The word taboo originates from a mealtime in 1777,
when British explorer James Cook invited a Tongan tribe
to sit down with him and enjoy the food.
The tribe refused,
告诉库克 对他们来说 这样做是一种禁忌
telling cook it was taboo for them to do so.
Startled Cook probably feeling a little taken aback,
asked what taboo meant,
and after a little time with some help from the tribesmen,
he found that it meant something that was forbidden,
inviolable, or even cursed.
Today we all live with our own cultural taboos.
the average American is not likely to make a steak
out of his dearly departed grandmother,
But for the Korowai tribe in western New Guinea,
consuming the carcass of the deceased is not a social faux pas.
It’s a rite.
Today we are going to explore our cultural differences
in this episode of The Infographic Show,
Taboos Around The World.
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so that you can be part of our notification squad.
Let’s start by traveling to the USA,
and looking at a controversial taboo that persists today.
Having an intimate relationship with our own family member,
is seen as an immutable no-no in just about every culture.
Not only because we deem it unethical,
but also because the offspring of such a relationship
is at risk of being genetically flawed.
In the USA,
one famous incestuous relationship happened quite recently,
and that was with the Mamas & the Papas band leader John Phillips.
He started having an intimate relationship with his own daughter Mackenzie.
This was quite a shock when the story came out in 2009,
especially as his daughter told the press she had aborted his baby.
In most US states,
that would be a crime punishable with a prison sentence.
尽管 在新泽西 乱伦关系是合法的
Although in New Jersey an incestuous relationship is legal,
marriage for the couple is not.
Speaking of genetic flaws,
the author of on the Origin of Species,
Charles Darwin married his first cousin.
They had 10 kids together,
and 3 of them died very young.
在英国 乱伦是不合法的 但这仅限于近亲
In the UK, incest is illegal but only for close family,
what Darwin did then would be legal today in the UK.
Staying in America for a moment,
we know that when the index finger is pointed at someone,
it is almost universally seen as rude,
and that’s probably due to the export of Hollywood films.
Outside of the USA is more complex.
In Asia, holding up the fore finger and index finger,
with the palm turned inwards is seen as a sign of cuteness.
But in the UK, it’s liable to get you into a fight.
This is because it was the signed English archers of the past
show to their French rivals to prove they still had two fingers.
The French would cut them off,
if they captured the archers,
so they couldn’t use them again
to pull the straw on the archers bow.
The sign now in the UK
is the equivalent of giving the middle finger in the US.
In most parts of Asia,
don’t point at anyone as its seen as impolite,
while a thumb-up gesture in Israel,
where hitching rides is common, is offensive .
It’s the same throughout much of the Middle East.
Imagine giving the finger to every car that passes you.
Let’s now look more at Asia,
where taboos are perhaps more prevalent
In some parts of Asia,
pointing at the soles of your feet at someone
is seen as extreme rudeness
and could easily get you into trouble.
This is also true in Russia,
as well as parts of the Middle East.
That’s why when George.W.Bush almost took a shoe to the head
from an angry Iraqi journalist,
it was more symbolic than it was an act of violence.
She was a dirty weapon
aimed at the highest and most esteemed point of the body.
在泰国 中国 这样的国家
In countries such as Thailand and China,
putting your feet up on a chair
and certainly any place
near to where someone might put their head,
is seen as very disrespectful.
The foot in most of Asia attitude is dirty,
the head is seen as sacred.
If you are planning to travel to Asia,
bare this mind, lest you rankle the locals.
OK, so the rude American
may have upset his Asian host with his filthy big feet.
But what about the noise that guy makes when he eats?
Most cultures accept that
eating quietly with your mouth closed is just plain good etiquette,
闭着嘴巴 安静吃饭 不失为一种良好的礼节
if you are older than three years old.
Not so much in China.
We’re eating at a restaurant can sound like a course of cows
chomping down on wet grass.
Well, to the Chinese the sound emitting from your mouth
is a sign of how much you appreciate the food.
It’s like saying “that’s delicious” without the words.
The Chinese slurp and the Filipinos often smack their lips,
if it bothers you,
just remember someone is having a good time.
In Asia, how you eat,
what you wear, your body language,
and even how you write has to be taken into consideration.
In parts of Asia,
be careful when you write something down for someone,
as writing in red ink is seen as a curse.
This is because in some Asian cultures,
red ink was reserved for messages applying to the deceased.
在台湾地区 韩国 日本 泰国这类国家
Filling in an official form in red,
maybe even an arrival card,
in countries such as Taiwan, Korea, Japan, or Thailand,
is seen as bad form and perhaps a very bad omen.
Red is reserved for the dead in an official environment.
As for what you eat,
some Asians chow down on animals
that are strictly taboo foods in the West.
While cannibalism is downright taboo
pretty much everywhere in the world,
there are certain animals
cultures put on the table
that calls out prize in the Western media.
The most infamous is the consumption of dog meat,
something is thought around 5% to 30% south koreans have done.
According to one BBC story,
a bowl of dog soup
will set you back about $10 in South Korea.
中国 越南 尼日利亚 印度尼西亚也吃狗肉
Dog is also eaten in China, Vietnam, Nigeria and Indonesia.
In 2014, Newsweek reported hundreds of thousands of people in Switzerland
eat cat and dog meat,
adding that it’s a specialty dish at Christmas.
The French have a penchant for cooked horse.
我们知道 泰国人会吃 穿在棍子上的 鸡的胚胎
The Thais have been known to eat chicken embryos on a stick,
and deep-fried Guinea pig as a specialty
has moved from South America and is now eaten in the USA.
For around $45,
you can try some at the Urubamba restaurant in New York.
If cute rodent is interesting,
该餐厅也提供牛犊心 牛脚汤 以及兔肉
the restaurant also offers veal heart, cow foots soup and rabbit.
Taboos don’t only relate to what you eat,
but how you eat.
In many western countries,
it’s polite to clean your plate of food,
even if you are not so keen on the cuisine.
Leaving food might mean you didn’t like it,
and it’s also seen as being wasteful.
好吧 如果你在中国 印度 或者是阿富汗这样做
Well, if you do that in China, India, or Afghanistan,
one thing is going to happen.
Your plate will be refilled.
It’s seen as polite to always leave a little,
and a bit greedy or expecting to clean your plate
as its saying give me more.
This has certainly led to situations,
in which polite Westerners have made themselves almost sick
by politely eating up what’s offered.
Only for their guests to think they’re absolute gluttons,
but obliged to fill the plate again.
Do some taboos carry across every culture?
Insulting someone’s mother or father
is taboo a pretty much worldwide for obvious reasons.
But in some cultures,
even mentioning parents in a negative light
can get you into trouble or even killed.
In Russia, a Christian parent in it
is seen as the worst thing you could possibly say.
In Madagascar, children belonging to the Anton dairy tribe
are not even allowed to call their father by his name.
In some Hindu families,
even the wives of husbands
are not permitted to call the man by his name.
Although progressive Hindus see this as antiquated and patriarchal,
some Westerners may find that strange.
But in most Western countries,
it’s taboo for children to be on first-name terms with their parents.
The curse mother plus expletive is almost universal on language.
在公共场合 普遍来说 该是一种禁忌吧？
Surely public pooping is universally taboo?
In developed nations, yes.
But the BBC reported in 2015 that
open defecation in India was still a problem
mostly due to the lack of toilets.
French philosopher Michel de Montaigne,
upset his fellow highbrow intellectuals,
because he liked to discuss flatulence,
aka passing gas, farting, cutting the cheese.
He even wrote a treatise on farting and other bodily functions,
他写道 国王和哲学家要排便 女士也是这样
one saying kings and philosophers defecate, and so do ladies.
In spite of his entreaties to help
make the human race comfortable with such bodily taboos,
public farting doesn’t go down well in most cultures.
Well, apparently if you are invited to eat in an Inuit household,
you can show your appreciation for the meal
by letting one rip postprandial.
Even though we fart on average about 14 times a day,
we are usually discreet about it.
Not so much for the Yanomami tribe in South America,
or set to fart as a greeting.
Taboo or not taboo, that is the question.
We might do well to remember that our way of living
is not the right way, but a way.
Montaigne believes we should be curious about our taboos,
deconstruct them and at times get over them.
Then again, how would you feel
if your granddad turns up to Thanksgiving dinner
with his new farting fiance,
who is actually his cousin,
with a gift of dog and cats do,
and an appetite for dinner destruction.
Could you handle that?
Let us know in the comments.
And please tell us about any unusual taboos in your country.
If you like this video,
be sure to check out our other video called
“What A Dollar Gets You Around The World.”
Thanks for watching.
一如往常 不要忘记点喜欢 分享与订阅哦
And as always, don’t forget to Like, Share and Subscribe.
See you next time.