What Are Some Interesting Cultural Customs?


Quick Answer

In demonstration of humble submission and respect, people in Iran practice "taarof" while residents of the Philippines often show "pagmamano" as a sign of respect to elders. Filipino culture also has an interesting tradition of moving, wherein villagers literally pick up a home and move the structure elsewhere, often to thwart the repercussions from a flood or landslide. This act of "bayanihan" typically occurs in rural areas where homes are crafted from lightweight bamboo and nipa palm wood.

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While it is common in Iran to show reverence to people in a higher social rank through taarof, refusal of the gesture follows. For example, a shop owner may refuse payment from a customer of higher rank, yet the understanding is that the customer persuades the shop keeper to take payment. Taarof extends to social invitations. When a person invites another to her home, the invitee interprets it as a mere formality, and therefore should not accept in an effort to avoid making the host uncomfortable.

In an attempt to defy evil spirits and to provide a symbolic bonding moment for newlyweds in Scotland, friends of the couple participate in "the blackening." After tying the couple together in large crates, bathtubs or behind pickup trucks, they bring them through the town where onlookers toss gross materials, such as curry, rotten eggs, shoe polish and soot, at the couple.

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