A Closer Look on Cultural Traditions from Around the World
The many diverse and vibrant cultures in our world show that there are so many different ways to express our sense of humanity through the collective thoughts, ideas, values, and opinions that these cultures share. Culture is a way to finding the purpose of life and what it means to be human. As one person may think a culture’s traditions, practices, and ideologies seems unorthodox or unusual, another may regard these same things as a manifestation and embodiment of their collectively-regarded intellectual achievement and acuity that makes them unique.
Here are some of the fascinating customs and traditions embraced by various cultural groups from around the world:
1. Slurping in Japan
Most countries in the world have unwritten rules and a set of conventional behaviours surrounding table etiquette. We North Americans normally consider slurping and making sounds whilst eating to be rude. Although North Americans may tend to twirl their noodles in their forks to avoid slurping, the Japanese simply slurp their noodles (which is more noisy than the former) as a way to indicate to the other that they are genuinely enjoying their food.
2. The Tooth Fairy
In most North American countries, many children leave their teeth under their pillow in hopes that the tooth fairy will collect it in exchange for some money.
3. Arriving Late
In some parts of the world, it is viewed as quite rude to arrive at a social gathering late. However, that’s not the case in South America. In Chile, for example, if the host invites you at 8 pm, guests are expected to arrive around 8:15 pm, or even as late as 8:30 pm. This is because arriving on time or earlier could mean that you either intend to catch the host unprepared, you will be regarded as too eager for the meal, or that and that the meal is your sole intention for being there!
4. Pointing with the Index Finger
In many countries, it can be viewed as rude to point with one’s index finger. In Malaysia, people use their thumbs to point with as pointing with the index finger can be seen as offensive. In many other places, like Africa, pointing is used for only indicating inanimate objects, not humans.
5. Hispanic Coming of Age Tradition: Quinceanera
In many parts of Central and South America, young girls celebrate their coming of age when they turn 15 years old. The tradition usually begins with a Catholic mass, where the girl solidifies her commitment to her family and faith. Following the mass,a fiesta where friends and family eat and dance is held in her honor.
To preserve the beauty and richness of the human race, it is essential to recognize the importance of these cultural values and traditions.