Its a beautiful thing when one culture adopts another’s tradition. Holi, originally known as Holika, is an Indian festival which celebrates the triumph of good over evil. It is celebrated by throwing brightly colored powder. In Utah, thousands of miles from India Holi is celebrated. It’s estimated over 40,000 people join in. Though i’d happily throw powder at people for fun, its nice to have a tradition backing me up.
I still remember as a kid impatiently waiting for that first sign that i’d be able to use a razor on my chin and be a man like my dad. In the Amazon rain forests of Brazil, the Satere-Mawe tribe determine ones attainment of manhood quite differently. A glove is filled with Paraponera or Bullet ants. They are so named due to the pain of its bite being compared to that of getting shot. This glove is then worn for 11 hours by boys who are to become men.
Though some societies attribute skinny with beauty, there are those cultures which find the opposite to their liking. In the country Nigeria, the Efiki people have what they term the Fattening Room. Here a woman, as the name suggest, is assisted in gaining weight before marriage.
On the other end of the spectrum is Japan who issue fines if your waist line exceeds a certain amount of inches as can be seen in this New York Times article.
With the world becoming more and more a global village, we are becoming aware of the similarities and differences between the traditions of those within our communities and those without. Thanks in part to the internet, people can now see the traditions of others through blog, video and other forms of media. After spending years in the United States, a melting pot of traditions, I decided to explore the world of traditions within and beyond its borders. I hope to open this rich world and take you with me on this journey with videos, pictures and words as well as create a twitter feed for people to share their traditions and experiences. To begin, here’s a video of Matt who shows no matter where you go, dance is a universal language.