- A weird custom here is the so-called Virginity testing. This practice, in which a young girl’s mother, aunt, neighbor, or even prospective husband inserts a finger into her vagina to verify her virginity, may take place in ceremonies sanctioned by rural chiefs, as well as in churches and the home in Zimbabwe.
- In Ankole culture, the aunt’s gift to her nephew’ bride was to teach her everything she knew about pleasing a man in all aspects including bed skills. The lessons will go as far as the aunt showing the bride practically on the wedding night by sharing the groom’s bed.
- The best gift that the father gave to his son on the wedding night was to help him perform his manly duties on the wedding night. This meant for the father-in-law to sleep with the bride before the groom.
- As late as the 1980s, women in some rural areas had to kneel when speaking to a man.
- Somali girls go through the process of female circumcision after they are born. This traditional practice is embedded deep within Somali culture, and the belief is widely held that it is necessary to “cleanse” a girl child. In some communities, girls cannot be married without it.
- In Islamic tradition, Muslims are prohibited to touch the Saliva of dog. Once the person’s hand touches the saliva of dog, he or she should wash her/his hand seven times before they pray.
- An expectant mother is festooned with amulets of leaf, porpoise tooth and human hair; and protective charms are muttered over her at sunrise and sunset.
- A pregnant woman in no account may she touch crayfish because it might cause her child to grow stiff hairs upon the face; flatfish, because having both eyes on one side, it might induce a similar distortion in the unborn; turtle and eel, because they are “crawlers”, and would make a cowardly toady of the child; or any slow-moving creature of the sea, for fear its sluggishness may be imparted to the infant.
- Shark and swordfish are esteemed the best possible diet, they are fighting creatures, and their courage may be conveyed to the unborn through the mouth of the mother.
Fiji-Fijians are known as the friendliest people in the world
- When visiting a village it is customary to present a gift of yaqona, which is also known as kava. The gift, called a sevusevu, is not expensive-half-a-kilo (which is appropriate) costs approximately $10.
- When you are offered a bilo, the cup with the kava, you clap once, say “Bula” and then drink it all at once. After drinking the kava, you pass the cup back and you clap three times.
- Women may prefer to say the customary greeting of “Kuzu Zangpo” to children, acquaintances and subordinates and “Kuzu Zangpola” to older people or superiors.
- When a senior person enters a room, everyone is expected to stand until the person sits down. When it is time to leave, everyone waits until the senior person or the guest of honor stands, indicating that he or she is about to go.
- To beat horses, dogs and animals; it is equal to beating a close friend.
- To look suspiciously at ones mother, father, grandparents, and familiar or unfamiliar elderly people. The offending person would be treated as a person disregarding the law and considered worse than an animal.
- To throw waste into rivers, lakes and spas; the offender would be punished for spoiling the water – the source of all life.
- To throw burning ash from the stove as the burning ambers might cause a fire and endanger the life of people and endanger the life of people and animals and damage the nature.
- To urinate towards the setting or rising sun. This way, one respects the holiness of the sun, its rays shining and illuminating the whole world.
- Not feeding a guest is considered as a sign of ignorance and unfriendliness. This person would be called greedy and stringy, who ignores the Mongolian tradition of hospitality.
- To be unfair or inhuman, to be arrogant and rude insulting the reputation of the elders, ancestors and one’s personal reputation. Mongolians say, “Better the bone be broken than one’s reputation”.
- The coffin is vigorously shaken about by its team of carriers, who perform a spasmodic dance while the women clap and the other men brandish swords. Once the dead person is brought to their tomb and buried, a commemorative statue is put up for them there. The sacrifice of one or several zebu accompanies the ceremony, which can take place over a number of days, with night watches accompanied by song and dance. The ceremony ends with a party during which the sacrificed zebu meat is shared out between all those present. The size of this ceremony depends on the wealth of the person who died and sometimes herds of ten, even hundreds of zebu which are sacrificed; the ceremony would last several weeks in this sort of case. Some tombs are decorated with hundreds of pairs of ox horns, which show the wealth of the dead person.
- When two people are in love and are ready to move onto marriage, they must first engaged. Engagement is done with a big celebration and in front of relatives from both sides and friends. During the celebration, close relatives from both sides are invited, the groom to be brings a gift for the future bride’s parent as an honor and thanks for raising a beautiful daughter, and the engagement ring for the bride to be.
- When a child is about to be circumcised, all close relatives and friends are invited, a big feast is prepared, and people party all night. At dawn, the child is taken to a hospital to be circumcised, the family waits at home. When the child gets back, the family, and friends offers toys, money, chocolates, and lots of candies. Then, the party is over.
- When a woman’s husband died, she is force to marry his brother in-law or any male relatives of her husband because she is considered a property of the family.
Some Zulu customs are still practiced in parts of Kwa-Zulu Natal.
- When a young Zulu man wants to marry a young girl he must get permission from the girl’s father and pay him a lebola which is a certain number of cattle.
- The chief of a Zulu village is allowed to have as many wives as he can afford, this can range from 1 to 11 wives.
- If a man wants to marry he will tell his family he is ready for a wife. The family seeks a mate for the young man. When an acceptable young lady is found she is introduced to the potential husband. They talk and agree to continue to see each other.
- The more educated the woman is, the more you must pay the parents. The bride’s family forever has authority over the bride. If the groom fails to meet any expectations, the bride’s family can collect both the wife and all children and take them to the parents or any of her relatives. A groom can go to traditional court, but if found guilty of whatever offense, the wife and children go to her relatives.
- To the Bubi, all property of the wife passes to the husband upon marriage.
- People from separate social classes are not permitted to eat together by Bubi law.
- Polygyny is permitted by law and tradition, but polyandry is not.
- Many girls are married off by their families by the age of 12. Forced marriage is usual.
- Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is practiced. No law prohibiting FGM is known to exist.
- Dowry for virgin girls amounts to 30 thousand Cameroonian franks. If the girl tells the proposing man that she is not virgin, then he will usually pay no money and the dowry is reduced to some cheap clothes.
- Cameroon youth who are serious about marriage, usually search for virgin girls. If the man does not find a virgin he does not hesitate in proposing to a non virgin.
These are weird customs and traditions indeed, but there’s nothing much we can do about it, it’s their culture. Although some groups are trying to help eradicate some nasty and deadly traditions like female genital mutilation and force marriage which is one of the causes of the widespread of HIV through proper information dissemination and education.
Hopefully, little by little, with the help of these humanitarian groups some bad and unhealthy customs and traditions will slowly fade away for the good of everybody.