Dating is different for everyone. By that, I don't just mean some people prefer movies to picnics — these strange dating practices from all over the world serve as a reminder that while it may be a small world, it's filled with very diverse people.
- How Do You Like Them Apples? We've been taught the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. That's why in 19th century Austria, women used to give men apple slices they clenched in their (probably sweaty) armpits while dancing. If the dude was truly interested, he'd gobble them right up.
- Say It With Chopsticks: During Sisters' Meal Festival in China, Miao girls will give their suitors colorful rice. However, it's what's in the rice that really matters. Garlic or a pepper? That's a no. One chopstick? She's letting you down gently. A pine needle? She's unsure. Two chopsticks? She likes you back.
- Once You Go Black: In Scotland, you learn your lessons the hard way. A few days before the wedding, the soon-to-be bride and groom are taken and coated in any and all gross substances. They are then paraded around town. Apparently if they can handle this, they can handle the trials and tribulations of marriage.
- Show Those Pearly Whites: Before you get married, your teeth need to be filed. At least, that's how the Balinese of Indonesia feel. The filing controls "evil" characteristics like greed, lust and stupidity so your marriage can be without these. The ceremonies are often combined with the wedding happening immediately after to save money.
- Will She "Sheath" His "Sword?" No need to work out the innuendo on this one. Eligible girls in 19th century Finland would wear empty sheaths around their waists. If a fellow was interested, he'd put his sword in. If she returned the knife, she turned him down. If she kept it in there, she accepted his proposal for marriage.
- Whistle While You Woo: The Kickapoo tribe of Mexico doesn't think it’s bad form to whistle at a lady you like — in fact, they use it to communicate their evening plans. Each couple comes up with unique tones and codes their messages so they don't announce all of their romantic feelings to the whole village.
- A Different Kind Of Spooning: It was important for fathers in 17th century Wales to know their daughters would be well provided for by a handy craftsmen. Thus, suitors would present young women with hand-carved wooden spoons with intricate designs and symbols. If she accepted the spoon, their courtship began.
- Oh My, Omiai! Relationships were often left to matchmakers in Japan. They are responsible for doing background checks, exchanging pictures and cross-examining the families to make sure the two will work out well together. While the practice has dwindled, the wealthier members of society often rely on it.
- Is She A Fan Or Not? Women in Victorian England were limited in what they could say with their words, so they found a way to communicate with their fans. Slow fanning? She's spoken for. Fast fanning? She's available. Fan resting on left side of cheek? She's not into you. Right side? You're in business.
- Dyngus Day Is Date Day: This Polish festival allows boys and girls who like each other to spray one another with water and perfume. Boys also will hit the girls they like with pussy willows. While this tradition dates back further than Christianity, it's still going strong in any place where there are large Polish populations.
- He'll Help You Get A Head: Nothing wins a woman over like a severed head, as the Taiwanese will likely tell you. Up until the 20th century, men would woo ladies with the heads of those they had beheaded in battle. If she accepted, these heads were then put on a platform on display for everyone else to see.
- Love Shack, Baby! In Cambodia, dads make sure their daughters have comfortable places to meet potential husbands — in their very own love shack. The girls are encouraged to meet with as many boys as they want until they meet the love of their life. Long-lasting marriage is important, so they want her to find the right guy.
- No Muss, No Fuss — Move In: In ancient Egypt, courting was incredibly simple. If a man liked a woman, and she liked him back, they would move into the same house and live together. That's it. Then they were married. No elaborate ceremonies to get nervous about - the Egyptians knew how to keep it sweet and simple.
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