Ridiculous Traditions

Tradition /trəˈdiSH(ə)n/

  • a long-established custom or belief that has been passed on from one generation to another. of customs or beliefs from generation to generation
  • a doctrine believed to have divine authority though not in the scriptures.
    • (in Christianity) doctrine not explicit in the Bible but held to derive from the oral teaching of Jesus and the Apostles.
    • (in Judaism) an ordinance of the oral law not in the Torah but held to have been given by God to Moses.
    • (in Islam) a saying or act ascribed to the Prophet but not recorded in the Koran.

Many people uphold and follow tradition as if it were some sort of law. Many traditions have nothing to do with religion yet people continue to follow them. Some traditions don’t have negative consequences if not followed, but others can be outright ridiculous and even life-changing. Following are some outrageous and even deadly traditions that still happen today.

Honor-Based Abuse and Violence

Female Genital Mutilation

Forced Marriage

  • In Afghanistan
    Afghan woman forced to marry her rapist
  • In Kurgyzstan
    Brides by Force. Marriage by kidnapping pushes Kyrgyz women to suicide

Child Marriage

Breast Flattening

Bride Price


  • Based on caste system in India
    Dalit is a name for people belonging to the lowest caste in India, characterized as “untouchable”. They are discriminated against on many levels and even murdered.

Killing Babies and Infants

  • In Ethiopia
    Children born out of wedlock and children with perceived and true physical abnormalities are considered ritually impure. These children are disposed of either through drowning, putting soil in their mouths and strangling or leaving infants in the forest.
  • In India
    Baby girls are being killed in the Tamil Nadu area of India, so their poverty-stricken parents can avoid paying large dowries when their daughters marry.

Face Mutilation

Foot Binding

Foot binding was the Chinese custom of breaking and tightly binding the feet of young girls in order to change the shape and size of their feet; during the time it was practiced, bound feet were considered a status symbol and a mark of beauty.

The Last Golden Lotus: The Secret of Chinese Food Binding

Force-Feeding Girls

Leblouh (Arabic: البلوح‎, romanized: lə-blūḥ) is the practice of force-feeding girls from as young as five to nineteen, in countries where obesity was traditionally regarded as desirable.[1][2][3] Especially prevalent in rural areas and having its roots in Tuareg[4] tradition, leblouh is practiced to increase chances of marriage in a society where high body volume used to be a sign of wealth. The practice is being done in several African countries, such as Mauritania, Niger, Uganda, Sudan, Tunisia (specifically Jewish people), Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

Fed to Wed: An ancient tradition of force-feeding girls in Mauritania

Dowry Death

Dowry deaths are deaths of married women who are murdered or driven to suicide by continuous harassment and torture by their husbands and in-laws over a dispute about their dowry, making the women’s homes the most dangerous place for them to be. Dowry deaths are found predominantly in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Iran.

Australia’s Dowry Deaths

Bride Burning

Bride burning is a form of domestic violence practiced in countries located on or around the Indian subcontinent. A category of dowry death, bride-burning occurs when a young woman is murdered by her husband or his family for her family’s refusal to pay additional dowry. The wife is typically doused with kerosene, gasoline, or other flammable liquid, and set alight, leading to death by fire.[1][2] Kerosene is often used as the cooking fuel for dangerous small petrol stoves, so it allows the claim that the crime was an accident. It is most common in India and has been a major problem there since at least 1993.

Bride-burning claims hundreds in India