” indigenous people of Japan. One of their customs was having the women tattoo over their lips, exaggerating the length to show maturity.

32. If monsoons are delayed, in some parts of India Hindu priests sit inside barrels containing water as they perform special prayers in order to appease Varun Dev, the Hindu God of sky and water.

33. For mother's day in Serbia, Children sneak into their mother’s room in the morning to tie her feet with ribbons so that she wouldn’t be able to get out of bed.

34. The first act of the United Kingdom's State Opening of Parliament is to check the cellars to ensure that it doesn’t have any bombs in it. This is a tradition that has been carried out without fail after the original failed gunpowder plot of 1605.

35. British Acts of Parliament are still printed on goatskin. A proposal to end the tradition in 1999 was thrown out, partly because it would "mean the death of the industry in Britain."