When we get older, it seems like anything that we didn’t grow up with is weird, not just different. It might make us uncomfortable when we first learn about new things, and some people even find that trying foods that they didn’t grow up with is a big deal.
However, it’s important to make sure that we expose ourselves to different cultures early on in life, so that we can grow up into more tolerant and well-adjusted individuals. Here are a few different ceremonies from other cultures that you may never have heard of before.
Fiesta de las Natitas
In Bolivia, many people believe that death is not the end, but rather just the next phase of life. People in Bolivia keep the skulls of their loved ones in their home and treat them like a beloved part of the family — they are believed to provide security and protection to the residents of the home. Many Bolivians believe that their dreams will reveal messages from their loved ones if they keep the skulls close. Every November 8th, Bolivians gather in local cemeteries and celebrate the Fiesta de las Ñatitas, where they bring tributes to the skulls and celebrate the memories of their loved ones.
Satere-Mawe Tribe Bullet Ant Ritual
This is probably one of the most brutal coming of age rituals found on planet Earth. Young men of the Satere-Mawe tribe, located around the Amazon River, are not considered part of the adult community until they have put their hands into gloves filled with bullet ants. Bullet ants get their names because their stings are so painful it feels like being shot. The young men are then instructed to dance to take their mind off the pain while their hands remain enmeshed in ants for over 10 minutes. This happens multiple times before the young man is considered to be fully initiated.
Yanomami Burial Ritual
Another Southern American tribe that practices an unusual ritual is the Yanomami tribe of Venezuela and Brazil. When a loved one dies, their body is cremated, and then the ashes are mixed into a special type of soup, which is then ingested by members of their immediate family. In this way, the Yanomami believe that the spirit of the dead will live on in the bodies of the living. Any bodies not cremated and ingested are believed to haunt their friends and family until the mistake is rectified.