When something another culture does seems weird, it is only because you are viewing it from the viewpoint of your culture and experiences. There are so many festivals around the world that seem strange to outsiders but carry a lot of meaning. Some are:
– Songkran Festival – A huge water fight that takes over Thailand. It is awesome.
– Tunarama – An Australian festival whose highlight even is a tuna toss.
– Ma’Nene festival – The Toraja people in Indonesia bring out corpses to ‘clean them.’
The Ma’Nene festival occurs on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. It occurs every three years and has been going on for centuries.
The Torajan people are an ethnic group that are indigenous to the mountain region where they live, Tana Toraja. For us, it may look like a zombie apocalypse but for them it is a celebration of life.
They dig up their deceased relatives every three years. The festival’s name translates to ‘The Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses.’ The ceremony is not only a celebration of life, but to respect the bond between life and death.
The corpses are exhumed, groomed, and dressed in new fancy clothes and posed with their living family members for photos.
Their coffins are replaced and or fixed while the corpses are out and about with their relatives. THe corpses are also paraded around the village.
They follow a path of straight lines because the Torajan people believe the paths connect them with Hyang.