A country’s customs and traditions define who its people are. Their beliefs and their rituals are what identify and unite them as a people. Up to this day, there are still unbelievable rituals that are regularly performed. Some might have become tourist attractions, while others are just for their own beliefs and traditions.
Raising the Dearly Departed in Indonesia
We all know that it is not possible to bring someone who already died back to life, unless there is a medical procedure that could still be done or by divine intervention. However, in Indonesia, they have a practice of “raising people from the dead.” No, they do not have a secret method to bring their departed family member back to life. This is done for financial reasons.
What they do is to make it look alive for a few days or even months, placed in a temporary coffin. As soon as they are able to afford a final resting place, they will let the dead stand up and guide the corpse by letting it walk. They must have a great embalming method to do this.
Baby Tossing in India
No, this is not the usual tossing of the baby as if you are playing with them. It is literally tossing the baby from a temple, 15 meters high! In Maharashtra, India, this is believed to be a way to provide children with good luck and wisdom as they grow old. Though there are already regulations from the government due to the risk being posed on the baby, it is still practiced until now.
Eskimos Leave Old People to Die in the Cold
Eskimos have a lot of strange practices to begin with. However, among their cultural practices still being practiced now is to let their elderly die in the middle of nowhere. They leave the old people on a floating iceberg where they will be carried out to the open sea and exposed to the elements. They do this in the belief that a new life awaits the old people when they die. This will also make them less of a burden to the family.
Venezuelan Tribes Eat Cremation Ash
The Venezuelan Yanomamo tribe believes that deaths are caused by demons that eat the souls of people. Thus, it is a must for the dead body to be cremated right away. The ashes are then gathered and will be eaten after a year. The relatives will mix them with soup. This is done to symbolize their solidarity with the people they love. It is also a way to ensure that their loved ones would live a happy life in the other world.
Self-Flagellation for Penitence
This tradition is practiced in the Shi’a sect of Islam. It is done in order to remember the martyrdom of Hussein, the grandson of Muhammad. This usually happens during the month of Muharram. Usually, men take part in this practice. They parade in white robe and whip their bodies. They use chains where there are blades in the end to hurt them. Apparently, this practice does not cause pain to them. It is also a practice in certain areas in the Philippines during the Holy Week. Some men follow the way of Christ to the Cross and also inflict pain via whipping. Some others even go the distance and crucify themselves on the Cross. They believe that surviving this ritual will purify them from their sins.
These rituals are truly unbelievable, but still exist. However, it only shows that we live in a diverse and colorful world.