Culture and traditions vary hugely around the world. They are part of what makes our planet such a diverse and fascinating place to live.
Here are some interesting customs from different parts of the world :
1. La Tomatina, Spain
Once a year, in the Valencian town of Buñol, Spaniards gather to throw tomatoes at each other. The world’s largest tomato fight, La Tomatina now attracts participants from around the world.
2. Switzerland — Honesty shopping
Tiny little shops in the middle of the Swiss Alps share the idealism of this society in the form of honesty shops. These are little shops that allow you to buy your fresh cheese, milk, bread, honey, and butter without anyone there to watch you indulge in the delicious dairy products of the area. In fact, most of the day, no one watches these shops because they are owned by farmers who are out taking care of the animals, so all you do is leave your money behind in a little basket. And what’s amazing is that this form of consumer trust results in incredible customer loyalty and honesty among the communities.
3. Iceland — Christmas Eve books giving
We obsess over the eternal question of Christmas gifts; do we spend tons of money on new technology for our loved ones or just stick with the always-safe gift card? Will they read too much into a “fitbit”? Iceland has solved this problem with the Christmas Eve tradition of giving a book. After everyone unwraps the books, they spend the evening reading together. Iceland has preserved the culture of books in this beautiful Christmas custom which many countries would do well to emulate!
4.Slurping in Japan
Most societies around the world have rules about table etiquette. For western cultures, noisily consuming food is considered rude. In Japan, however, making slurping sounds while eating has an entirely different meaning. This might have something to do with the fact that in western countries, noodles are properly consumed by twirling them on a spoon before putting them in the mouth. Meanwhile, the Japanese simply slurp up their noodles without contorting them first, an act that is naturally noisier than the former. Making slurping sounds when eating noodles in Japan is a way of indicating that you’re really enjoying them. Some scientists even argue slurping invites air into the palate and actually enhances the noodles’ flavor.
5.Battaglia delle Arance, Italy
If you don’t fancy throwing tomatoes, how about oranges? During the Carnevale di Ivrea each year, residents of the Italian city of Ivrea come together to hurl oranges at each other. The tradition is in memory of a battle between the townsfolk and a ruling tyrant, with oranges thrown as part of the fight for freedom.
6.Monkey Buffet Festival in Thailand
In Thailand they have a ritual that would bring good luck when joining, namely the monkey buffet festival. This festival is held on the last Sunday of November and you do not need to be surprised when you see monkeys opening a can of coca cola. Chefs spend hours on preparing buffets and the locals offer snacks, sweets, drinks and fruits to macaque monkeys. During this festival there are also many activities related to the monkeys: dancing, dressing like monkeys, monkey masks and a lot more.
These traditions are examples of different cultures around the world. They are cultural practices that may well seem strange to those unfamiliar with their meaning or origins. However, each tradition is part of a unique culture that has developed over many generations. Customs, traditions keep changing with time. Some countries might not be following the customs they were years back ; some might still be following it. All we know is that there might definitely be a tradition from our own culture that outsiders might find strange.