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Cultures evolve or change over the ages; this is an undeniable fact. However, many of the practices of ancient people and cultures would be practically incomprehensible for most people today. Be they dangerous, painful, or just plain odd by today’s standards, the following are some examples of traditions that would not thrive in the modern world.
The ancient origins of foot binding are not known for certain, but according to some accounts, it goes back as far as the Shang dynasty (1700 – 1027 BC). Legend says that the Shang Empress had a clubfoot, so she demanded that foot binding be made compulsory in the court. However, historical records from the Song dynasty (960 - 1279 AD) date foot binding as beginning during the reign of Li Yu, who ruled over one region of China between 961 and 975 AD. By the 12th century, foot binding had become much more widespread, and by the early Qing Dynasty (in the mid-17th century), every girl who wished to marry had her feet bound.
Execution by Elephant
Execution by elephant was a form of capital punishment and a weapon of war for certain societies of the past. This method of punishment was occasionally used in the Western world and several examples can be found in ancient sources. It was more frequently used in South and Southeast Asia, especially in India. This form of capital punishment is known also as gunga rao , and has been used since the Middle Ages. The popularity of this mode of execution continued into the 19th century, and it was only with the increasing presence of the British in India that the popularity of this brutal penalty went into decline.
While martial suicide is a practice found in a lot of cultures, the act of seppuku, or ritual self-disembowelment, is peculiar to Japan. The earliest known acts of seppuku were the deaths of samurai Minamoto Tametomo and poet Minamoto Yorimasa in the latter part of the 12th century.
In a typical seppuku, a large white cushion would be placed and witnesses would arrange themselves discreetly to one side. The samurai, wearing a white kimono, would kneel on the pillow in a formal style. Behind and to the left of the samurai knelt his kaishakunin (his “second” or assistant), ready to prevent the samurai from experiencing prolonged suffering by cutting the samurai’s head off once he had slit his stomach.
High Heels for Men
High heels were, at various points of time in history, worn by men as well as women. Whilst it is unclear when high heels were first invented, they were used by ancient Greek actors. The ‘kothorni’ was a form of footwear worn from at least 200 BC, which raised from the ground by wooden cork soles. It is said that the height of the shoes served to differentiate the social class and importance of the various characters that were being portrayed on the stage.
The next appearance of high heels can be traced to the Middle Ages in Europe. During this period, both men and women wore a kind of footwear known as pattens. The streets of many Medieval European cities were muddy and filthy, whilst the footwear of that period were made of fragile and expensive material. Thus, to avoid ruining these garments, both men and women wore pattens, which were overshoes that elevated the foot above the ground and out of the muck.
Ohaguro (which may be translated as ‘blackened teeth’) is a practice in which people (usually women) dye their teeth black. Whilst this custom is known to be practiced in different parts of the world, including Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and even South America, it is most commonly associated with Japan. Until the end of the 19th century, black teeth were regarded as a sign of beauty in Japan. But they were more than just a mark of beauty in Japanese society, and served other purposes as well – such as symbolizing a woman’s sexual maturity.
Human sacrifice was practiced in many early human societies throughout the world. In China and Egypt the tombs of rulers were accompanied by pits containing hundreds of human bodies, whose spirits were believed to provide assistance in the afterlife.
Ritually slaughtered bodies are found buried next to rings of crucibles, brass cauldrons and wooden idols in the peat bogs of Europe and the British Isles. Early explorers and missionaries documented the importance of human sacrifice in Austronesian cultures, and occasionally became human sacrifices themselves. In Central America, the ancient Mayans and Aztecs extracted the beating hearts of victims on elevated temple altars. It is no surprise, then, that many of the oldest religious texts, including the Quran, Bible, Torah and Vedas, make reference to human sacrifice as well.
Make-Up Full of Crocodile Dung
Unlike the Greeks and Egyptians, the Romans used makeup to preserve the natural beauty of a woman and not to embellish the facial canvas into a cacophony of colors. The ideal Roman female was a woman of extraordinary white skin as it was evidence to onlookers that she spent much of her time indoors, thus was wealthy enough to afford servants and laymen. However, since the natural skin tone of a Roman woman was closer to olive than ivory, there was still a necessary unnatural process of powdering the face. This involved the use of chalk powder, crocodile dung, and white lead to whiten their entire face.
In ancient China (up until the Sui Dynasty), castration was one of the Five Punishments, a series of physical punishments meted out by the Chinese penal system. It was also a means of getting a job in the Imperial service. Since the Han Dynasty, eunuchs ran the day to day affairs of the Imperial court. There, eunuchs had the potential to amass an immense amount of political power. Since they were unable to have children of their own and pass down their power, eunuchs were not seriously considered a threat to the ruling dynasty. The powerful emperors of China would sometimes have thousands of concubines within the Forbidden City, with no risk that the women would become impregnated by anyone but themselves.
The term harem comes from the Arabic haram meaning forbidden place . This defines the sphere of women in a polygynous household and makes reference to their enclosed quarters being forbidden to men. The word first appeared in the Middle East, where harems were composed of sultans, mother, sister, wives, children, and concubines. The South Asian equivalent of the harem is the zenana.
As the harem had a secluded nature, there are no exact sources which can present the truth of harem life. Instead, there are only imaginative representations available about what happened within the harem. However, it is known that during the Ottoman Empire the role of the harem was that of the royal upbringing of the future wives of noble and royal men. These women were specifically educated in order to appear in public as royal wives.
The early Chinese believed that the soul was composed of multiple parts and after death, these parts dissipated, therefore never perpetuating the existence of the deceased. The only way to keep them together and thus continue (living) in a spiritual form was to leave the body intentionally - requiring awareness at the moment of death. Some Ch’an monks died and then naturally mummified in meditative posture, and it was believed that they had accomplished this feat. Many Chinese ideas entered Japan and were absorbed by the Shugendo tradition. The monks who chose to mummify themselves similarly believed that they must be mindful when the transition from life to death began. Thus, they tried to accomplish a complicated and difficult process that many were unable to complete.
10 Strange American Traditions
How do you plan on celebrating New Year's Eve this year? Will you run around the neighborhood, chucking old dishware at people's front doors? If you live in Denmark, you might do just that. Or perhaps you'll pick some famous person or event that made a splash in the news during the year, construct an effigy, then light it on fire and watch it burn? Doesn't sound like you? It might, if you were Ecuadorean.
Traditions vary widely around the world, and the ways of one society often seem downright wacky to others. American culture and traditions, thanks to the hard work of Hollywood and other arms of the nation's media multiplex, have become well-known in most corners of the map. But that doesn't always mean people in other countries find some of these customs less bizarre than Americans consider theirs.
On the next 10 pages, we'll cover 10 traditions Americans take for granted, but that people in other countries often consider strange at best.
10: Throwing Tailgate Parties
When Americans attend sporting events -- and football games in particular -- it's often not enough to simply show up and take their seats. They need to arrive hours in advance to properly prepare for the experience of seeing the game live and in person. Emblazoned in team colors, tailgaters will crowd the stadium's parking lot, grilling food, sipping cold adult beverages, playing lawn games and tossing around footballs.
Many tailgaters take their setup very seriously, and will even haul along stereos, TVs and satellite dishes to enhance the event. When it comes to how early fans arrive to start tailgating, the sky's the limit. Some are out there at the crack of dawn to begin the festivities -- or even the night before to claim a spot!
When it comes to the pigskin, the traditions don't stop in the parking lot, however. Check another strange American obsession related to football on the next page.
9: Watching Super Bowl Commercials
Television commercials are typically a trial to be borne, but when it comes to Super Bowl commercials, that's not even close to the case. The vast majority of Super Bowl spectators are Americans, and they eagerly await breaks in the big game to see which commercials wow them the most [source: Rushin]. In the days that follow, those ads are debated and hashed over, rated and discussed, with gusto and ad nauseam, maybe even more than the sometimes lackluster game.
Which commercials cost the most to make? Which ones were surprisingly cheap? How much were the commercial slots sold for? The potential questions are endless. As for answers, in 2011, one of the most popular commercials was a Doritos ad that cost only about $500 to make. Altogether, around 60 commercials aired throughout the game, with prices up to $3 million for 30-second slots [source: Horovitz]. At $100,000 a second, advertisers are happy to fuel this particular American tradition of advertisement scrutiny.
8: Celebrating the American Dream
Although the definition of the American Dream isn't set in stone and has been recalibrated over the years, there's little denying that Americans in general still teach their kids that this dream is one they, too, can enjoy. Whether or not that's a reality is another matter, but that's a question for different day.
At an emotional level, the American Dream evokes feelings of freedom to avenues of opportunity and equal access to paths of prosperity for anyone willing to work hard to achieve it. At a more practical level, many argue that achieving the American Dream has become equated with consumerism and ownership instead of the more purist notions at its core. Regardless of where the truth lies, it's still a national tradition to pass down the idea that the American Dream is achievable in each generation.
On the next page, we'll look at a less savory example of passing down values to the next generation.
7: Holding "Trials of the Century"
Americans love sensationalism, and their media is happy to give it to them, couched in familiar and impossibly exaggerated language. That's why, for example, every couple of years a new "Trial of the Century" takes place in America. All past "Trial of the Century" court cases are collectively forgotten, as the new one proves to be so much more distasteful, repugnant, abominable (insert appropriate adjective!) than the last.
Often these trials involve celebrities themselves -- this is true from Fatty Arbuckle to O.J. Simpson to former President Bill Clinton -- but oftentimes the trials make celebrities (however willing or unwilling) out of ordinary citizens. Casey Anthony's court case is a good example of a recent "Trial of the Century" that launched a regular person into the intense glare of the media spotlight. Her fame brought her mostly public shaming, but the American public also went out of their way to roast her on social media sites. Chances are, though, that a few years from now, the stage will just be set for the next "Trial of the Century" to commence.
Each year, as corn stalks tower toward the sky and leaves turn yellow, orange and red, folks in the United States often flock to farms in order to attend fall festivals. Most of the goings on at these festivals are pretty tame if a little odd-sounding from an outside perspective. Families often participate in activities like going on hayrides, picking out pumpkins, walking through corn mazes, sampling cider, petting barnyard animals, that sort of thing.
But what really singles out some of these fall celebrations is the desire harbored by the visitors to witness pumpkins -- harmless lumpy gourds -- blasted into the air and launched great distances across acres of sprawling farmland. There are several ways this can be accomplished to satisfy a crowd, whether it's through the use of air cannons, catapults, trebuchets or machines using torsion and centrifugal force. Pretty much the only one who doesn't end up having a good time is the pumpkin.
For our next couple of strange tradition, we'll continue through the season.
Many cultures have strong historic traditions relating to dressing up around the time of Halloween and exchanging various forms of food, but few of these traditions involve children going door-to-door asking for candy with the words: "Trick or treat!" That strange practice is believed to be American in origin, but funny enough, perhaps the people who find this the practice most baffling are the pintsized rookies being paraded around the neighborhood. While at any other time of year their parents forbid them from talking to strangers, begging for candy and roaming the streets at night, all of a sudden they change their tune and support such shenanigans on one magical evening each fall.
But here's the catch: They only receive these precious goodies by parroting out the magic words "Trick or treat." And heaven forbid the giver of candy requests a "Trick" of these poor confused newbies. But after a few years, they catch on, and trick-or-treating becomes a tradition they couldn't imagine October without.
4:Presidential Turkey Pardons
Thanksgiving in general seems to mystify those not steeped in American traditions, but perhaps no part of that quirky turkey fest seems more bizarre than the annual ceremony during which modern presidents grant an official pardon to a live turkey presented to them by the National Turkey Federation (NTF). Interestingly, there's also been a great deal of confusion among Americans concerning the actual origins of this strange tradition.
Although the NTF has been gifting presidents with turkeys annually since 1947, the whole idea of "pardoning" them by sparing them from the stove didn't occur until years later, and even then, when it did occasionally happen, it certainly wasn't with anything as grandiose as a declaration of an official presidential pardon. The first bird to receive a formal stay of execution in the mode of an expressly stated "presidential pardon" wasn't delivered to the Rose Garden until 1989, when then-President George H. W. Bush started this act of official benevolence that's now become an annual American tradition.
3: Black Friday Shopping Sprees
Just hours after millions of unpardoned turkeys are devoured in the United States on Thanksgiving each year, armies of shoppers head out to get a start on their annual Christmas gift list. Black Friday sales traditionally launch this national weekend shopping bonanza, which wraps up on Cyber Monday, a more recently minted tradition that's grown in popularity with the rise of online shopping.
In 2010, the National Retail Federation conducted a survey, and estimated that more than 200 million shoppers went online and to stores around the nation during the weekend after Thanksgiving, with 106 million Americans planning to make purchases online come the following Monday [sources: Grannis, Grannis].
Most of those shopping on Black Friday arrive at a civilized time, but many diehards take the tradition a step further and start the day at a gruelingly early hour. In rare cases, riots or deadly stampedes have even broken out among shoppers slavering to get a certain deal or a particular product.
Competition among retailers is stiff on Cyber Monday as well, and many offer special promotions to try to lure browsing shoppers to their sites. In fact, a survey conducted in 2010 found that close to nine in 10 retailers ran some sort of deal that day.
2: Groundhog Day Prognosticating
Leave it to Americans to make their warm weather travel plans based on the machinations of a reticent rodent. Each year, groundhogs around the country -- but most notably Punxsutawney Phil of Punxsutawney, Penn. -- are paraded out to predict how many more weeks will transpire before spring is on the way.
It's either six more weeks of winter, or an early spring, depending upon whether the little critter in question sees his shadow or not. This tradition has been going on since the 1800s, despite (ahem) modest advances in weather prediction since that time. And speaking of measuring stuff by strange means, we've got one last weird American tradition for you on the last page.
1: Inches, Teaspoons and a Ton of Bricks
It's perfectly acceptable to use the metric system in the United States -- Congress originally authorized it in 1866 and has repeated those sentiments in the years since -- but tradition tells a whole other tale. Although the government now requires metric use in some public sectors and strongly encourages it in many private industries, the American public never really took to the system and largely dismissed it, making the United States the only industrialized nation where that's the case.
In an effort to move the matter along, Congress even passed a Metric Conversion Act of 1975 and set up a U.S. Metric Board to take care of all the planning for the desired transition, but they apparently didn't empower the board with enough authority, and the American people essentially said, "meh" to adopting metric and continued on with their miles, pounds, ounces and all the rest. Similarly lackluster efforts since then have done little to get Americans to change their ways.
For more about culture and country's particular codes of conduct, check out the links on the next page.
Top Ten Countries With the Most Fascinating Cultures and Histories1 China China, officially the People's Republic of China, is a sovereign state in East Asia. It is the world's most populous state, with a population of over 1.388 billion. It was established in 1949 by Chairman Mao, the president of the communist party. Its capital is Beijing. The major cities are Shanghai, . read more.
Despite the fact that most of them are communists, and the country itself is as well, it doesn’t make the culture stop being so gorgeous and beautiful. The landscapes are amazing, and my favorite part, has to be the kimonos. They are ABSOLUTELY BREATHTAKING to look at. The Chinese women look so beautiful in such golden trimmed clothing. The roofs, for shade are just something that you’d want to stay under forever. The scenery in the photographs of the women in kimonos, the lakes, ponds, mountains, and of course, but to mention The Great Wall of China. They’ve made this culture and country so amazingly outstanding, and I hope they know that. THIS deserves the number one spot.
China has an incredible amount of history, there's no way you could remember it all. Being Chinese, I celebrate the holidays and eat Chinese food and grew up on their stories. So maybe I'm a bit biased, but I don't think anyone could argue that its culture and history are extremely interesting.
Teaching Chinese abroad gives me a chance to see my culture from a different perspective, which is awesome. Trust me, there is much much more than just food, panda and Kung Fu to explore in China. And welcome to China to see and experience it yourself.
The most sophisticated, influential, diverse and unique culture and history to ever exist. Wish I could live amidst the Orient, the Far East, and experience the best of Chinese food, philosophy, poetry and everything else.2 India India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country (with over 1.2 billion people), and the most populous democracy in the world. Its capital is New Delhi. Some other major cities are Mumbai, Chennai, and Ahemdabad. . read more.
Indian (or as I prefer, "Hindu", not in the religious but in the cultural sense) is a completely alien and unique culture. In ancient times, the inhabitants of this naturally-rich land had incredibly profound ideas proper of a very sophisticated individuals and their strong intellectual interest. Their attention to ethics made them to have the incredible modern insight that the slaughter of animals is unjust and cruel, forbidding it as early as the 7th century B.C. Wow! Among their astounding contributions to mathematics are early proofs and the positional numerals, and a surprising fascination and understanding of big numbers, along with their contribution to other sciences, all of them fundamental to our modern world. It produced the most perdurable superstitious practices as well, such as meditation and ayurveda. Unfortunately, like all the great ancient cultures, it suffered a crushing decadence in its way to actuality.
A big thanks to the Muslims who shaped Indian culture today. The food, the music (courtyard dances, Adab! ), The language (Urdu) and architecture. India as it's known wouldn't be so without the influence of the Muslims. Whether you accept that or not, I know it's hard as Modi is pushing an anti Muslim rhetoric all over the country. Good luck to the future of India, I hope they learn that prejudice ain't getting them nowhere. Muslims are part and parcel of India's history and present too.
India has the world's most beautiful architecture, the Taj Mahal, built out of love by Shah Jahan. A truly mesmerizing place that must be seen! The beautiful sunrise behind the incredible monument and the bright rays of the full moon that fall on it makes it a paradise. It is astonishing to see how clever Indians are to construct such an amazing monument that is symmetrical and adheres to mathematical formulas in every way!
India is the founder of all branches of studies, ranging from mathematics to musical theory. Even more interesting is its millions of cultures. Most of them are developed and sophisticated than entire countries, contrary to popular myth. You won't understand this in words. Just go to India.3 Greece Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, also known since ancient times as Hellas is a country located in southeastern Europe.
Greece is a classic civilization we all still learn from to this day. From their beliefs, government system, and obviously their mathematicians and scientists, who've discovered some of the most important and basic concepts that we still build upon to this day. Their ancient history is absolutely fascinating!
Greek mythology is fascinating and entertaining!
Vibrant culture, fascinating history. Truly the most wonderful Western civilization.
In my opinion Greece is one of the most artistic countries.4 Egypt Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia, via a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula.
Egypt was carried out by many civilizations, such as the Pharaonic, Byzantine, Islamic, Ayyubid, Fatimid, and Abbasid civilizations.
This culture has been alive for a long time and there is so much interest that can go into the Egyptian culture, plus there are so many ancient relics that have been found, I personal find this culture incredibly interesting.
Ancient Egypt is one of the most interesting subjects I've ever been taught in class. It has such a rich past, that's so full of mystery.
In Egypt alone has 1/3 amount of the monument in it.Moreover,you will find not only the most ancient civilization in the world,but also,Roman,Greek, Christian and Islamic.Beaches are all around where you can dive & swim all years around.The cruise in the Nile River crossing from Luxor & Aswan during winter is amazing to mix with history and the beauty of nature.Every year,when I visit Egypt,I discover more places especially Siwa Oasis,white and Black desert and camping under the stars is fascinating. Egypt suits different budget travelers. I did enjoy my stay at Four Seasons very luxurious and also the camping in a small tent in the desert.I love this country
The Island Nation has remained aloof from the world through centuries of separation and isolationist policies. With the rise of the modern technology and international commerce, this has create a unique mix of tradition you won't find anywhere else with the cutting edge of the modern. No country is as unique, or has a history so steeped in legend that at certain points of history, they become inseparable.
My all-time favorite holiday was to Japan. The layout, organization, hospitality, food and peacefulness is just fabulous. The locals are extremely friendly and polite, as well.
Japanese culture, along with many other asian cultures, is the oldest, most well developed culture on the planet. Everything from their weapons, to their clothes, even their language is extremely refined, graceful, and amazing.
One of my very favorite countries to visit - for their food, hospitality, their efficient public transportation system, bullet train, Japanese culture, lovely people, and their fashion!6 Russia Russia, known as the "Russian Federation", was formed on Dec 25, 1991. It is located mainly in Asia. The capital and largest city is Moscow, followed by Saint Petersburg in terms of population. The country primarily speaks Russian, a Slavic language.
I am Chinese and I love Russian literature. They have very talented writers. I also love their beautiful eastern Orthodox cathedrals.
Their history in dance and other forms of art has always captivated my attention!
Soviet history is particularly interesting in my opinion. But the more obscure regions of Russia, like Kaliningrad or Tannu-Tuva, or the most interesting.
Russia in the 1900s was interesting7 England England, previously the Kingdom of England, is a constituent country of the United Kingdom along with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. . read more.
The Greatest European Culture! Brits gave us biggest Empire, lots of modern technology, fashion, science, laws, music, film, artists etc.
Absolutely the greatist literature! Brits have never capitulate, also they burried 4 empires, and greatest modern country USA is also the descendants of Brits.
P.S. How this russian scumbag can be higher than England? Kremlin farm of trolls is now even on toptens?
England may be small it is full of culture. For example, the many stunning buildings from the tutor period, Victoria era
Ten? Come on! We all know about dear old England's fabulous history and culture. She is amazing!
England is amazing,it is full of fascinating history and beautiful architecture.This country is full of legends and myths about kings and queens.Although it has a gory past it is by far the most beautiful country in the world!8 Italy Italy, in italian Repubblica Italiana, is a unitary parliamentary republic in Europe. . read more.
Italy is a beautiful place, with a very unique culture. Not only is it pretty important today, but it was also the center of the Roman Empire and Republic. Florence, Rome, and Venice- Italy has some of the greatest cities in the world!
I will not pretend to know much about Italy, but it's a place I've always wanted to go to, just to get a peak at Venice!
Italian is one of the most beautiful languages of the world! And Florence is the true City of Love.
Country like no other in the world. Country which feel you better9 France France, officially the French Republic, is a sovereign state comprising territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The European part of France, called metropolitan France, extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to . read more.
France is a very cool place. I've always wanted to go, my best est friend named Emma got to go there when make a wish foundation helped. I'm not going to give you her whole life story but it was pretty cool, and helps me remember her.
Good food, patisseries, charcuteries, cheese, good wines, beautiful landscape (mountains, sea, countryside, tropical islands, amazonian forest, pittoresque towns, beautiful cities and Paris), music, festivals, fashion.
French culture is very sophisticated and if you really take time to study it, it is very interesting and broad in many areas pertaining to food, music, architcture, etc.
I've actually visited France, and I take French in school. The language is beautiful and it's a very romantic place!10 Ireland Formed in 1916 after the Easter uprising, Ireland is a small country with a population of roughly 5 million.
If your Irish your amazing
If people knew the history it'd be number one!
Jacksepticeye and McGregor11 Israel The State of Israel is a country in the Middle East and the only country with a Jewish majority in the world. Israel is a small country bordering Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt and its official languages are Hebrew and Arabic.
Isreal was founded in 14th of may 1948 after Hitler did what he did, and rich jews went around crying like babies and demanding that jews needed a compensation, and got promised by the British minister of foreign afairs ' Arthur Balfour' their own land in PALASTINE. At that time Palastine was attacked by british and french military, started taking over lands, killing childen and women, building camps, attracting more jews and expanding even more breaking almost every treaty made that said they wont expand anymore. Isreals history is only war and death. I guess you meant Palastine. you are either ignorant or afraid to write Palastine, I hope it's the second one though!
Israel is God's chosen people. God created the world and gave the Hebrew people that land that everyone is fighting over still. This to me and to many others is #1 because the Jewish people have escaped and been unnaturally persecuted by this world.
I love Israel! They have great fragrant oils, symbolic traditions, martial arts, and food. Israel is truly blessed.
Woah ok there. This ain't right. The fact actually still stands that falafel, the keffiyeh, dabke and basically everythaaang that's falsely listed as "Israeli culture" is Palestinian. You can't wipe their culture from history as well as their land because only Palestinians can rock the culture you egotistically call Israeli. Simples.
It is the home of Jerusalem, and even for people who are not religious, it's still amazing to learn about the the birthplace of the three major religions of the world.12 Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a federal republic located in North America. The country is located between the U.S. and Central America, and is known for its Pacific and Gulf of Mexico beaches and its diverse landscape of mountains, deserts, and jungles.
Mexico home of the tomato, corn, chile peppers, avocado, cacao, vanilla, native to the region and given to the world. Has some of the best selling beer brands (Corona, Dos Equis, etc.), tequila, tacos, Dia de los Muertos, and had the first university in the Americas. Had some of the most advanced ancient civilizations, and a powerful city state as the Viceroyalty on New Spain overseeing vast global territories from Asia-Pacific to North America, the Caribbean, etc. Today it is the largest media and content producer in the Spanish speaking world, one of the largest producer of Spanish language pop/contemporary musicians and international artists and largest Spanish book publisher. 2nd largest economy in Latin America, most populous Spanish speaking country.
Mexico holds a lot of culture and tradition. The ancient buildings and towns are preserved with love. The people are super genuine and welcoming. Great food, music, views and energy. Mexico holds one of the seven wonders of the world, the pyramid.
Each part of the country has its own tradition, it's so rich culturally and the people there is so nice!
Ancient pyramids, colonial towns, and rich culture, oh and the FOOD!13 Iran Iran, also known as Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a sovereign state in Western Asia. The capital city is Teheran and the major city is also Tehran. The country's official language is Persian. . read more.
A country with thousands of years of continuous history, glorious architectural and musical traditions, and much to offer to foreigners. A country that has survived dozens of invaders and continues to exist as a single state today, from the first Elamite empire all the way to the modern Shahdom, then the Republic. It stands as unmatched today as it did in 510 because, 10 AD, 300 AD, 1000 AD, 1750, and many other time periods where it dominated the near east with a highly refined and trained military. It is one of the few countries to never be colonized and it is one of the most authentic and most understudied countries that Asia has to offer.
I sensed no racism when I went to Iran, and I am from Canada.
Every city is so different with different culture and beauty, from desert to mountains, to ski resort to caspian sea.
Religious freedom as well, and women have more rights than any other muslim countries.
I think that Iranians people are very strong and powerful and they have really great beliefs and cultures.They are real Muslim people not same ISIL!
I think Iranian People are so kind and hospitable.14 United States The United States of America, or the U.S.A. for short, is a federal republic composed of 50 states, 48 of them are contiguous states. There are two other states, Alaska and Hawaii, which are north and south of the contiguous states, respectively. The United States declared its independence from the . read more.
Um, stop hating on the USA people just because most of you live here. We're like super more interesting than these other countries!
I suppose it could be interesting. But in America, it's culture/history is nothing compared to other countries.
Although it is young, USA has lots of history and has a mix of different cultures around the world.
Please people. leave politics and pompous attitudes out. Thank you!15 Scotland Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain. Scotland is the most mountainous, and least densely populated country in the United Kingdom.
I'll admit, this is mostly because I am in love with the Scottish accent, but since seeing Brave, I have been super fascinated by the stories and mystical places the movie was based on.
Scotland used to be a monarchy, which is interesting. It also has interesting food, and the scenery is beautiful, the accent is also awesome
I voted this one. To make history, I hope Scotland becomes independent in the future!
I will honour my heritage16 Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a sovereign state located in the Horn of Africa.
Ethiopia is the only African country that never been colonized. It beat Italy in battle of adwa. It has more than 85 languages and cultures. The people of Ethiopia are so warm and welcoming. Ethiopia is a very divers beautiful country.
Ethiopia is where it all began! It is the most fascinating and beautiful country in the world! Religion, civilization, farming etc have all their origins in this ancient wonderful country!
Kikikiki. it is the origin of human being and civilization. It is the only country never colonized. the warrior people and Christianity specially the Orthodox is originated from Ethiopia.
So true! such a beautiful country with beautiful people! proud to be Ethiopian!17 Australia Australia, officially known as the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. Australia has a very warm climate and is very dry. The country's official language is English.
A country where saying "mate" is hip, and not only that but with a neat aboriginal culture, this place has it all! Not to mention a great art scene!
I strongly believe Australia is the most fascinating and interesting country/continent. In the universe
Australia is so close I can't wait for my and every other austalian to see it in the top 10018 Spain Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a sovereign state largely located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe, with archipelagos in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, and several small territories on and near the north African coast.
The other large European global empire besides Britain, that spanned the globe from Italy/Netherlands in Europe to Latin America (North and South America), Asia (Philippines, Formosa/Taiwan, etc.), and Africa (Morocco, etc.).
Gave the world terms like quixotic. Was the first European country to have a truly global reserve currency: "piece of 8", using the $ sign for its denomination, later adopted by Americans for the dollar.
Trade words like cargo/carga and embargo also originate from the Spanish Empire. Today Spanish is the 2nd most used/spoken/read language in the world through the spread of Spanish culture globally.
The most interesting and diverse country in Europe. Great food. Beautiful landscapes and people.The North has one of the most magnificent coast lines I have ever seen
Spain is great but I'm surprised Brazil isn't on the list. Would've voted for it
When asking about culture, Spain can give you whatever you want20 Wales Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Located on the island of Great Britain, it is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south.
Wales is a lovely country when I visited Swansea in Wales and when I went in to town everybody was so caring and helpful.
Rich in culture, language, eisteddfod, history and a beautiful place
Wales is beautiful and underrated.
Wales is an amazing place!21 Kenya Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya, is a country in Africa and a founding member of the East African Community.
Great people, great climate. did you know it was one of the few countries in Africa to have gotten independence from colonialists, and yes using homemade guns, bombs, arrows and so on, and they won! Wonderful history!
The 42 tribes, the different cultures, different languages and they still manage to run their country using two national languages English and Kiswahili. Natural resources, the people, everything about Kenya is just fascinating.
African cultures in general are always so awesome to learn about, but Kenya in particular is the country I have the most knowledge on, so it's the one I'm picking.
I call on all anthropologists in the world to come to Kenya. there is much to learn in Kenya. immense knowledge22 Turkey Turkey, officially the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country in Eurasia, mainly in Anatolia in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. Turkey is bordered by eight countries with Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest Georgia to the northeast Armenia, . read more.
Turkish people are amazing. They are so warm, helpful and welcoming people that I've ever seen. And just to you know, the capital of Turkey is "Ankara" not Istanbul. But you should go and see Istanbul because oh my god this city is a total dream. The history and the view. In my opinion, Turkey is the best.
A wandering from east to west throughout the history, adopting and changing the cultures they travel through and they arrive, a fantastic melting pot, yet a single and stark nation with a very rich culture with all that means. What can be more interested than that?
It's just amazing with too many historical places. Every people must go and see Sultan Ahmed
Too much history, great people, food, and music.23 Georgia Georgia is a country in the Caucasus region. Located at the crossroads between Eastern Europe and Western Asia it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russian Federation, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The country's capital and a largest city . read more.
A mixture of warrior culture, nomadic culture and Hellenic culture. A crossroad between east west north and south!
And one of the oldest civilization still standing today!
Very old civilization, Grateful people, First woman monarch-king in the world, the birthplace of WINE, Long and interesting history, Shota Rustaveli- who wrote one of the best poem in the world, one from 14 unique alphabet in the world.
Long history great traditions
Amazing nature and people24 Peru Peru, officially the Republic of Peru, is a country in western South America, bordered by Colombia and Ecuador to north, Brazil to east, Bolivia to south-east, Chile to south and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Peru is mostly known for being where the Inca people originally came from. The capital of . read more. 25 United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly shortened to United Kingdom, UK or Britain is a Sovereign State located of the Northwestern coast of Europe. It is a Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy currently lead by Monarch Queen Elizabeth II and its current prime minister is . read more.
The Forbidden City - Beijing, China
At the entrance to the Forbidden City &ndash an ancient imperial palace in Beijing that was built in the early 1400&rsquos &ndash you can see the same flower of life under the paw of the Fu Dog (more accurately called "Guardian Lions"). This palace was home to 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Could the Fu Dogs not only be a symbol of protection to buildings and their inhabitants, but guardians of the knowledge of how universal energy works?
7 The Thong That Just Covers The Tip
They were almost entirely naked, anyway. Some athletes indulged in one little allowance: the kynodesme. This was something sort of like a jockstrap or a thong, except that it covered nothing but the tip of the penis. It would be tied around the athlete&rsquos waist, with a tiny little bow around the penis as a decorative flourish.
This wasn&rsquot out of modesty&mdashin fact, it didn&rsquot even cover up your genitals. All it covered was the foreskin, which, to the Greeks, was an incredibly valuable body part. They viewed long, draping foreskins as the epitome of handsomeness. Greek art is full of men with absurdly long foreskins. They show up so often that historians aren&rsquot even sure if these are paintings of an ideal man or if that&rsquos just really what ancient Greek genitals looked like.
Sometimes, the kynodesme had an aesthetic value. Some were elongated to make the foreskin look bigger than it really was. It was such a popular look that some people wore them at home instead of just at the games.
If you’ve got an interest in the supernatural or fancy brushing up on your knowledge of ancient witchcraft, this might be the course for you. The master’s in folklore studies at the University of Hertfordshire examines the history behind the many folklore traditions that still exist today, from carving pumpkins to blowing out birthday candles and leaving “love locks” on bridges.
You might love a cup of tea in the morning, but did you know you could study degrees in tea? Assam Agricultural University offers undergraduate, master’s and PhD courses in tea husbandry and technology. You’ll learn everything there is to learn about growing the plant, tasting the drink, as well as how the industry works in terms of economics and trade. Who knows, it might just be your cup of tea.
7. Girls of Trobriander Tribe gets into sexual acts from age of six
In the Trobriander Tribe from Papua, New Guinea is justified and legal to have a sexual intercourse with a girl of age six. It’s completely disgusting and disturbing to come over through the fact that a girl whose age is to play with the toys is being someone ‘s toy of pleasure. Must say RIP humanity! Whereas even the boys get into sexual activity from the age 10-12. Is it actually justified?
10 Mundane Traditions with Strange Origins
Sometimes, there are things we do as part of a tradition without really considering where the practices may have started. It's easy to forget that many of the rituals that we automatically take part in today had their roots in something entirely different -- and sometimes surprising. Why does a wedding party include a best man? What's the purpose of kissing under a sprig of mistletoe? Do birthday candles have any special meaning, or are they just fun to blow out? Why do we make New Year's resolutions?
Let's take a look at these and some other seemingly normal practices that may have unexpected origins. You'll never look at your favorite traditions the same way again!
Commonly the groom's brother or best friend, the best man stands beaming next to the husband-to-be. Sometimes he even cries. But yesteryear, he would've held a sword. You know why he stands so close to the groom? So he can intercede with his blade if needed. So where does that "best" part come in? He was literally the groom's best swordsman.
This tradition hails back to the day when a wedding was a financial transaction -- and as we all know, sometimes financial transactions can go bad. Should the bride's father have second thoughts or a lovelorn rival spring from the rafters, it was the best man's job to ensure the deal went down as planned.
If kidnapping became necessary, the best man was the muscle. Later, he stood guard outside the nuptial bedroom.
9: Kissing Under the Mistletoe
The Ancient Celts used mistletoe as an animal aphrodisiac, or more specifically, to increase the fertility of sheep. Such became the mythic power of mistletoe that in addition to bringing a lamb-ful spring, mistletoe was hung over doorways to ward off fire, lightning and evil spirits. But despite its protective properties, mistletoe couldn't shuck its fertile past, and even though it was hung in people's doorways, it seemed as if something romantic should occur in its presence.
Did you know that mistletoe's power runs out? Every time a man steals a kiss under the mistletoe, he must pay by plucking one of its berries. When the berries are gone, no more smooching.
Who hasn't, at some point or another, made a pinky swear with a best friend or a child? The pinky swear is the highest of all promises, an unbreakable oath -- and, in fact, what you're saying with this oath is that if you break it, the wronged party may cut off your pinky. The gist of the custom (if not the bloody follow-through) is a recent immigrant to the United States, having originated with the Japanese mafia, or Yakuza.
The Japanese roots of the pinky swear are evident in its common use in anime films, where it is known as yubikiri or "finger cut off."
What celestial body does a round, iced cake most resemble? If you said the moon, then you agree with the Ancient Greeks, who first put candles on cakes offered to Artemis, goddess of the moon. Some historians think the candles were used simply to lend the cake a moon-like glow. Others think that when the candles were blown out, their smoke was supposed to carry the birthday man's or woman's wishes skyward to the goddess.
Whatever the case, candles cause more than 15,000 residential fires every year [source: Candles.org]. There is no data describing the presumably uncountable annual toll of birthday candles on kids' hair and eyebrows.
When the calendar flips over to January 1, we start to make promises to ourselves. This year, we'll lose weight. We'll be more organized. We'll spend more time with our families. But why is this the time for resolutions?
The Roman god Janus had two heads -- one that looked forward into the future and one that looked into the past. And while many Roman rulers made a land grab for the months of the year -- see August, October and July -- Janus stood strong at the beginning of the year. This is January. And on the first day of January, we look back at the year past and then ahead at the year to come.
5: The Detroit Red Wings Octopus
In 1952, it took exactly eight wins -- two best-of-seven series -- to win the Stanley Cup. And so it seemed only natural that fishmongering brothers Pete and Jerry Cusimano threw an octopus onto the ice at the beginning of that year's playoffs, each tentacle symbolizing a needed win. In 1952, they got them -- all eight in a row, sweeping the playoffs and solidifying the enigmatic cephalopod's presence on playoff ice from that point forward.
Notably, during the 1995 playoffs, fishmongering co-workers Bob Dubisky and Larry Shotwell threw a 50-pound (22.7-kilogram) octopus onto the ice during the national anthem before the conference finals.
As any driver of freeways in California or New Jersey knows, an extended middle finger is a gesture of recognition from one driver to another, a way of saying, "Thank you for sharing this short time on the path of human individuation with me."
In fact, this heartwarming gesture has roots in ancient Rome, where the digitus impudicus, or "impudent finger," was a sign of disdain, much as it is today. Specifically, the Roman historian Martial writes, "Laugh loudly, Sextillus, when someone calls you a queen and put your middle finger out."
So, if you were somehow transported back to the time of Julius Caesar, rest assured that you would have at least one means of communication.
The low-five grew out of African-American cultural tradition and was firmly established by at least World War II. When exactly the low-five went high is up for some debate, as detailed in a very entertaining article published by ESPN the Magazine. The gist is this: Despite his claims, it's very unlikely that Magic Johnson invented the high-five while at Michigan State. More likely, it's an artifact of the women's volleyball circuit, circa 1960.
But most likely is that it was, in fact, invented by Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker upon reaching the home plate of Dodger Stadium after hitting his 30th homerun of the season on Oct. 2, 1977. On the other end of the high-five was outfielder Glenn Burke, who after retirement from baseball was the first gay baseball player to come out of the closet. His frequent use of the high-five in San Francisco's Castro District helped make the gesture a signal of gay pride.
What's more American than ketchup on a hotdog eaten high in a ballpark's stands in summer while singing the national anthem? Nothing, that's what. That this national condiment traces its roots to late 17th-century China shouldn't matter at all, should it? It was in the 1690s that a sauce of pickled fish and spices name koe-chiap gained popularity.
One hundred years later, it had migrated and morphed into an English staple and then an American one. An 1801 cookbook by Sandy Addison called "The Sugar House Cookbook" prints the following recipe:
7. Female Circumcision.
Hard to believe, but it’s not only males whose genitals go under the knife in this country. Certain Muslim communities in the south also have their women undergo ritual circumcision called “Pag-Islam” or “Pag-Sunnat.”
As we can recall, female circumcision (or Female Genital Mutilation as the World Health Organization calls it) is a hugely controversial practice and has been condemned by many in the international community due to its harmful effects on women. Like its male counterpart, the tradition is said to have been introduced into the country by Muslim settlers, although another theory holds it was the pagan pre-Spanish Filipinos who started the ritual.
Unfortunately, a comprehensive study into the practice has been limited from what can be gathered from the data obtained by a researcher after studying it among the Yakan tribe in Basilan, the process does not involve cutting off any female genitals. Only the labia majora is scraped, making the procedure a bloodless one. Also, those who were interviewed—the practitioners, the patients, and their families—viewed the ritual in an extremely positive light.
Semen Comes From The Spine?
The ancient Egyptians had a very weird understanding of semen and where it came from in our bodies. I mean they knew from where it got discharged lol, but perhaps not where it originated. They thought that the spine was the organ that produced semen. This hallowed substance played a very important spiritual role in many Egyptian myths. They believed that it came from a very specific and holy vertebra in the spinal cord. This myth was considered a fact for many years afterward. Even the great philosopher Plato believed it. He called semen,
These were some of the many bizarre facts that I found interesting about sex and sexuality in ancient Egypt. Some make sense but some don’t. We can never be sure what was thinking about all these traditions and myths. But one thing I’m sure about is that I’m glad I wasn’t born back then.