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Strange African Traditions?

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Some cultures in Africa are still inclined to acts of circumcision. In males, circumcision can be described as the partial or complete removal of the foreskin around the genitals (genitals). In females, it is described as the removal of genitals. It is believed to preserve the chastity of women. Even though the practice has been abolished to a large extent, it is still being practiced by some Mende people in Ghana and some other major parts of Africa.

Another interesting tradition is the Khweta circumcision ceremony that takes place in north-eastern cape. This is carried out to make men out of young boys. They are made to go through this process when they are old enough to start contemplating marriage. The ones that do not go through it will not be regarded as real men and are deemed ineligible for marriage.

During the ceremony, boys are made to stay in circumcision lodges during winter where they undergo rigorous and often fatal tests such as continuous dancing and other exhaustive activities that often lead to death. The last but definitely not the least, is the Sharo tradition largely practiced by the nomadic Fulani people of Northern Nigeria. The tradition involves the flogging of young men as a test of their manhood and stamina. Any young man with intentions of taking a wife is expected to undergo severe flogging in public without showing any visible signs of pain. He clutches a mirror and looks at his face with indifference while a contender (attacker) moves around him, takes aim at him and whips him intermittently. Blood is usually drawn from different parts of the body like the chest, ribs and back. Some do not survive this. If he survives, his family and friends surround him with extreme joy, pride and excitement, offering him gifts and congratulatory gestures. He may now go ahead to marry any woman of his dreams but the scars and memory of the pain remain with him for life.

While some of these traditions are generally being abolished across Africa, some people still continue to practice them. Africa, like any other continent has a diverse range of culture and traditions that are upheld with pride. Other parts of the world also have their own portion of traditions and practices that may be considered strange. As long as the people that practice these traditions are informed, educated, comfortable with their beliefs, and are not made to follow suit under duress, then it’s perfectly alright for these people to live their lives as they deem fit…

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