Sunday, February 23, 2020

Business Traveller

Top 5 Places In The World Where Weird Customs Exist

Tetraphobia Japan

Every different country has its customs and traditions which can be traced back to thousands of years ago, having an ancient significance.

As you go around the world, you will come across many astonishing, unusual, strange and unreasonable customs, and top 5 places in the world where such traditions exist are listed below.

  1. Japan
    Japan is built on a culture which follows a stringent code of etiquette. In Japan, the number four is avoided because it sounds very similar to death and is considered to be unlucky just like the number 13 in the West. This fear of the number 4 is called “Tetraphobia.”  Elevators will often be missing the 4th floor — and in some extreme cases, they will not have the levels 40-49. The number 49 is especially unlucky, as it sounds similar to the phrase which means “pain until death.”

    While we always thought tipping is a gesture of gratitude, it is the opposite in Japan; here, tipping is considered insulting. More so, you would witness that slurping your noodles in Japan is a sign of showing that you are enjoying the food and are appreciative of the chef.

  2. Spain
    Spain has a unique culture and also the customs. The red underwear running takes place near Valen­cia where the local folks cel­eb­rate the new year by strip­ping down to their un­der­wear which has to be red in color and run­ning through the streets.

    On New Year’s Eve, it has been a long-lasting tradition to eat 12 grapes for good luck. The number of grapes you gobble represents the number of months that will go lucky for you.

    You will also observe that most Spanish people keep two surnames, both from their mother and father.

    Another widespread tradition is that of Spanish siesta, which is the practice of taking a short nap in the mid-day, i.e., early afternoon, after meals.

  3. India
    India is known for its varied traditions that come with such diverse religions. There are many weird customs here like celebrating Nag Panchami where live Cobras, without their venomous fangs removed, are worshipped. There is a bizarre practice of baby tossing that has been practiced in India since ages and is said to bring prosperity in the family. Jallikattu is a sport played at Pongal celebrations where men face a wild trained bull, unarmed, and are supposed to defeat it with bare hands.

  4. Thailand
    Many people who visit Thailand are unaware of values that are upheld by the country’s citizens. In Thailand, a different color is assigned for each day, such as green for Wednesdays and yellow for Mondays; however, not everyone follows this custom. In Thailand, people’s feet are considered the most disrespectful part of the body and thus, everyone is requested to remove their shoes before entering restaurants or homes. Thai people believe in asking the spirit ghost of the land for permission before staying in the house. This custom is mostly followed in rural areas. Lopburi is an ancient city where feeding monkeys is considered auspicious as a reverence to the God Hanuman.

  5. China
    The Chinese have always been very superstitious people, leading a traditional way of life. Despite the progress and development, a large part of the population still observes weird traditions and customs. The Pig Festival is one of the popular events in Taiwan celebrated at Tzu Shih Yeh Temple in Sanhsia, where families compete to grow the biggest pig for to them it is an auspicious sign that the year to come will be a lucky one. They also celebrate the Yulin dog meat festival which came from the 4,000-year-old tradition of dog meat consumption because the Chinese practitioners of folk medicine believed that dog meat would help ward off the heat felt in the summer months. It is also traditionally considered that the whiter the skin the higher your social status is because back in the old days the higher classes stayed away from the sun, unlike laborers. China is a place where mannerisms are given a lot of attention such as the offering of drinks and refilling of tea cups.

The customs, however strange, form a part of the country’s heritage and culture, having sentimental and spiritual value. While traveling to any country, avoid criticising their customs and respect their beliefs for you would expect the same from them!

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Emma London
Emma London is a columnist and member of the ​CEOWORLD magazine editorial board. She's one of the magazine's founding editors and leads global newsroom coverage and management. Having lived in five different countries — the United States, Canada, Australia, Spain, and the United Kingdom - Emma is obsessed with how tech empowers people from all walks of life. She is fluent in Spanish.
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