Unusual culture is the strange, weird “arts, customs, lifestyles, background, habits that characterize a particular society or nation” (culture, Wiktionary). Cultures, like people from across the world, are diverse and each society or nation has diverse interpretations of their cultural practices.
This dynamism has made the image of one culture to be strange to another at one time or the other, and also, the gradual development (modernisation or civilisation) of a particular society or nation can make them adjust their cultural practices. In other words, culture is dynamic, not static.
From baby throwing to living with dead bodies, to the Torajan practice of cleaning the dead,’ there are many unusual cultural practices in the world which seem absurd, immoral, displeasing or irritating, according to individual perspective, which is also shaped according to his present society or nation. Let us go through some strange cultural practices in the world.
Unusual Culture: Walking Dead
The Indonesian Toraja people practice this strange, absurd ‘walking dead’ culture; they put “a body in a temporary coffin before resurrecting it”.
Villages in the South Sulawesi mountains in Indonesia have been practising this absurd culture for hundreds of years.
They believe this practice will ease the deceased person to get to the ‘Puya’, that is the afterlife. And their corpse must be returned to their respective place of birth for their funeral. Therefore, the deceased body is raised and walks to its new place of resting.
Unusual Culture: El Colacho
Another unusual culture is the El Colacho (baby jumping) practised in Spain. This culture has been in practice since the early 17th century. The purpose of organizing this ‘baby jumping’ is to “keep the Devils away.”
In the El Colacho festival, jumpers in traditional costumes (Devils) will jump over the babies who are laid on the mattresses in the street.
Unusual Culture: Living with Dead
The Torajan tribe of Indonesia practices this strange culture. They wrap the deceased in good-looking dresses and keep them in their house. According to their belief, it is done to preserve the soul of their loved ones until burial.
Unusual Culture: Hanging Coffins
Moreover, the list does not end here. Some Chinese cultures hang their buried family members after death over some cliffs. Generally, the coffins are hung “33 to 164 feet high and some even as high as 328 feet above the ground.”
The countless suspended artefacts and occult phenomena on the chillingly steep cliffs along Yangtze River evidence this practice. (Pulseng, Rt. 2022)
The process of the placement of coffins at such great heights is still open to debate. In other words, the process is not obviously known. Notably, the records of hanging coffins date back to over 1500 years.
Unusual Culture: Throwing babies
People in Solapur village, Maharashtra, India throw “newborn babies off from the terrace of 50ft tower.” People stay at the foot of the tower to catch the baby safely with the sheets they are holding. They believe this practice will give the baby good luck, long and healthy life as well as other spiritual good things in life.
Unusual Culture: Carrying Women on Hot Coals
In Chinese culture, before a bride will enter the home for the first time, the husband should carry her over a pan of burning coals. According to the Chinese myths, this custom will let her have an easy, stress-free and successful labour.