Curious Facts Аbout Courting and Marriages
It is hard to imagine in what weird and sometimes even terrifying ways people tried to curry favor with their beloved ones in different times and different nations. So, listen about the weirdest traditions of courting.
One very creepy rite had been practiced in Taiwan until the 1930's. Every man of Ataian tribe considered that the best way to prove his maturity and suitability for family life, is to present his woman a chopped off head of an enemy. After that, the present was exhibited near the front door, so everyone could feast his eyes upon it and envy.
In the 19th century in some Scandinavian tribes, it was extremely easy to find a wife. As soon as a girl reached the age of puberty, she hung on her waist an empty sheath to let single men know that she was looking for a great love. A man, who liked this girl, needed just to come up to her and insert his knife into her sheath. If the girl did not return the knife back, the engagement technically took place. But if the girl did give the knife back – one has to seek for another sheath.
The so-called rite of British Romanies “Gipsy kiss” has been very little known until quite recently. If a man intends to get married, all he needs to do is to grab the girl he likes and kiss her. It doesn't matter whether she wants it or not. Nobody asks her opinion. After that families celebrate a quick wedding. And the girl has to serve this brazen man that had kissed her for the rest of her life.
In Indian state Bihar, one particularly cute tradition continues to this day. It is called “Theft of the groom”. Here, a girl does not need to worry how to attract the boy she likes. Girl's parents simply steal a suitable bachelor and perform the secret marriage ceremony, and this time is doesn't matter if the boy wants it or not.
One more weird rite was popular in Austria in the 19th century. Beautiful girls, while flirting with the men they liked, treated men to apples. And not just apples, but to the apples that were under their armpits after the whole evening spent in dancing. Men not only considered it appropriate, but tucked these sweaty apples away with pleasure.
Kreung tribe in Cambodia has its own secret of a successful marriage. As soon as a girl turns 13, her parents build a so-called “house of love” for her. She can have as many men as she wants there until she finds “the one”. But as soon as the perfect partner is found and the wedding is celebrated, there's no way back. In this tribe, no divorces are possible.
And one more way that was popular almost everywhere around the world in ancient time. Women were treated as prey. So the aggressors took away enemies' wives with the rest of the loot. Just imagine that today a woman cooks dinner for her family, and tomorrow she has to wash dirty pants of some stranger that makes her call him “husband”.
- weird – strange and unusual – странный
- to curry favor with – to try to make someone like you or give you something – заслужить благосклонность
- courting – paying special attention to the opposite sex in an attempt to win their attention and support – ухаживания
- creepy – unpleasant in a way that makes you feel nervous or frightened – вызывающий страх, бросающий в дрожь
- to feast one's eyes upon – to take great pleasure in looking at something or someone – любоваться
- to envy – to wish that you had someone else's possessions, abilities etc – завидовать
- puberty – the stage of development when a child changes physically into an adult – половая зрелость
- sheath – a cover used for carrying a knife or a sword – ножны
- to come up to (somebody) – to move towards someone – подходить к кому-либо
- to insert – to put something into something else – вставить, вложить
- Romanies – a member of a group of people who sometimes travel around rather than live in one place – цыгане
- gypsy – sometimes offensive a romany – цыган
- to grab – to take hold of someone or something with a sudden movement – схватить
- to serve – to give someone food or drink, especially as part of a meal or in a restaurant – прислуживать
- brazen man – a man behaving in a way that is not moral or socially acceptable – нахал
- bachelor – a man who has never been married – холостяк
- to perform a ceremony – to complete a ceremony – проводить церемонию
- to treat someone to something – to give something special to someone else – угощать
- to tuck away – to eat a lot of something quickly – уплетать, есть
- divorce – a legal way of ending a marriage – развод
- ancient – very old – древний, старинный
- prey – an animal that is caught by another animal and eaten – добыча
- aggressor – a person or country that begins a fight or war with another person or country – захватчик
- loot – goods or possessions taken from a place that an enemy has gained control of in a war – награбленное добро, трофеи