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Old 07-09-2019, 10:54 PM   #1
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Curious Local Customs

1. The local superstition is that pictorial representations of the dead bind them to the living world. For that reason all such images are destroyed unless the subject is considered by the state or next of kin to be worthy of a kind of damnation. Therefore their cities are adorned with statuary of their most despised traitors and criminals.

2. Seeing someone else eat is reserved for close family members. Restaurants therefore enclose their tables in privacy curtains.

3. The locals don't wear clothes

4. Men and women are expected to live separately meeting only in designated areas for commerce except during the fertility festival.

5. A failure to be polite when speaking to others is a criminal offense.

6. Displays of anger and sadness are regarded as symptomatic of mental illness requiring medical intervention.

7. All body hair is depilated, with eyebrows cosmetically painted on.
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:53 AM   #2
Black Leviathan
 
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Default Re: Curious Local Customs

The local culture has social customs deeply rooted in times of plague. Touching is forbidden outside of family and when conversing personally or inside of a building it is considered rude not to cover your mouth.

The area was settled by people who didn't have strong animal husbandry skills and their isolation from other towns has kept them from adopting other social norms. Horse and Dog are on the menu and your affection for those animals is funny to them.

Five generations ago, several wars in rapid succession caused this town to stop relying on the leadership of men. Boys are now raised to raise children and keep the home clean while women of the town labor and guard. Such a town would be understandably wary of anyone who comes in with strange opinions about a woman's place.
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:55 PM   #3
RyanW
 
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Default Re: Curious Local Customs

On the anniversary of someone's death, for a number of years based on status (once for commoners, several decades for a king), the deceased's body is exhumed and given an additional funeral.

The king has a slave. Every third year, the king and the slave swap places.

The first chicken to hatch each year is given to the church. It is permitted to roam freely in the church grounds and buildings, and it is sacrilegious to harass it (even to shoo it away to stand should it decide to sit on your lap).
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:51 AM   #4
Žorkell
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Default Re: Curious Local Customs

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
On the anniversary of someone's death, for a number of years based on status (once for commoners, several decades for a king), the deceased's body is exhumed and given an additional funeral.
Something similar to this is apparently done in Madagascar. Once in a while you dig up your dead ancestors and update them on the happenings in your family and introduce family members to the deceased.

Assuming, of course, that QI is a reliable source.
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Curious Local Customs

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Originally Posted by Žorkell View Post
Something similar to this is apparently done in Madagascar. Once in a while you dig up your dead ancestors and update them on the happenings in your family and introduce family members to the deceased.

Assuming, of course, that QI is a reliable source.
QI? no clue what that's referencing.

Many cultures have family gatherings at the family gravesites. The ones with mummification or intentional skeletonization seem to also add pulling the ancestor's remains out.

Early Christians would hold services at small altars set up at martyr's niches.

Pagan-era Rome buried the dead in the catacombs, and are thought to have had family meals with dead relatives in them, so the Christians turning it to the services in the 2nd C wasn't a huge red flag.
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:52 PM   #6
Anaraxes
 
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Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
QI? no clue what that's referencing.
"Quite Interesting" is a British game show / comedy show. Host Stephen Fry (in the ones I've seen) tells a panel of comedians about some topic, and asks them questions. Often enough, the panelists are just using those as springboards for jokes, but the game show bit is to give correct answers, preferably interesting ones (to score more points) while avoiding the obvious answers to the questions (as the topic is generally chosen to be something where the "everybody knows" answers are wrong).

You can find episodes on YouTube and no doubt elsewhere. Just watch a few. It's easier to watch one to get the idea than to explain, and usually reasonably entertaining thanks to the interactions of the panelists, hosts, and the topic.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:58 PM   #7
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: Curious Local Customs

1. When part of the clan is away trading other households take care of their children. This pragmatic custom has gained a lot of ritual components, including among them induced lactation among women who are of proper age for it. This is considered a symbol of feminine solidarity within the clan, comparable to trade and warfare and other jobs (and preparation for same) to men.

2. Beards are only grown among men who have sired at least one child. A bachelor or barren man who has done some unusually great deed might be allowed to do so as well depending on the clan. And no I haven't thought of the maternal counterpart yet to answer the next obvious question.

Addendum: A common maternal counterpart is crown and pomegranate emblazoned lozenge worn in various manners. They also are traditionally allowed to be plumper than virgins and youngweds.

3. All funerals are carried out by cremation. The ashes are scattered on a clan garden and mixed with those of others as a symbol of ancestral continuity. Wherever the clan goes some kind of representative of said eternal garden is carried (if it has to go in a starship a bonzai cherry is preferred for the sake of compactness). Typically every member of the clan will leave records online to be published after his death that they might remain a member.

4. It is believed that dead members of the clan have a benevolent interest in it. Ancestors attempt to protect the living.

5. The political and economic success of a clan are directly related to it's members success in finding prospects for employment and marriage. The more important it is the more leverage for a negotiator.

6. Pineapples are placed on the windows of the Venturer's Guild when ships officially return. This is a memory of a similar custom in pre-starflight Terra.

7. Clans can be named after several different motifs. Ships are strongly favored as gaining enough of a war chest to declare oneself an independent clan is associated with possessing a ship or the money gained from one.

8. Ships are organized into lineages with "surnames" and memorabilia from the founding ship. If the ship lineage is naval rather than private, the "captain" is likely to be an absentee like a flag officer, a philanthropist, or a noble. His proper title is "post captain" and it's duties are ceremonial.

9. Every clan maintains a "general". This is a combined store, pub, eating house, hangout, etc that maintains collective facilities. When a take-out order is made it is delivered there and either picked up by the deliverer or carried by a runner to the doorstep, possibly for an extra charge in the later case.

10. Pocketknives worn openly on the belt with the scales polished or decorated are a normal part of male jewelry. The female equivalent is tiny bells on the belt or the hem of a skirt. The richer the wearer, naturally the better material. As a result, naturally the sound of bells is considered to have a mildly erotic sense to the hearer comparable to the effect of perfume on the one who smells.

As an addendum pocket knives are often made with detachable scales, sometimes double layered scales so that the "dress" one can be left at home if the wearer actually wishes to take one where it can see heavy duty.

11. Decorative databases of various forms are used as jewelry. Sometimes they have inside a virtual palace or other artistic motif. Or a literary or musical collection. Alternatively they are a way to advertise personal connections or achievements: for instance when giving a feast having a string of these draped over the hall containing records of heroic voyages, descriptions of wealth, or whatever is felt worth boasting of is common.
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Last edited by jason taylor; 07-12-2019 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 07-11-2019, 07:00 PM   #8
malloyd
 
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Default Re: Curious Local Customs

Quote:
Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
Many cultures have family gatherings at the family gravesites. The ones with mummification or intentional skeletonization seem to also add pulling the ancestor's remains out.
Given that China is usually the most populous part of the world and the fact that it's part of the Taoist tradition to exhume and scrape the bones of the deceased several times, I wouldn't be surprised if digging up your ancestors and doing something ritually with the remains was in fact often the normal human practice, and it's *not* doing it that's weird.
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Old 07-12-2019, 12:17 PM   #9
Black Leviathan
 
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Default Re: Curious Local Customs

It is regional funerary custom that a patch of flesh is over the heart is filleted from the body of the recently dead. It is cooked by the priest who performed funerary services and small strips are given to family members and in rare occasions very close family friends during the funeral service as a symbol of the dead living on in the ones that love them. Refusing the 'last meal' of the departed is a serious breach of funeral custom and something people have been cast out of their family for.
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:27 AM   #10
Michele
 
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Default Re: Curious Local Customs

Hoping you don't mind... but reversing your ideas may also bring about curious customs...

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
1. The local superstition is that pictorial representations of the dead bind them to the living world. For that reason all such images are destroyed unless the subject is considered by the state or next of kin to be worthy of a kind of damnation. Therefore their cities are adorned with statuary of their most despised traitors and criminals.
An accurate enough statue makes you immortal. This is not normally allowed, because the right thing to do is to pass away, at least upon having reached old age, making room for your descendants. So only exceptional leaders or artists are given a statue. They generally disappear, so the idea is that they are still alive, but gone elsewhere. If they are seen dying, then the likeness of the statue wasn't accurate enough.


Quote:
2. Seeing someone else eat is reserved for close family members. Restaurants therefore enclose their tables in privacy curtains.
Conversely, other bodily functions do not require privacy.

Quote:
3. The locals don't wear clothes
You always keep at least some small piece of garment on, even when you bathe, have sex, or get treated by a physician.

Quote:
4. Men and women are expected to live separately meeting only in designated areas for commerce except during the fertility festival.
Any one-sex gathering of more than three persons is considered really inappropriate.

Quote:
5. A failure to be polite when speaking to others is a criminal offense.
Politeness is seen as a sign of weakness, cowardice and inadequacy.


Quote:
6. Displays of anger and sadness are regarded as symptomatic of mental illness requiring medical intervention.
Lack of visible emotion when this would seem socially appropriate is regarded as symptomatic of mental illness requiring medical intervention.

Quote:
7. All body hair is depilated, with eyebrows cosmetically painted on.
No shaving or cutting, ever.
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