10 Weird and Astonishing Baby Birth Rituals
Well, here is a list that'll make you thank God for not letting you born in the following places with their creepy rituals. So the next time you curse your birth, remember the poor fellows (and their mothers) born in the end of the planet. Now, dig in the 10 most strange & astonishing baby birth rituals from around the planet:
10. Wedding Cake Head
Upon the birth of the baby, like any other parent, Irish parents throw a party to welcome the newest member in their family and they often get the baby drunk too. Well, normally in such parties the saved wedding cake is brought in and a few crumbs of the cake are sparged on the baby's forehead. But these cakes, though tinged with whisky is hardly sufficient to get the child drunk. So what the parents do, is splash the baby's head with champagne during baptism. You may also like; 10 most weird wedding rituals.
9. Infants Who Don't Touch The Floor
Bali is home to many strange customs including the 'setra ari ari' where the 'ari ari' or 'placenta' (i.e. the vascular structure in the uterus of the mother that provides oxygen and nutrients for and transferring wastes from the developing foetus) is said to have a life of its own and therefore the parents ritually bury the placenta in the cemetery. There's another such strange custom where babies are not allowed to touch the ground until the age of 3 months as before that, the ground is considered to be unholy for them.
8. Giving Birth Alone
In Nigeria, pregnant women from poor families are left to give birth on their own. Sometimes they suffer complications and miscarriages. The assistance desperately needed by these mothers may come after the delivery or may not come at all. The bright side of the story is that now-a-days, some organisations have taken up the cause and their employees and volunteers travel to remote poverty-stricken rural areas to provide assistance to pregnant mothers.
7. Fastest Crawler In The Country
In Lithuania a strange yearly festival is held where infants are used for entertainment, ironically on the very day of International Child's Protection Day i.e. June 1. The babies are urged to participate in a race to determine the fastest crawler in the country. During the race, the infants, who are pretty clueless as to what is all the excitement about among the gathered adults, are tempted and urged by flashes of shining toys to crawl the track and reach the end. Of course they look adorable and often hilariously collide against one another.
6. Giving the Baby a Chilled Bath
The extent to which mothers go to keep their newborns from rashes and stroke, in exceedingly hot countries like Guatemala, seems crazy. They actually shove the children into 'icy cold water' while the babies scream in pain. And after the torturous bath the infant immediately dozes off. However cruel and agonising it may sound but there are rumours from witness who claim to have seen Maya babies getting cured of heat rashes by following the above method.
5. Is It a Baby or Spittoon
In Mauritania - a country stretching across the African Saharan desert - there is a group of people called the Wolof people who have a strange belief that human saliva has the power to retain human words and feeling. Therefore we often find a newborn Wolof child being spitted on the face by women and in the ear by men and sometimes the saliva is - for the blessing to stick properly - rubbed all over the head. Again we have the Nigerian Igbo tribe going one step ahead when a baby is born. The parents take the child to their ancestral home accompanied by a relative who necessarily has be a good orator. This orator is the star of the show. He is allowed the privilege to chew on alligator pepper and insert the ensuing spit into the baby's mouth on hopes of making the child grow up as good an orator as its donor.
4. Numerous Chinese Birth Customs
To start with, in some parts of China, newlywed Chinese husbands are compelled to carry their wives over hot simmering coal so that in future she can give a smooth birth. Next when the wife does get pregnant, she has to follow the Chinese-list-of-pregnancy-restrictions; those are – not gossiping, no loud laughing, no getting angry, no bad thoughts, no sitting on cranky mats or else the baby might get deformed inside, avoid eating or even looking at highly contrasting colours or else the baby might be born 'dark', sleep with a sharp object like a knife under the pillows as it may come handy to fight off evil spirits and finally, absolutely no sex!
3. Stimulating The Genitals
Some cultural groups in Thailand & India have the strangest way of loving their newborn babies, that is, by stimulating their genitals. Yes, you heard that right. One minor ethnic group in China called the Manchu are known to show their affections to their infants by 'tinkling the genitals of the girls' and – you won't believe this - giving 'oral stimulation to the baby boys'. Ironically, while these are not considered sexual activities but kissing is, among the Manchuians, forbidden due to its sexual connotations. So, Manchuian parents don't miss their children on their face.
2. Placenta Dish
The habit of eating the placenta by the mother, after the baby's birth, is found in the animal kingdom but don't worry humans are not too far in this. In some parts of India, Jamaica and China, eating the placenta is recommended as a traditional medicine. It sounds primitive, right? Though unbelievable it may sound but some medical practitioners consider placenta beneficial helping the mothers with postnatal depression. However scientists have voiced doubts regarding this. It is highly unlikely that eating of placenta is going to become a fashion any time soon, because one cannot eat it raw due to the sheer overwhelming number of bacterias residing in it and cooking will most likely destroy all its beneficial nutrients.
1. Isolated Mothers
Mothers in the Kalash province of Pakistan are also known to give birth alone, even without any assistance from their families. But unlike in Nigeria, these poor mothers are kept separate because culturally woman in labour is considered unclean or polluted so they are shifted to an isolated place called Basleni. The extent of this, highly patriarchal and dogmatic culture is so that the only women allowed to assist the suffering mother are those who are menstruating, for menstruation is considered foul too.