It always interests me. The world is full of people from different continents, countries, races, tribes, religions, backgrounds, each with their own beautiful and unique ways of identifying themselves. They have their ways of doing things; their ways of life.
Culture is an umbrella term which encompasses these customary beliefs, social forms and material traits of these different groups of people. 안녕하세요, こんにちは, bonjour, hola, zdraztvuytye, molweni, shikamoo. All these mean Hello! in seven different international languages.
Some may seem very odd looking and new while you may recognize others. What amazes me is that what you find odd is completely normal to a different group of people and what you deem normal is completely odd to another group of people. One of the easiest examples of this is language. Some of the interesting cultural practices from different parts of the world include;
September 12th: Day of conception in Russia
There’s a decline in birth rates in Russia coupled with the unequal proportion of women to men. There’s also an alarmingly short lifespan of Russian men that pose as serious concerns for the society. Due to this, the government instated a public holiday solely to give couples time off from work so that they could have sex in hopes that it will lead to pregnancy. Couples can win prizes for keeping the Russian bloodline going if they have a baby exactly 9 months later.
TAKE THE DAY OFF AND HAVE SEX. WIN PRIZES.
Russia 🇷🇺. What a country 😉
“Russia is celebrating its eighth annual ‘day of conception’ as couples in the eastern region of Ulyanovsk are being advised to stay at home to procreate.” https://t.co/KpMfBQ6UtT
— SoCalledPresident (@CrimeBossTrump) February 12, 2019
Couples in Russia skip work on Conception Day (Sept. 12) to have babies! The government of the Ulyanovsk province gives cash and prizes to couples who give birth 9 months later!
Would you like this holiday too?
— TVP Adventures (@TVPAdventures) July 22, 2020
Conducting business meetings in saunas in Finland
Saunas take a big part of the Finnish culture. It not only serves as a historic place to give birth but also as a place where people can conduct business meetings and discuss politics. It’s very common for business partners and colleagues to go to the sauna together to discuss business.
Throwing furniture out of the window in South Africa
Many countries around the world celebrate New Year’s Eve with fireworks, but not South Africa. Since the end of apartheid, a new tradition persisted to ring in the new year. Citizens throw their furniture out the window and into the streets. Don’t worry, this tradition is always monitored by the police to ensure that nobody gets hurt.
— Sold Right Away Team (@soldrightaway) January 4, 2018
Local residents claim that they are literally getting rid of their old stuff, to make room for their new items. Although the throwing of goods from windows wouldn’t be seen as the conventional way to ring in the New Year, it’s also a fairly symbolic way to usher in the 12 months ahead.
Spitting as a form of blessings among the Maasai
Let’s bring it back home. The Maasai tribe of Kenya and Tanzania use spitting as a way of blessing. They do this even when saying hello or goodbye to friends or loved ones.
That is just to name a few. Travel and learn about different cultures. It doesn’t have to be international. Even your neighbours might have a different way of life from yours. Be keen and learn. It is very interesting.
Visit your local museums, learn new languages, attend cultural festivities and sample foods from different cultures. The food we consume is connected to our culture and therefore we get a better understanding of other people’s cultures by sampling their foods.
The beauty of learning about culture is that it helps prevent and overcome ethnic and racial divisions. You get to understand the world better and appreciate the people who are different from you. It also stimulates your mind and makes you think in diverse ways.
For those who are always up for an adventure, learning about different cultures will expose you to meet new people and have new experiences.
Culture is beautiful, culture is interesting, culture is different. Explore culture!