Top 100 Cultural Facts
In India, commuters can often be spotted on top of carriages, sitting cross-legged and serene only feet from electric wires.
This practice is a serious issue in India where people have been killed or injured in numerous accidents. Many of them are run over while trespassing on the tracks, fell from the carriage or are electrocuted by power cables when they sat on the roof.
Dubai Police’s “Crime Prediction Analysis” is testing a new program, which aims to decrease the number of crimes across the city and help police predict the location where the next crime will happen. The system allows police to anticipate areas where crimes can happen, identify crime hotspots and increase police presence in those areas.
Some of New York City’s elite kindergarten require 4-year-olds to take admissions test. They are administered on an iPad and designed to assess math and literacy skills. They focus on a number of different skills, such as letter, number, and shape recognition, knowing letter sounds and rhymes, as well as arithmetic such as adding, subtracting, and counting.
Chancellor Angela Merkel calls for a partial burqa ban in some areas of public life such as courts, schools and universities, as well as in road traffic and during police checks. A total ban, as introduced in France in 2011 where no woman, French or foreign, is allowed to leave their home with their face hidden behind a veil, is seen as incompatible with Germany’s constitution.
In many countries, it is regarded as tradition for wives to take a man’s name after marriage. But a growing number of women decide to keep their maiden name. However, there is still a social pressure on many women to change their maiden name to that of their husband’s – without having a choice.
Texas now requires health care facilities that perform abortions to bury or incinerate the fetuses after an abortion has taken place. Previously, health care facilities could dispose of fetuses in sanitary landfills, as is the common practice for disposal of medical waste across the U.S.
The Southern Poverty Law Center estimates that there are a little more than 930 hate groups in the United States country right now. Most of these are white supremacist groups or white nationalist groups who believe that whites are doomed to extinction by a rising tide of non-whites.
A marriage was arranged over 25 years ago and I am one of the children born into that marriage. I am a Nigerian and my mother was married off to my father at a very tender age. She was born in 1972 and was married off in 1989 at the age of 17.Read More
Most people typing with the American qwerty keyboard use Hanyu Pinyin. For example, if you want to write “nihao” (你好), the Chinese text program on your phone gives you possible characters for “ni” and then possible characters for “hao”.Read More
I wish I had asked my wife her views on sex before marriage. As it turned out she hated the idea of sex for some reasons. It ruined a beautiful thing for me and now I just dragging through the marriage. Read More
Cash-for-crash scams, in which people stage fake incidents to extort money from scared car drivers, have been fairly common in some Chinese cities in recent years. Usually, a scammer jumps on top of a stopped car or lies down in front of it, then starts crying in pain and demands money from the car driver to go to the hospital.Read More
Israeli rabbis have approved the practice of polygamy in an attempt to boost the Jewish population to counter what they believe is a demographic threat posed by Arab populations living in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. An organization, called “The Complete Jewish Home”, even holds regular parlor meetings for couples looking for an extra wife to join the family.Read More
Thousands of women around the world, mainly women, buy and sell realistic baby dolls known as ‘reborns’ that they treat like real children. These collectors feed them, change them, dress them, talk to them, and comfort them. Read More
When a driver in China accidentally hits a pedestrian, they will often purposefully run over the victim a few more times to ensure they are dead. Chinese law makes it cheaper to actually kill a person with a car than to injure them.Read More
Japanese work culture is infused with an idea that exhaustion is more virtuous than excellence, which often forces employees to put in long hours of overtime as a demonstration of corporate loyalty. Japan even has a specific word for the legally recognised “death by overwork” syndrome : karōshi.Read More
Around 50 men, women and children live in the cemetery in Shahriar, some 12 miles west of Tehran, in Iran. Pre-prepared graves used as shelter by rough sleepers – sometimes by one person but often by families of up to four, who squeeze into the cramped holes for shelter at night.Read More
The residents of Chaoyang district in China have been credited by the police as the source leading to the arrests of several celebrities involved in drug-related crimes. Wearing a red armband with “public security volunteer” written on it, elderly volunteers patrol their neighbourhood in Beijing’s eastern Chaoyang district and tip off police to suspicious activities.Read More
When Maya Torralba was 14, she was roofied and raped by an acquaintance. He was never arrested and she never received counseling. One in three American Indian women have been raped or have experienced an attempted rape. That’s more than twice the national average. But no place is more angerous than Alaska’s isolated villages, where there are no roads in or out, and where people are further cut off by undependable telephone, electrical and Internet service.
Perfectly healthy Chinese young men and women are willing to break a leg for beauty in order to rise up the ladder in height-conscious China. Many recruitment ads mention height, weight and other physical requirements. There are also eight requirements to take a driving test or to get into some law schools.
In Japan and in South Korea, you can hire fake wedding guests to fill seats. The main reason people hire them is because they are self-conscious about other guests gossiping about their lack of personal relationships. Hired guests are expected to memorize personal information of their client, prior to the wedding.
A substantial percentage of accidental shootings are committed by toddlers — children as young as 1 year old — who get their hands on a gun and accidentally shoot themselves or someone else. In the US in 2015, more people were shot and killed by toddlers than by terrorists.
Race and racial inequality have powerfully shaped American history from its beginnings. From the start, American society was equally founded on brutal forms of domination, inequality and oppression which involved the absolute denial of freedom for slaves. In the U.S. a person is considered “Black” if they have any African black ancestry. This form of binary racial classification reflects the so-called “one-drop rule” that became the standard system of racial classification in the U.S. after the Civil War.Read More
I first became aware of my passing as a young child confronted with standardized testing. My second grade teacher had walked us through where to write our names in capital letters and what bubbles to fill in for our sex, our birth date and ethnicity. But in the days before “biracial” or “multiracial” or “choose two or more of the following,” I was confronted with rigid boxes of “white” or “black”.
First off, let me tell you, all arranged marriage situation are not like what you are thinking. I met one guy at home for the first time. We talked for around one hour. We did not ask each other any ‘questions’ per se. Instead we were getting to know each other.
After Heather Watson delivered, she brought home a baby boy and her placenta, which her husband plans to cook with black pudding, sausages, beans and toast. What was once an extremely fringe movement in the U.S. has been given a boost by celebrity endorsements from January Jones to the Kardashians. Articles describing personal experiences have popped up everywhere from XOJane to the New York Times.
When people don’t want to clean their outhouse and feed the pigs, they can kill two birds with one stone by building a pig toilet. It’s a thatched hut with a toilet seat and down below, underneath the seat, lives a pig who dances around enthusiastically waiting to eat turds.
In some parts of Nepal, girls and women are made to live in cattle sheds while they’re menstruating. This practice stems from the belief that when she has her periods, a woman can bring destruction and death to her family. If she touches a crop, it wilts; if she fetches water, the well dries up; if she picks fruit, it doesn’t ripen.Read More
I potentially have several personalities, each of them dependent on the language I’m either speaking or I’m thinking in. So, going with my native Slavic languages, I’m the proud carrier of the tradition of dark humor (not too dark but just enough to scare people with ethnic jokes).
A few years ago, I could be considered a hikikomori. I did not leave the house more than a handful of times per year, and that was only when it was absolutely neccessary. I didn’t become a recluse willingly, but because I was bullied both inside and outside of school, and had nowhere to turn to but home. It ended up lasting for years.
My experience was growing up in the 50s, 60s, and 70s on a small, poor reservation in the upper Midwest. My family was poor, everyone we knew on the reservation and in the greater community was poor. The location, in a rural part of a rural state, far from any big cities, doesn’t lend itself to a steady supply of jobs, much less ones that will afford any sort of financial security or benefits.
Some TV networks and producers love to use laugh tracks because they make the audience at home feel like they’re part of a bigger crowd sitting in a movie theater or at a comedy club. Hearing others laugh — even if it’s prerecorded — can encourage us to laugh and enjoy ourselves more.
In North Karnataka, India, there is an unique tradition of burying alive disabled children up to neck under a superstitious belief that it can cure their ailment. Many parents believe that disability in children occurs due to the negative effects of solar eclipse and can only be cured by exposing them to sun during solar eclipse.
In Switzerland, there are about 300,000 shelters in Swiss dwellings, institutions and hospitals, as well as 5,100 public shelters, providing protection for a total of 8.6 million individuals – a coverage of 114 per cent. There is a simple reason : it is a legal requirement.
The practice of selling fake invoices and receipts is widespread in China. Buyers use them to evade taxes and defraud employers. Many chinese use fake receipts even if making and using them is illegal. But demand is so strong that a large proportion of sales take place out in public with street salesmen calling out “Receipts! Receipts!” to passers-by.
Today, gaming is often the most successful and viable source of employment and governmental revenues available to tribes. The proceeds from gaming are used for subsistence, cultural preservation, and to replenish impoverished economies.
IKEA designed a catalog for the ultra-Orthodox community in Israel that deliberately omits women or girls from the images inside. It features items that are more likely to be used by ultra-Orthodox Jews who tend to have large families and need low-cost furniture.Read More
There is a Japanese word for what is considered to be “green” in European culture – midori, but it is a relatively recent usage. Even though most Japanese consider them to be green, the color “blue” is still used to describe certain vegetables, apples, vegetation and the color on a traffic light that signals the cars to “go”.Read More
The indian Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) banned the movie ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’. The reason: the movie is lady-orientated and contains contentious sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography (meaning phone sex), and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of society (implying it could hurt Muslim religious sentiments).Read More
In Argentina, there’s a growing trend called the falsaboda: a fake wedding where the bride, groom, and officiant are actors and the guests are there to party rather than celebrate a new marriage.Read More
People who dislike Trump politically have found a new way of venting their fury and in the process perhaps hitting him in his wallet: They can bash Trump hotels, restaurants, and resorts with bad online reviews. Many are simply leaving the one-star rating without comments, but others are going a step further.Read More
Hundreds of women‚ including the vast majority being foreign women‚ are locked up in the UAE every year for having sex outside of marriage – including pregnant women and rape victims. In the UAE, all sex outside marriage is illegal, although in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, a blind eye is usually turned to unmarried western couples who co-habit. Read More
There is a café where all staffers are people with Down syndrome.GiGi’s Playhouse Hoffman Estates is a training centre that provides support to individuals with Down syndrome. They begin by studying a variety of subjects including maths, literacy and public speaking. Following completion of the program, students begin an 18-week internship at the café.Read More
In Dubai, unmarried women are guilty of violating the law if and when they become pregnant. Breaking that law can result in a jail term of at least one year. Through the years, there have been many documented cases of unmarried mothers in Dubai ending up in jail with their babies after delivery.Read More
It is not common to see children with Down’s syndrome in Sierra Leone. The condition is rarely diagnosed in Sierra Leone and widely perceived to be the result of demonic powers.
These children are commonly denounced as “devil children” who bring bad luck on their families and should be made to disappear with a ritual of black magic. Read More
A startup has created the world’s first chicken strips grown from self-reproducing cells. Some who sampled the strip—breaded, deep-fried and spongier than a whole chicken breast—said it nearly nailed the flavor of the traditional variety. Read More
The restrictions of Saudi life are so irksome that covertly, silently, many women are finding ways out. On family trips abroad, some jump ship. Some, having been sent to Western universities, postpone their return indefinitely. Others avail themselves of clandestine online services offering marriages of convenience to men willing to whisk them abroad.Read More
Japan has long been looking at how to provide care for the elderly without accepting immigrants or refugees. Robear is a nursing-care robot touted as strong enough to lift up elderly Japanese and bring them to the bathroom, but also gentle enough to provide them support as they sit down in wheelchairs.Read More
The Phillipine Mermaid Swimming Academy in Manila are offering lessons in how to swim like the mythical creature by donning a tail and learning under water breathing techniques. Mermaid tricks such as dolphin kicks, hand stands and blowing a kiss under water are also taught in the classes, as well as how to possess the grace and elegance of a mermaid. Read More
In most countries, sleeping on the job isn’t just frowned upon, it may get you fired. But in Japan, a nation where people often sleep less than six hours a night, napping in the office is common and culturally accepted. Sleeping in social situations can even enhance your reputation. Read More
In an effort to control the exponential increase of vehicles on the road, which more than doubled over a ten year period, according to government statistics, big Chinese cities established license plate lotteries. In Beijing, the license-plate lottery, which takes place six times a year, is famous for its low odds.Read More
Contestants who spent a year fending off hunger, infighting and fatigue in the wilderness as part of a reality show left to discover it had been off air for seven months due to terrible viewing figures. The show “Eden” was billed as a ground-breaking social experiment in which a group of volunteers would attempt to create a new utopia.Read More
Lonely Indian men who are desperate to find girlfriends are in the habit of calling random numbers till they hear a female voice at the other end. They call up the random numbers and shower the female on the other side with nasty things like “I am talking to you, madam, but my body is shaking” or “I love you”. And the surprising fact is, an unknown number of such calls are successful. Read More
Fearful of having a baby in a grim Venezuelan hospital, Venezuelan women in labor stream into Colombia to have their babies. Most of them show up at emergency rooms at the last minute to ensure they receive free urgent care, as the law requires.Read More
Six years after an earthquake and tsunami sparked the Fukushima meltdown, several cases of “nuclear bullying” have prompted discrimination similar to that suffered by survivors of the World War Two atom bombs. The country has long grappled with bullying, but discrimination against Fukushima evacuees is a serious problem, with a government panel last month urging greater efforts to safeguard such children.Read More
An Ohio town is trying to fight the heroin epidemic by charging survivors of drug overdose with “inducing panic.” Emergency responders who revive drug users using an overdose antidote can charge the survivors, even if they are struggling with addiction or have attempted suicide. The misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.Read More
The Saudi government has recently announced that it will begin granting licences for women only gyms this month. Previously, women’s gyms unofficially operated under salon and spa licenses. The gyms will solely be used to motivate women to get fit, amid rising obesity among in the Gulf kingdom. They will not be allowed to organise competitive sports programmes, such as tennis, football and boxing.Read More
Some swimming pools in Munich have issued comic book-style leaflets with drawings instructing migrants about proper pool etiquette. The leaflets are available in multiple languages, including Arabic, French, Pashto and Somali, and include safety and behaviour tips in a comic book style.Read More
In some traditional communities of Tanzania and other countries in Africa, persons with albinism, albinos’ body parts are believed to bring wealth and good luck. As a result, attackers chop off their limbs, hair, teeth, genitals and pluck out organs, and sell them to witchdoctors. Read More
A slide was installed in a shopping mall in Chongqing on February 15 allowing thrill-seekers to travel from the third floor of a shopping mall to the ground floor in just 12 seconds – much faster than the lift. This isn’t the first example of a slide in a shopping mall in China.Read More
Anyone in need of company can sign up to an online service to rent an “ossan” — that is a man aged between 45 and 55 — for 1,000 yen ($10) an hour. The rent men lend an ear to clients across Japan who would never ever open up to a therapist or worse still, their families. Read More
Brazilian doctors are testing the skin of a popular fish as a bandage for second- and third-degree burns. Tilapia skin contains ‘optimum levels of collagen type one’ and high degrees of humidity, so it takes a long time to dry out. These are important characteristics known for healing burns and for providing patients with essential proteins.Read More
Sanitary wear is generally unavailable in impoverished countries and, when it is, it is costly and, therefore, out of the reach of the majority living in poor backgrounds. Usually, school girls who can’t afford sanitary wear avoid attending classes for fear of spoiling their uniforms and getting booed by the boys. So they improvise with whatever they have -rags, old towels paper and even cow dung as sanitary wear. Read More
Dubai authorities are introducing new rules to ensure that non-standard luggage doesn’t clog up their baggage channels. As per the new rules, no round bags will be permitted and nor will bags without a flat surface. Irregular shaped bags will be immediately rejected as well as over-sized bags.Read More
Faced with the risk of drones being used to snoop, or carry out attacks on French soil, the air force is training golden eagles to take out unmanned aircraft in mid-flight. The birds have been groomed from a very young age. They were fed on drone carcasses and bit by bit began to see the drone as a game and a source of food. Now it’s automatic for them.Read More
A Japanese photographer captures couples shrink-wrapped together for art. His project aims to express what we feel when we talk about love. The artist uses lube and coolant gel to slide the couples inside bags usually used to store items like blankets and ensure there’s no friction with the plastic. A household vacuum cleaner then sucks out the oxygen.Read More
Anal examinations are commonly used against homosexual men in, among other places, Egypt, Tunisia, Uganda and Turkmenistan. To perform an examination, the examiner uses a gloved and lubricated finger and sometimes inserts tubes of varying sizes. Read More
If someone gets caught stealing on the Gili Islands, Indonesia, he or she has to parade around the island with a cardboard sign around the neck, which reads: “I am thieve. Don’t do what I did …!!!”. Read More
A widespread practice in the US known as “pay to stay” charges jail inmates a daily fee while they are incarcerated. These fees get charged at every step of the system, from the courtroom, to jail, to probation. Read More
Japan’s long-distance bus operators have improved the comfort level for passengers to the extent that they now offer individual compartments in buses. Read More
Students aged between 60 and 90 years of age study at the Ajibainchi Shala, a grandmothers’ school in India, where they receive elementary education including fundamental mathematics, alphabets and their correct pronunciations as well as nursery rhymes. Read More
Hunters have been called in to kill radioactive wild boars that have taken over towns evacuated during the Fukushima nuclear disaster before their residents return. Six years after Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, four evacuated towns have been declared safe. Read More
Vietnam is considering changing a law that restricts most families to two children. Although Vietnam’s limitation was never as strict as China’s, there have been reports of forced sterilisations of women after the birth of their third child and econmic restrictions to punish families for breaking the law.Read More
Since Tehran traffic authorities introduced alternate trafic restrictions, a new kind of traffic violation has been born — license-plate human camouflage. Private vehicles are allowed to run on the streets on alternate days depending on whether their licence plates end in even or odd numbers.Read More
Okunoshima, a small japanese island is occupied by hundreds of wild rabbits that roam the paths and approach tourists for food. Visitors are mobbed the moment they reach into a bag or rustle anything resembling paper. They are often more than willing to get on the ground to allow the rabbits to crawl over them.Read More
Every year, Shiite muslims observe Ashura by punishing themselves with acts of self-flagellation to mourn the death of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Imam Hussein. Thousands of men and women, including children, perform this brutal practice in Lebanon, Bangladesh, Iraq, Pakistan, Myanmar and even Athens, Greece.Read More
In Mexico, drinkers can compete to see who can handle the highest voltage. The game is played competitively solo, although multiple people can play together by forming a human chain; touching hands, noses or any other piece of bare skin which will allow electricity to flow.Read More
In states where marijuana has been legalized, newspapers hire critics to review weed. Marijuana reviewers take notes as they try weed. The reviews begins with a physical description of the product as well as the smell and taste. It also describes the sound of the bud firing up and how the product made them feel.Read More
Some South Korean companies offer “death experiences” where you lay in a coffin, write out your will, and imagine what it’s like to die. The fake funeral experience is designed to curb high suicide rates. Before they climb into their coffins, they often watch videos of people facing adversity, such as a person born without limbs who has learned to swim or a cancer patient saying farewell to his family.Read More
A booming cottage industry has emerged as a byproduct of the migrant crisis in Turkey, the manufacturing of lifejackets that don’t work. Rather than buoyancy aids, some life jackets are stuffed with foam or sponge, materials that become heavy when soaked, and caused their wearers to sink. Read More
In Indonesia, some tire repairmen have for years being paying criminal gangs to throw nails onto the roads, to stimulate business. Nearly every day, they fill matchboxes and plastic bags with nails and metal scraps and deliberately drop them on busy streets during the early hours. Drivers then have to bring their cars in to the nearest roadside tire repairer where they are charged double for emergency roadside repair.
Already infamous for the widespread availability of fake stores like IKEA or Apple, counterfeiting in China has now been extended to fake banks. Branches of China Construction Bank or even Goldman Sachs complete with card readers, passbooks and ATMs had been set up before being shut down by authorities.Read More
Many Brazilian tribes require mothers to bury alive babies born with a physical defect, on beliefs that they have no souls. They are buried alive or are suffocated with leaves, poisoned or simply abandoned in the jungle. The motives of infanticide vary from tribe to tribe, as do the methods used to kill the babiesRead More
In China, hundreds of illegitimate schools voluntarily choose deceptive names that are similar to real, well-known universities. They attract students who scored poorly on the difficulct college entrance exam, despite having no licensing that allows them to even accept students, let alone reward degrees.Read More
Faced with one of the lowest income tax filing rates in the developed world, Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, decided to hire transgender people to collect taxes. They are sent to the businesses or houses of debtors to embarrass tax debtors into paying up. Transgender people carry a social stigma and many turn to prostitution as a last resort. So, their presence cause great embarassment among debtors.
Eye scraping is an ancient craft in China, where there is an old saying that cleaning the eyes allows you to see the beauty of life. The practice is today dying out but you can still find barber offering these services. Until now, no injuries have been reported.Read More
Some Chinese companies pay high prices for foreigners to join them as fake employees or business partners. Those who land these jobs tend to be unemployed actors or models, part-time English teachers or other expats looking to earn a few extra bucks. No experience is necessary.
A popular hobby among young Saudi drivers is “sidewalk skiing,” which entails driving along a road on two wheels of the car only. To make things more difficult, every passenger in the car may ride on top, the driver high-five a spectactor on the curb or pass over someone lying on the road.
In Jakarta (Indonesia), a pak ogah or an unofficial regulator helps cars having a turn/u-turn in a busy intersection. They are tipped by drivers despite sometimes hindering more than helping.Read More
In La Paz (Bolivia), where traffic signs are hardly respected, the city has hired young men and women who dress-up as Zebras and try to force cars and buses to respect traffic lights. Zebras jump in front of cars and buses as soon as the lights turn red, forcing them to stop. They also make sure pedestrians wait until the light is red for the cars before stepping from the pavement.Read More
The Dalit people or “untouchables” are India’s lowest caste. They are shunned by society and suffer from exclusion, discrimination and exploitation, even as children. Although a law enacted in 1989 protect Dalits against discrimination, many Dalit children are still treated as ‘untouchable’ by teachers and other students.Read More
In Jakarta, you can hire one or two persons to ride in your car with you so you can have access to certain “3-in-1” zones which require three passengers to be in the car at all times. These people, named “joki,” wait by the side of the road like hitchhikers and, for less than a dollar, help commuters circumvent carpooling rules, making the ride into central Jakarta slightly less slow.Read More
The Mumbai train system isn’t equipped to check everyone’s ticket. Instead, ticket agents conduct random ticket checks. This has resulted is in an informal “ticketless travel insurance” economy. Rather than buying a ticket from the official ticket counter, you instead buy protection from an “informal insurance provider”.
In rural Mauritania, girls as young as five are encouraged to gain as much weight as possibly from childhood in order to make them marriageable. Once they reach the age of 12 or 14, girls are sent evey year to ‘fat camps’ in the desert where they are fed 15,000 calories a day. Read More
Tibetan communities still practice ritual dissection, a funerary tradition wherein a human corpse is incised in certain location and placed on a mountaintop, exposing it to vultures. The bodies, wrapped in white cloth, are bought to the burial site, where the monks have enticed vultures and other airborne scavengers. The bodies are left alone for three days (per Tibetan custom).Read More
Bereavement, known as sorry business, is a very important part of Aboriginal culture. The grieving relatives may live in a specially designated area, the sorry camp, for a period of time. Soon after the death, all residents from the diseased’s former house as well as close relatives set up a camp outside the settlement. Residents exclude themselves from normal life, including sexual relations, signified through separation of men from women. Read More
Each year, a strange ritual takes place in the temples of Karnataka, in India. The devotees who belong in the lower caste roll over food leftovers coming from the Brahmins or the people who belong in the upper caste.Read More
In India, toddlers are annually tossed from the roof of a temple and caught below by locals brandishing a blanket. This ages-old annual ritual is meant to bring participating infants good luck, health and prosperity.Read More
Once a year, thousands of indian people try to stone each other to death in the name of fun and tradition. The annual Gotmar festival involves teams from the villages of Saargaon and Pandhurhna competing to capture a tree placed in the midst of a river. Crowds pelt the participants with rocks and pebbles as they attempt to reach the target.Read More
In China and in India, you can have your ears cleaned in tea houses and parks by professionnals. Ear cleaners use up to eight different tools, including wires, copper tongs, wooden scoops and goose down. They also wear headlights to help them see better.Read More