You do not realize how conditioned and limited you are to your cultures till you discover traditions which are peculiar to other cultures. We tend to believe that whatever we practise within our societies is what is accurate and appropriate. Little do we know that there are people in the other corner of the world who adhere to a completely different set of social conventions and traditions? Here are a few of such childbirth traditions practised across the globe which may seem odd and unnatural.
The mother who gives and receives
The commonly accepted notion around the world is give the expecting mother presents which will later come in handy when the baby arrives. Once the baby is born we take gifts for the new born. Brazil is a country where this tradition is practised differently. They reverse the conventional tradition where the expecting mother would giveaway gifts to those who come to visit her. Meanwhile in Japan, mothers follow a tradition called “Ansei” where they take a long recess from work and spend a good month or two with the new born in bed to establish and strengthen the bond with her child. During this period the rest of the family is obligated to tend to the mother who just had a child.
What seems normal to us might appear unnatural to someone who is part of a different culture. This is why you may wonder why exactly the Chinese use hair from their new born child’s first haircut to make Taimaobi. The idea of using hair to create a souvenir may not sound very appealing to most of us but the Chinese practise this tradition with no second thoughts. While the Chinese use their children’s hair to produce souvenirs, the Irish follow a stranger custom. They save a small amount of wedding cake from their wedding to christen their new born baby. The idea is to keep the tiny piece of cake on the infant’s forehead to christen them.
Do they have a meaning?
While some of these ideas may seem ridiculous and unusual there are particular traditions which could make sense at a certain level. Making a beautiful Taimaobi SG out of a baby’s hair could be a mother’s way of remembering what it was like to have child of her own. In some areas of Guatemala infants are being immersed in ice water by their mothers as a custom. It seems normal given the hot and unbearable weather in such areas. In most countries of the world it is customary to hold a baby shower for an expecting mother but Turks would disagree. Turkey is a country where holding a baby shower before the childbirth is considered unacceptable. They would only have a celebration after the arrival of the baby.
As absurd as it may sound most of these traditions are presently followed by different cultures. It is amazing how different communities have practises which are distinct from others and how some cultures reverse the ideas of other cultures for reasons of their own. Some of these could be explained logically but some cultures have unusual traditions which may not make sense even to them.