Ten Crazy Courtship Rituals from around the world
If the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then for women it must be the nose—according to some very innovative lotharios. In some anecdotal accounts, European men (and a few others in different parts of the world) would wear handkerchiefs underneath their armpits before attending a dance.
Afterwards, the man would use his sweat-scented hankie to wipe the perspiration off his love interest’s face. Presumably, the girl would find the scent irresistible and fall madly in love with the man.
If you think that’s gross, during the 19th century some women in the rural parts of Austria would feed their men an apple slice they had lodged in their armpits during a dance.
Even the royal folks could not resist the allure of the other sex’s scent, as exemplified by one noble who fell in love with the owner of a sweaty chemise that he had mistakenly used as a towel.
Clearly there’s something to this olfactory business.
7. Buying a Bride
The practice of buying love has long been entrenched in the Thai province of Chiang Rai.
The process starts innocently enough: A man comes up to a girl he’s interested in and starts flirting. If she likes him back, they go on a date to get to know each other better. At this point, the whole process gets fast-forwarded.
The pair go to the woman’s house, where the man negotiates with the girl’s mother for her price and the length of time she gets to stay with him. After everything is settled, the girl can now stay with the man.
Depending on the agreement, that stay can range from a few months to a whole year. If the man likes the girl enough, he can also opt to buy her for a lifetime of companionship.
8. Men’s Beauty Peagant
In the tribe of Wodaabe, it is the men (and not the women) who dress to impress. Men of this tribe value beauty, and often spend most of their days grooming and adorning themselves, in order to appear attractive to the women.
The preening takes on epic proportions, especially during their annual courtship festival, called “Gerewol.”
In this week-long festival, the men dress to the nines and enter a dancing competition called the “Yaake.”
In this dance, the competitors form a single line and dance away, while being watched by a mostly-female audience.
The judging panel itself usually consists of three women, who choose the winners based on their dancing skills and overall good looks.
While it’s mostly fun and games for the women, the festival is no cakewalk for the men involved—the dance itself takes place in the sweltering heat, for several hours a day.
9. Courtship Whistling
While boys are usually taught that whistling at members of the opposite sex is bad manners, the Kickapoo tribe of Mexico have used it for decades to whisper sweet nothings to their lovers.
The practice itself is relatively young (lovers used to communicate with a flute up until 1915).
The whistling usually takes place inside the village, during dusk, and is a way for a couple to plan their meet-up for the evening.
To prevent any mix-ups, couples have their own unique tones that they can easily recognize. As anyone in the village can hear it, the couple must also code their whistles carefully to make sure that only they can understand the message.
While the whistling itself is usually just a short message, full-length conversations can also take place between the couple.
The practice itself isn’t in danger of dying out soon—the boy will often bring a younger brother along, so that he too can learn the art of whistling.
10. Dyngus Day
For those looking to have fun and maybe get a date after a rigorous observance of Easter, Dyngus Day is the perfect day. In this post-Lent festival, boys and girls douse those they liked with water or perfume.
Aside from that, the boys also gently whip the girls they fancy with goat willows. Roots of this Slavic festival can be traced back to pre-Christian times, where the dousing and whipping signified cleansing and renewal.
Later on, the dousing came to be associated with the baptism of the first Christian leader of Poland, Mieszko I.
Nowadays, Dyngus Day is celebrated in countries around the world with a large Polish population.
The festival is especially popular in Buffalo, New York, where Polish immigrants brought the tradition five decades ago.
It has since become the perfect excuse for people to go out and find their future mates—with some revelers coming in from afar to celebrate the festival. – Source: listverse.com