5 Strange Courting Rituals from Around the World

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#3 After reaching puberty, young men and women in traditional Hindu Balinese society must undergo a ritual tooth filing. In an elaborate ceremony overseen by a Brahman priest, their upper canines are filed down to the level of their incisors, a painful ritual that is believed to rid them of evil tendencies such as greed, lust, anger, jealousy, and intoxication. With those out of the way, the young people are considered ready to marry.

#4 “Bundling” was once a common courting practice in northwestern Europe and Colonial America. With parental oversight, an adolescent boy and girl would stay the night together in the same bed, but tightly wrapped in separate blankets, sometimes with a “bundling board” placed between them. This setup permitted intimacy, but definitely not intercourse .

#5 The Dai people of China practice an annual courtship ritual called “visiting girls.” It starts out with young women sitting together around a bonfire and turning their spinning wheels. A group of men draped in red blankets and playing musical instruments approaches them, and each man chooses a woman to serenade. If the woman of his choice likes him back, she’ll take out a small stool from under her skirt and invite him to sit on it. Then the man will wrap her in his red blanket, and they’ll do what lovers do everywhere: whisper sweet nothings in each other’s ears.

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