Bizarre traditions from around the world will make your jaw drop.

Bizarre traditions from around the world that will make your jaw drop.

The moment we feel that we have seen enough, someone from some distant corner of the world pops up from behind to prove why we are too early to breathe a sigh of relief. We often think of our traditions to be mundane, but some communities in the world have some of the weirdest rituals which will shake your reasoning from the core.

Cultural, religious and social traditions have strongly impacted the lives of women across the world. While the status of women has seen an enormous change over the past centuries, dark ages are not yet over for women in many countries.

Several societies continue to uphold traditions that subject them to physical, mental and sexual exploitation. There are a plethora of traditions that perpetuate misogyny and abuse.

Harmful traditional practices are probably the most severe menace to women’s rights and the optimum realisation of their developmental potential in the contemporary world. Here are some of the bizarre traditions from around the world that will make your jaw drop.


Mother monitors her daughter’s breast growth, pounds the breast with hot objects such as a stone, hammer, an umbilical belt or a pestle so that it stops developing. This is done to prevent the development of a girl’s breasts and subsequently reduce the sexual attention she may receive.

This way, men will find her unattractive and she can pursue her education. Seen as a way of trying to prevent early marriage and keep daughters in school for longer. It is performed as a way to help disguise the onset of puberty in girls, which it is believed will help to deter male attention and protect them from sexual harassment, assault, exploitation and rape or sexually transmitted diseases.

This practice mirrors ugly misogynistic beliefs. It is reflective of a power dynamic that demands female submissiveness and complete control over the sexuality of women and girls. Gender equality must be promoted and the deeply entrenched patriarchal norms, values, beliefs, and attitudes underlying breast ironing must be firmly challenged.

Women and girls’ basic rights must be respected and protected. Men and boys should also be engaged in order to change their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors related to power, control, discrimination, and violence.

Bizarre traditions from around the world that will make your jaw drop.
Source: Qunki


In some parts of Nepal, a woman is made to marry more than one man simultaneously. Polyandry has been continuing for many years, much to the dislike of the younger generation. Generally sexual rights of the wife are determined by age so the younger can have access only when the seniors are absent.

If all brothers are at home the younger ones have to make a change in day time on the work field or some hiding places. It is hilarious to hear something like this in the 21st century. It can ruin a girl’s future, her privacy, dreams, children’s future and education.


In Africa, scarification has served as an important element of the culture of different groups. Scarification involves placing superficial incisions on the skin using stones, glass, knives, or other tools to create meaningful pictures, words, or designs. It can take at least 12-15 months to heal. Unprofessional tools like iron needles are used and scarification is poisonous to the human body. This causes septic, extreme level of pain, and blood loss. People who are ill with their scars take a long time to heal which is deadly.


The Dani tribe, who live in a town called Wamena New Guinea, traditionally performed a finger-cutting ritual to express the physical pain of grief. Though the practice is now rare and in fact officially banned, ikipalin is a finger amputation ritual traditionally carried out by females of the tribe after the death of a loved one. Ikipalin symbolizes the pain of mourning and is performed with or without tools.

After the finger is amputated, open sores are dressed with leaves treated with traditional herbs, in order to stem the bleeding, prevent infection and to aid in the formation of new callouses on the tip of the remaining part of the finger. It is generally a close family member who performs the amputation. The practice was common among older women, but it was alleged that some mothers bit their babies’ fingers as part of the ritual.

Ikipalin was banned by the Indonesian government but it was speculated that the ritual still continues in secret. Everyone should have to understand that removing any body part for the sake of the dead person is not going to do anything for that person’s afterlife or for them. It will not make the process of living life easier without it.

Time is the only healer of all the wounds so these kinds of rituals should be stopped by taking strict actions.


In a particularly disturbing custom followed by Roman Gypsies, kidnapping a girl you like is very much legal. If that wasn’t weird enough, kidnapping also means that you’ve won her and have the right to marry her, provided that you are able to keep her as a hostage for 3-5 days.

Bride kidnapping is known as “ala kacchu” which translates to take and run away. It became illegal in 1994 but still practiced today, especially in rural areas.

Our research on labour migration in the country suggests bride kidnapping may push young women to leave their rural communities to avoid a forced marriage. This phenomenon of bride kidnapping highlights the underlying social culture that devalues and objectifies women. Proper structuring of society should be enforced, promoting gender equality concepts and demands

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