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Cultural Taboos

Essay by   •  May 13, 2015  •  Research Paper  •  700 Words (3 Pages)  •  2,096 Views

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Cultural Taboos

Normally when you think of taboo, the thought of eating the ashes of your deceased friends and family doesn't cross your mind now does it? Today I'm going to inform you about some different kinds of taboos. Now you maybe unfamiliar with the ashes taboo, but you are probably aware that in America is it is completely frowned upon to marry members of your immediate family. This is like the equivalent of many types of taboos practiced around the world.

Cultural taboos can be explained by separating them into many different types of categories, but I will categorize them in three: food taboos, taboo gestures, and taboo rituals still perform today.

First I'm going to introduce what is considered to be taboo and then speak on food taboos. The definition of a taboo is a social or religious custom prohibiting or forbidding discussion of a particular practice. Now that you know what a taboo is, I'm going to tell you a little about food taboos found across the globe. In the country of Papa New Guinea women in the midst of their menstrual cycles or for bidden to consume any red colored fruits since they are thought to be in a "sickly"state. Chinese culture firmly believes it is taboo to leave chopsticks sticking up at the bottom of your rice bowl. That exercise in particular is used when families offer a meal to their ancestors' ghost at shrines but in a restaurant it would cause the terrible curse on the one doing so. Another example, found in the article Food Taboos Around the World, 2014, would be like in Brazil it is considered taboo for the ill to eat any type of predatory fish at all, and suggested to eat omnivorous fish instead.

So now that I have informed you about what is culturally considered a taboo and over some food taboos, I will speak about taboo gestures.

Like many different hand signs in America that are considered inappropriate there are an overwhelming amount everywhere else on this earth. For starters, Greek people will never show their palms to you because it is deemed insulting. So word of advice, if you ever need to use your hand to gesture any movement just make sure your palm is facing your body. Now, you know that the "thumbs up" sign in the UK and the US is generally used a sign which means great but in the Middle East, West Africa and South America, it is deeply offensive, according to the article, 10 Taboo Gestures

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