Online profiles, the bar scene, friendly set-ups and speed dating – are you in despair over dating customs in America? Don’t be. Finding a mate isn’t an easy proposition in any country, and some cultures have developed very interesting methods for matchmaking and dating.
Here are some of the weirdest dating customs from around the world:
• In Morocco, the boy’s mother will often check out the girl’s naked body at the public bathhouse, or hammam. Since females wear loose, flowing garments that cover most of their bodies, this is the only way to make sure that she is fit for marriage and babies.
• Filing down the pointed teeth in your mouth is a must for boys and girls in Bali. A cleansing Hindu ritual that helps to restrain one’s animal urges, tooth filing is a prerequisite for marriage.
• During the 19th century the ladies of Austria would carry slices of fresh apple in their armpit during dances, giving it to the man of their choosing at the end of the night. If he ate the apple slice, love was in the air.
• In Singapore the biggest matchmaker is Big Brother. The government runs the Social Development Unit, an agency whose sole purpose is to match up couples so they can procreate. They host dances and give tips on where to have sex in cars.
• Kidnapping your potential wife was popular in Roma communities for centuries. Today young couples that want to marry against their parents’ wishes will kidnap themselves and abscond, forcing the families to choose between a hasty wedding or permanent disgrace for the daughter.
• The Maori people of New Zealand carved tattooed grooves or ta moko in their faces and buttocks to make themselves more attractive to the opposite sex and signal their high social status.
• In Iran, dating isn’t weird – it’s illegal. Single men and women aren’t allowed to fraternize in any way until they are ready to get married, at which point their respective families will introduce them to prospective mates.