25 Traditions Sound Strange to You But Totally Normal in Other Countries
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What would you do if you walked into a bathroom
and instead of toilet paper, you found a bowl of water? (Hmmm. And no instructions either!)
Or, what if warding off bad luck meant talking to birds at the park? Sure, these things may
seem wacky to you, but they’re pretty normal customs in other countries. And some actually
sound pretty fun! Counting down from… #25. If you ever find yourself in the Spanish
town of Buñol at the end of August, I sure hope you brought some protective gear! That
is, if you happen to catch La Tomatina, a massive, one-day, lighthearted food fight
with none other than the beloved tomato – or tomah-to. (yep, Thousands of people, thousands
of tomatoes. You do the math.) And, don’t forget to duck! #24. “Happy Birthday, now shove your face
in this cake!” is something you might hear in Mexico. Here, as you get handed your birthday
cake and are about to take that first delicious bite, someone will likely push your face right
into it! (You see that at the US Weddings a lot these days. Just a waste of good cake
to me.) #23. In Germany, if you’re 25 and single,
your friends will often lead you to your birthday party with a string of old socks as you celebrate
with drinks. I sure hope they washed those socks beforehand! #22. In the States, “pull my finger” is
a risky – smelly – game. But in Scandinavia Austria, and Bavaria, Germany, finger pulling
(or Fingerhakeln) is a competitive sport! (Really?) Competitors will often even pull
each other across the table with their middle fingers because they’re pulling so hard!
(Are we sure it’s not that the guy is being jet propelled across the table?) #21. If you’re going on vacation and want
to leave with as many good vibes as possible, sit down with your household first before
you head out the door. In Russia, they believe that doing this ensures you have a good trip
and wards off bad luck. Speaking of which… #20. If you’re taking a walk in the park
in the UK, you might spot a gentleman tip his hat to a magpie. That’s because in British
folklore, these little birds are bad omens. But if you tip your hat to it and say, “Good
morning, Mr. Magpie, and how is your lady wife today?” you’ll reverse your bad luck!
(The bad British accent is optional.) #19. In Denmark, if it’s your 25th birthday
or higher and you’re still single, your friends and family throw handfuls of cinnamon
at you. The odd tradition is based on history, that way back in the 16th century, Danish
spice merchants used to stay unmarried because they were too busy traveling around the world,
(you know, trying to spice things up.) #18. Roses are red, violets are blue, but
give someone yellow roses in Mexico, and it’s goodbye to you! That’s because in this country,
yellow roses signify death. If you’re gifting someone a bouquet for their birthday or anniversary,
you’d better stick with a good ol’ dozen red roses. #17. If you were to spit at your boss or a
family member when you greeted them, it’d be considered pretty darn rude. But in the
Maasai tribe in Kenya and northern Tanzania, spitting into their hands before a handshake
is considered appropriate and respectful. This is often the way people in the tribe
wish each other good luck and safe travels. It’s even done at weddings, so imagine spitting
on the bride as a good gesture! It’s also how they secure a deal. Khaa-ptew, put ‘er
right there! (Yeah, that’ll take some getting used to…) #16. You might gift newlyweds with some sparkling
new china, but in Germany, family and friends actually break dishes the night before a wedding!
Doing this tradition, known as Polter-abend, is believed to bring good luck to the couple,
who are expected to clean the mess up and learn how to work together! (and if not, there’ll
be more dish breaking later down the road…) #15. In Venezuela, the early bird doesn’t
necessarily get the worm. There, running late isn’t a problem the way it is in the US
and other countries. When it comes to parties or even work meetings, arriving a few minutes
late isn’t considered rude. Alright, I’ll be booking my ticket now… #14. You didn’t think I wasn’t gonna include
something strange from the US, did you? How about donning top hats and looking at a groundhog
named “Punxsutawney Phil” to tell us if spring is here or not? The Groundhog Day tradition
goes back to February 2, 1887. (Ya know, before we had advanced meteorology to really goof
up the forecast!) Well, in any case, if this furry ground-dweller sees his shadow, that
supposedly means 6 more months of winter! #13. If you wanna stand out as a single person,
you’ll love the French celebration of Saint Catherine’s Day, or the Patron Saint of
unmarried women. On this day in November, bachelorettes aged 25 or older rock green
or yellow hats to celebrate the single life! (Hey, what’s up with 25? It’s always 25
– is that the deadline or something?… well probably long, long ago when life expectancy
was 28, they didn’t want to you keeping dilly dallying or something I guess. #12. Who needs noisemakers and champagne when
you can just throw your furniture out the window to ring in the New Year? In South Africa,
the tradition of chucking chairs, tables, and whatever furniture out the window onto
the street for the New Year has been going strong since the end of apartheid. This symbolizes
the act of ridding your home of past sorrows so that you can make room for happier, more
hopeful times! (You know, if they started doing that in Times Square in New York, I
think I’d watch – from a distance.) #11. And if you thought throwing your furniture
out the window was strange, you’ll definitely be scratching your head at the South American
tradition of carrying around an empty suitcase for the New Year! By walking a block with
the empty luggage, you’re supposed to bring hope and new adventure into the upcoming year
— and hopefully a nice vacation so that you can actually put stuff in that suitcase! #10. Business meetings in the office can be
so stuffy and boring. So why not head to the sauna with your boss and coworkers? Well,
that’s how they do it in Finland, where the sauna serves as a perfectly good spot
to hold meetups and other important gatherings in the professional space. But you’ll probably
wanna remember your robe in there… #9. Even if you’re naturally a leftie, using
this hand is considered pretty rude in a lot of Middle Eastern countries. This is because
the left hand is the designated “cleaning hand” in the bathroom and, therefore, it’s
the dirty one. The right hand is supposed to be used during meals and for shaking people’s
hands. Since we’re on the topic of bathroom duties… #8. If your biggest fear is doing your business
in a restroom that’s run out of toilet paper, well…you might have some problems when visiting
India. That’s because in most parts of this country, instead of toilet paper, people use
water to cleanse their, uh, private areas. It may sound odd to Westerners, but at least
they don’t have to worry about clogging up the plumbing as much, right? Okay, there’s
still a question as to what you ultimately do to clean up, but I guess we’ll leave
that to the imagination (Or let me know down in the comments if you know the answer.) #7. In Thailand, there are tons of stray monkeys
hanging around. And once a year in Lopburi, Bangkok, people dump over 6,600 pounds (3,000
kg) of fruits and veggies out for the little guys to munch on in what’s referred to as
the Monkey Buffet Festival. (I’ll bet they go ape over it! Uh, you could see that one
coming, couldn’t ya?) #6. When you think of a wedding, you probably
imagine fun, laughter, and celebration (and lots of cake in the face!). But in China,
a traditional wedding is preceded by the bride crying a month before her big day. After a
few days, she’s joined by her mother, grandmother, and other family members. But here’s the
thing, this month-long cry sesh is to show joy for her future marriage! O-kay. #5. In America and in lots of other countries,
it’s typical to clink glasses before drinking. But in Hungary, no one clinks glasses at bars
or around the dinner table. Ever since the Austrians defeated the Hungarians during the
revolution and celebrated by clinking their glasses, the Hungarians swore off this tradition!
(So I’m thinking if they do it anyway, do they then get thrown in the Clink [jail]?
Hey, it was worth a shot…) #4. While we consider it bad luck to see the
bride before the big day, people in Tidong, Indonesia believe using the toilet 3 days
after the wedding is bad luck. Family members typically watch over the newlyweds to make
sure they don’t use the bathroom at all! (Gee, I wonder how many of them explode. So
then I guess it’s really like a race to see who “passes” first, the newlyweds
or the 3 days! Where do they come up with this?) #3. Americans are used to having copious amounts
of ice in their drinks. But in many places in Europe, having little or no ice at all
is the norm. If you’re dining in these places, you need to ask for extra ice. Otherwise,
you’ll have to enjoy your Coke at room temperature. Oh, the horror! #2. If you ever visit Fiji, you’ll likely
be greeted by a cocktail containing juice from squeezed roots served in a wooden bowl
known as Kava. And apparently it has, shall we say “psychoactive effects”, Uh-huh.
So you might wanna go easy on the Kava or just grab a lemonade instead! #1. Finally, speaking of cheesy, In Gloucester,
England on the last Monday of May, a giant wheel of Double Gloucester Cheese is pushed
down Cooper’s Hill while spectators are encouraged to chase it. Whoever catches it
and doesn’t fall flat on their face gets to take the cheese wheel home! And I’m thinking,
what if the out of control Cheese wheel takes out a sidewalk full of spectators? Then it’s
just a cheesy way to go, I guess. Well. What can I add to that? Do you know
any other customs that might seem odd to outsiders? Let me know down in the comments! If you learned
something new today, then give this video a like, share it with a friend, and here are
some more cool videos to check out from the Bright Side of life!

100 thoughts on “25 Traditions Sound Strange to You But Totally Normal in Other Countries

  1. The Indians use water for washing after the toilet because water has no germs but where as toilet paper have some kinds of germs Thank u for giving this chance

  2. It's 6 more WEEKS of winter. Months would take you well into August, which makes no sense. Also, it's a tradition that came to the US via German settlers in the 1700s who celebrated Candlemas Day, which is rooted in the Pegan holiday of Imbolc. Which is the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. Nowadays, Phil doesn't actually see a shadow, it's more like he reaches for one two scrolls placed in front of him at sunrise. It's actually a REALLY fun time! I went for my birthday a few years ago and it was the best day ever! Go ahead and try to get a hotel room in Punxsutawney close to February 2nd, lol.

  3. I’m American and think toilet paper is gross also cleaning with your hands with a bowl of water isn’t for me either lol. I just use baby wipes

  4. I'm Indian and we use water for……
    Not in most of the part of India but whole India does that and it's totally fine
    And it's really good comparative of toilet paper

  5. Actually in south Africa we don't throw televisions and couches out of our house usually that means theft is happening and it happens on new years because most people are probably seeing other family and friends for the holidays so if u see a chair being tossed out a house it's a criminal stealing

  6. 8:00
    India:mwahaha I will do water instead of paper things
    Philippines:hehehe I will steel them Ideas but with a twist we use big cups instead of buckets

  7. i am a india i know why we use water not tiessu paper realy does anything clean with paper and we use to wash hand after that

  8. Kava is essentially a mild narcotic. It, however, often leads to nausea and vomiting. It can also cause liver damage. Severe liver damage requiring a transplant has happened. I think it's better to avoid it. 💓💛💚💙💜💐

  9. So, let's say you do use the water…Is it water that is in a bucket? If so, whoever used the water before you polluted it. So are you then supposed to use dirty water to "clean" yourself? This is an honest question, because otherwise give my toilet paper!

  10. well, we Indians too have a problem while visiting a western country.We use a jetspray nowardays instead of using our left hand

  11. Hey brightside
    Did you know that the lefties or right hand people should only use right hand to eat in india because in India people use the left hand for toilet purpose. So it is considered as you know ewwu😷😖😱😨

  12. I think 25 years of age has some importance in long ago. In vedic system our lives were divided into four parts, that we called "Chaturashram". That time human lived usually 100 years on average and they divided it into four equal parts, 25 years for study, 25 years of family life, 25 years of solitary life with your partner and 25 years of monk life for spiritual uplifting.

  13. Regarding #9 at 7:20 and number #8. In non western countries people wipe stray feces off with their bare left hand, and then they lightly rinse it in water without soap, hence the traveler's diarrhea you get when visiting:} The inborn fecophobia of Europeans virtually eliminated diarrhea incidence in their communities, and is their primary evolution, followed closely by their visible blush response and visible pupil constriction, two autonomic functions which inhibit lying.

  14. Lots of comments below on using water instead of toilet paper and how water is a better choice BUT after reading dozens and dozens of comments, I can't figure out how exactly it's done. So somebody please explain if there is just a bucket of water, but no spraying device. Do you dip your left hand into the same bucket of water again and again until you are done wiping? Or do you tilt the bucket to pour water into a cupped hand? And, then, when you're done, how do you clean your left hand if you don't have soap and don't involve your right hand?

  15. Am an Indian, lived in Trinidad, West Indies for a year and I feel odd to use tissue paper. Felt so unclean to use tissue paper. Maybe other way around, they would feel weird too to use hands. But any outsiders reading the comments. P.S. we use hand wash to clean our hand.

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