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Cultures Around the World
Cultures Around the World
Content cultures around the world

20 Strangest and Most Interesting Customs in Cultures Around the World

People have always been interested in unique cultural traditions. While some of us are confined to our countries and never get to travel, with the invention of Internet, it became very easy to delve into the facts about another part of the world and learn as much as possible about it. If you’re just starting this journey, then you’re definitely going to enjoy the stories we’ve collected!

How Many Different Cultures Are Out There?

Some scholars believe that there are more than 3800 cultures in the world, but of course, this number is far higher in reality. Cultures aren’t restricted to territories of the countries: one region alone could have dozens of communities with their unique system of beliefs. Understanding what a culture entails is useful in several ways at once. For one thing, it’s highly appreciated in professional linguistic circles: when people look for software localization services, they require specialists who understand all the intricacies of another world culture. Such translations should be done in a manner that the target audience won’t find offensive. Knowing about cultures is rewarding on a personal basis, too: a whole new world could open in front of you. You could never study them all, but diving into the ones you find most exciting could be an unforgettable experience.

List of Cultures and Their Unique Traditions

If you try to explore the existing interesting traditions in various countries, you’ll never stop because there are too many of them. We decided to pick twenty unusual habits of twenty different regions. This will help you get a firmer grasp on these places, and who knows? You might find your new passion among them.  

1) Making the newlyweds clean up the broken dishes within Germany

Who doesn’t like weddings? There are different cultures around the world related to the celebration of love and devotion: the newlyweds promise to treasure and support each other through thick and thin. But in Germany, people take this saying a bit too literally! Friends and family of the happy couple break dishes and then the couple has to clean them up. This serves to prove that they’re ready to share tedious work with each other, too.

2) Jumping over babies within Spain

For centuries, some people in Spain have been participating in the event known as cleansing of children’s souls. On the right day, babies who were born a year ago are placed together on a mat. People wearing costumes of a devil jump right over them before they are cleansed with the holy water 

3) Offering monkeys a table full of food within Thailand

There is a huge buffet organized for monkeys in Thailand yearly. They are supplied with more than 3000 kgs of delicious goods. People can gorge themselves, so why shouldn’t monkeys get the same pleasure?  

4) Pointing at something with your thumb inside Malaysia

Pointing at someone is considered rude in a list of different cultures. In Malaysia, it’s even more offensive, so people use their thumbs instead.

5) No red ink within South Korea

Using red ink is a big taboo in South Korea as it is a sign of wishing harm on another person.

6) Eating noisily inside Japan

Most people in the world mostly hate hearing slurping sounds when eating.  In Japan, though, it’s a sign of true enjoyment!

7) Filling graves with delicacies within Rome

In Rome, many graves have pipelines that people use for pouring wine or other delicacies to honor their loved ones.  

8) Kneeling as a greeting within some parts of Nigeria

Yoruba people have some interesting cultural traditions. Upon meeting an elder person, they kneel or prostrate themselves before them.

9) Being careful when choosing gifts for the Chinese

China attributes different meanings to many things. For example, white flowers, umbrellas, or clocks have a negative meaning — think carefully because you won’t want to offend your potential friends!

10) Having fun in cemeteries within Denmark

In Denmark, cemeteries are a place many people use for having a good time since these areas tend to be picturesque.

11) Always using cutlery inside Norway

Eating with bare hands is just not practiced within Norway, not even when you’re eating a burger.

12) Spitting on brides within Greek

This is a fairly young but common tradition: the guests spit on bride to wish her good luck. Since the process is not exactly appropriate, people simply make corresponding noises.

13) Never clinking glasses inside Hungary

Maintaining a part of their historical traditions, people in Hungary avoid clinking their glasses, choosing simple “cheers” instead.

14) Kissing & greeting within France

In France, people kiss each other when they meet up. It includes strangers, too! Kissing is practically this country’s cultural norms definition.

15) Throwing children within India

In some regions in India, babies are thrown down from 50 feet, right into the waiting hands of adults. It happens next to a temple since people believe that this could bring good luck to the kids.

16) Shoving someone face down into their birthday cake within Mexico

Many movies love showing how guests happily smash cakes into each other’s faces. In reality, this would feel strange and offensive, but not in Mexico. Pushing someone face down into their cake is a popular tradition.

17) Being showered with cinnamon if you’re single within Germany

In Germany, if you turn 25 but still have no partner, your friends could keep showering you with cinnamon all day long. This could be rude and insensitive, so for the most part, it’s done out of mutual agreement. Understanding different cultures is vital for nuances like this.

18) Carrying your wife inside Finland

There is a national sport known as eukonkanto in Finland: if those who carry their wives win, they get free beer.

19) Dancing with dead bodies on Madagascar territory

In several communities in Madagascar, people dance with the deceased to honor them and their custom.

20) Celebrating national clothes inside Ukraine

Ukraine is known for its embroidered shirts. They are mostly out of fashion, but on one of May days, people wear them proudly.

Cultural Norms within Different Countries

Now that we addressed traditions, how about cultural norms? Each country has its own set. What is normal for one region could seem odd to the rest of the world.   

1) Indicating with your lips within Nicaragua

In this country, people often use their lips to point at someone. It’s as practical as using your finger!

2) Tipping everyone in sight inside the US

Many Americans can’t imagine it, but in most different types of culture, tipping is not a standard practice. In the US, tips are often included right into your bill: people are expected to leave extra money for waiters, hosts, hotel employees, and other service representatives. It concerns some other types of work too: for instance, if you order business document translation services, some firms will expect you to tip their translators.

3) Not paying for yourself within Turkey

When you are invited to dinner in Turkey, don’t try to pay for yourself. This could seem offensive to a host.

4) Sitting next to a cab driver inside Australia

Most Americans choose to sit in the backseat, but in Australia, this could actually look arrogant. Most people ride shotgun.

Learn More About Cultures Around the World & Get Linguistic Help

Whether you are travelling or making friends with foreigners online, you have every chance to deepen your knowledge and build more connections. Read about the best legal document translation services if you are planning on making a long journey; get USCIS translation if you’re going to move to another country permanently, or hire an interpreter who’ll help you talk with your new friends for as long as you can’t do it by yourself. How many cultures are there in the world? Many thousands. Pick the ones that sound most interesting to you and explore them! There are endless riches that could be found there, and as long as you allow other cultures to be a part of your life, you’ll never feel bored. 

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