The time when a young girl gets her first period is a cause for celebration in many parts of the world. The meaning and reason behind this are simple - the first time a young girl has her period is "officially" the day when she matures into a woman. Now, those days are far-gone, but centuries ago, becoming a woman also meant that it was time for her family to seek a husband for their daughter. These days, all these traditions and stories are merely a formality.
In this far-Eastern country, the tradition goes like this: the mother soaks the bloodstained underwear in water, and uses the SAME water afterward to smear her daughter's face. I am not especially fond of this tradition, but it is what it is.
South African Tradition
Africa is a large place, with traditions and rituals that we Westerns simply can't understand. In this region, the tradition is for the girl to stay at home for three days and nights, and while this period lasts - she must not be seen with men and children.
What Happens in Ghana - Stays in Ghana?
Here we have another African country - Ghana. I've never been there, but have heard all sorts of crazy stories. Anyway, the tradition here is for the girl to swallow a whole, hardboiled egg. If she fails this or takes a bite, that's a very bad omen for her future children.
Macedonia is a small land-locked country in the South-East of Europe, with a majority Slavic population. The tradition here is similar to Russia's - the girl must wash her own underwear after getting her period in order to have more luck.
Turkey is also known as the SLAPPING country. Nah, just kidding about this one - but it is how their tradition works. In this Asian country, the girl gets slapped until they become red so that she has a sense of shame later in life.
The Symbolic Cake of Iceland
Iceland is a pretty cool sense - in both meanings of the word. It is Europe's Northernmost country, and quite cold and windy. The tradition here is for the mother to bake a cake that is all white and red - symbolling to her daughter's first period.
Japan is not Only Famous for Its Anime
Yeah, I know people only think of Anime when they read about Japan. Ok, maybe not only anime but you get the point. Their first tradition? The mother makes a dish known as "Sekihan." But she won't say why she made it - the father and other family members need to realize this on their own.
Israel is located in the Middle East and is home to a booming digital economy. This doesn't stop past traditions from happening - the first-period ritual here is for the girl to lick a spoon of honey so that her future periods are "easier."
Similar to Ghana, where a girl needs to eat a raw egg. The only difference? In Malaysia, the girl needs to eat a RAW egg with a rare local oil added to it, so that she can keep herself healthy and active in the future.
The Middle East
As I've already written about Israel, this part is for the rest of the Middle East. There, the girl is isolated in a room and has to eat food with no spices except for salt. This, to me, appears not be a punishment - as it is the exact same way how I have my BBQ!
Brazil is the largest country in Latin America, and home to the world-famous Amazon river. The tradition here is for the girl and her family to tell everyone they have ever known that their daughter has had her first period. Slightly awkward, in my opinion.
This one is a bit closer to home. In Canada, you get a full year of berry ban. I didn't know there was a thing called "berry ban". I wouldn't mind it, I don't really like berries, although I stick to the Paleo diet. The girl can have berries again after a year passes.
In the South of India, the tradition is for the girl to not go out as much during the first days of her period, and not to go near boys. The tradition says that a girl's first menstruation puts her at a high risk of pregnancy.
Taiwan is also known as China's largest manufacturing competitor. The first-period tradition in Taiwan is for the girl to stay away from any kind of cold food, and they are also not allowed to enter any of the temples until their period is over.
Taiwan Part Two
Latvia is one of the three Baltic states, former parts of the Soviet Union that joined the European Union several years ago and witness a rise in economic prosperity. Their tradition in Soviet times was to not talk about getting their first period - ANYTHING related to sex was taboo back then.
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