When you think of Asia, Japan and China probably come to mind as the main countries, but the reality is that Asia is made up of many more countries and it is necessary to know all of them in order to understand the Asian culture and how they can be so different from one place to another.
The Asian continent is made up of 48 countries: 41 properly Asian and 7 Eurasian. In any encyclopedia you can find the names of all the current countries and you can see how many countries that make up this continent are, but I am not going to talk to you about the customs and traditions of each of the countries, but I am going to talk to you only about some of them, those that I consider peculiar traditions or at least, that catch my attention and that I want to share with you.
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Asian culture: traditions and customs
Throughout the world there are many traditions and customs, because after all, they are what make us have a feeling of belonging to a community. The reality is that we Westerners can be very surprised by Asian culture, because in some things they make us feel distant from them, but in others they may even teach us values that we did not know or did not want to see. Asia is a continent that can make us see atypical things in any of its countries. But without lingering further, I'm going to tell you about some of the most popular customs and traditions of Asian culture that may interest you.
Kanamara Matsuri means something like "The Festival of the metal phallus". It is so called because legend has it that a demon with sharp teeth was hiding inside the vagina of a young woman and during the woman's wedding night the demon castrated two men so a blacksmith designed a metal phallus To break the teeth of the devil From the name you can assume that the festival has to do with fertility and is held every spring in Kawasaki (Japan). Although the dates vary, it is usually the first Sunday of April. The main theme is the veneration of the penis, a symbol that is very present in this party, and the phones are collected for research against AIDS.
The lantern festival
The Lantern Festival marks the end of the Chinese New Year festivities and they take place with the first full moon of the year. It is a special night, magical and full of lights that the Chinese make come true. At night there are thousands of lights and lanterns that flood the houses and buildings.
This festival is lived with joy and there are parades, music, drums, dances, acrobats ... and fireworks. Children carry flashlights and families gather to eat rice and call for fortune and family unity.
The water war in Thailand
This custom of Asian culture is called Songkran Festival and it is the most important holiday in Thailand. Songkran is the Buddhist New Year, traditionally people wet their Buddha figures and showed them respect in this way. Over time this tradition has been transformed and has become a water war between people, as in many parties of this type, there is usually also a lot of alcohol. It takes place on the Khao San Road in Bangkok.
Shoes off as a show of respect
Another of the customs in Asian culture consists of take the shoes out of the house it is widespread throughout Asia. This is done as a sign of respect or because the floor must remain clean. So if you are ever visiting someone from Asia and going to their home, it will be important to them that you leave your shoes outside their home as a show of respect.
China's magic number
Do you know that the Chinese believe in a magic number? Yes, it's about the number 8, which according to Chinese belief is a very good luck number that has to do with money and enrichment. Normally couples who want prosperity tend to get married on the 8th of each month, even better if it is on August 8th. As if that were not enough, you will be interested to know that Chinese astrology is made up of 8 zodiac signs. They also have 8 cardinal points, etc. Simple coincidence or is 8 really a special number?
Greetings in China
Know that in China it is not greeted as in the West, avoid kisses because you can offend someone. It is best to shake hands to give a respectful greeting. This way of greeting can clash a lot with our affectionate greetings to the people we esteem and those we have just met.
Beware of red ink in China
If you are in a business meeting and you need to take some notes or send a note, never do it with red ink because the shades of that color are used for indecent proposals and complaints. So the best thing you can do is have a pen with black or blue ink in your pocket, that way you are sure not to offend anyone with the color of the ink.
Do not use the left hand in Indonesia
In the case of Indonesia For example, you should never use your left hand to offer an object to another person as this attitude is a symbol of disrespect, in any case use your right hand. And the same goes for greetings or any contact with another person, the left hand is better not to use it, it will always be desirable to have the right free.
No tips in Japan
If you find yourself in Japan, in the land of the rising sun don't ever tip at a restaurant. It is a habit in bad taste and you can offend the person who has treated you.
How about the Asian culture? I have told you about some of them from some of their countries, do you want to tell us any more that you know?