Find Out: Taboos still exist about Yoruba Land Culture and Tradition

Located in West Africa, Yorubaland is a country of traditions and beliefs. In the community of Yoruba, various taboos exist.

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Yoruba drumming ensemble. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Taboos are developed so that there is peace and order in the society
  • The king is given the status of a demigod in the lands of Yoruba
  • Whistling attracts reptiles like snakes into the house

In order to maintain the society in acceptable ways, various practices are collectively looked down upon by the people. Taboos are developed so that there is peace and order in the society. All the communities in this world have their own social practices, customs, values and taboos. The various taboos that exist in the Yorubaland of West Africa are listed below.

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(i) Same-sex marriage is prohibited

People of Yorubaland do not practise same sex marriages. There have been instances where people have been caught in the act of sexual union of the same gender, in the northern parts of the country.  However, such an act is seen as a disgrace in this community and is prohibited.

(ii) Children should never look into the eyes of the elders when they are being rebuked 

It is seen as a sign of disrespect. Also, by not looking at the elder’s face, they are showing fear and respect for the elder.

(iii) Bare hands should not be used for collecting rain water

This is done to ensure accidents caused due to thunder are reduced. However, this taboo is hard to explain scientifically.

(iv) Ladies should not wear men’s clothing

This is especially relevant to trousers. It is based on traditional superstitions. This was enforced so that sanitation could be introduced in women’s dressing culture.

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(v) Pregnant women should not walk in the streets in the afternoon

It is believed that evil spirits roam the earth when the sun is at its brightest, from 12-3 p.m. If the pregnant women go to markets or streams during this time of the day, these evil spirits will enter her body, leading to the birth of deformed babies.

Map of Yorubaland, Africa. Wikimedia Commoms
Map of Yorubaland, Africa. Wikimedia Commoms

(vi) Kings of the land should not peer into their crowns

If they do so, it is believed that they will join their ancestors. However, kings who insist on committing suicide can be allowed to look into the insides of their crowns.

(vii) Whistling at night is not allowed

This practice is forbidden in Yorubaland. It is believed that whistling at night acts as an invitation for the evil spirits and demons to enter the houses of people to torment them. It also attracts reptiles like snakes into the house.

(viii) Suicide is considered an abomination

In Yorubaland, a dangling corpse is not lowered, until certain rituals are performed. Also, this body will only be buried in the evil forest and the outskirts of the town, to avoid the wrath of their gods. The family of such an individual becomes tainted in the society.

(ix) A king must never prostrate again

The king is given the status of a demigod and is required to never prostrate in front of anyone.

(x) People avoid eating meats of dogs, cats and pigs

It is considered an abomination to consume the meats of dogs, cats and pigs. However, the people of the Yoruba tribe consume African rabbit and the members of the Ondo tribe consume dog meat.

-By Devika Todi, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: devika_todi

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Manushi Chhillar Joins Hands with UNICEF to Promote Menstrual Hygiene

Manushi believes there still is silence and misinformation

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Manushi Chhillar
Manushi is all set to promote the need to educate girls with all information on maintaining hygiene. Wikimedia Commons

Former Miss World and Bollywood debutant Manushi Chhillar has joined hands with Unicef to promote menstrual hygiene as she says there still is silence and misinformation.

On World Menstrual Hygiene Day on Thursday, Manushi will be promoting the need to educate girls with all information on maintaining hygiene, constructing adequate sanitation facilities and providing quick access to feminine hygiene products.

“Menstruation is still a taboo and we will have to work hard towards ensuring that every girl, every woman in every corner of our country is safe,” said Manushi, who has participated in the UNICEF global initiative called the Red Dot Challenge – a symbol adopted by the world body to depict menstrual cycle.

Manushi, who also runs her own initiative on menstrual hygiene called Project Shakti, said that every girl has the right to accurate information about her body.

“Every young girl has the right to accurate information about her body. Without the right information, girls often don’t know how to safely manage their period. There still is silence and misinformation. We have come a long way but a lot still needs to be done.

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“Without the right information, girls often don’t know how to safely manage their period.”, Manushi was quoted saying. Pixabay

“We all need to contribute towards raising awareness on this. I’m proud and honoured to be associated with UNICEF for this novel initiative that aims at debunking misinformation, taboos and also raise awareness on this critical issue.”

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Manushi is all set to make her Bollywood debut opposite superstar Akshay Kumar in the upcoming film “Prithviraj”.

Directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi, “Prithviraj” is based on the life of king Prithviraj Chauhan. It stars Akshay as Prithviraj, while Manushi will play the role of the Sanyogita, the love of his life. (IANS)

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39.9 % British Adults Indulged into Sexual Activity During Lockdown

Low levels of sexual activity was found in UK adults during lockdown

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Adults
Approximately 40% of UK adults were found sexually active during lockdown. Pixabay

Only four in 10 adults have had sex at least once a week during the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK, according to a new study. For the findings, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the research team investigated the levels of sexual activity during social distancing and self-isolation.

“When starting this research we expected there to be a high level of sexual activity while social isolating at home, but interestingly we found a very low level,” said study researcher Dr Lee Smith from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in the UK.

According to the study, Only 39.9 per cent of the 868 British adults surveyed for the research had taken part in any form of sexual activity during the previous seven days. The study found that being younger, male, married and a consumer of alcohol was associated with greater sexual activity.

Previous research has shown an association between sexual activity and physical health, including helping to protect older adults against cardiovascular events. Frequent sexual activity has also been associated with various mental health benefits and improved cognitive function.

Adult
The study found that being younger, male, married and a consumer of alcohol was associated with greater sexual activity. Pixabay

The findings of this new study suggest that the UK government’s public health messaging around COVID-19 self-isolation and social distancing could include promoting sexual activity as a way of maintaining physical and mental health. This low level of sexual activity could be explained by people currently feeling anxious and stressed owing to the pandemic and not being in the mood to engage in the act, the researcher said.

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Moreover, those who are not married or cohabiting may not currently be able to meet up with their sexual partners and similarly, those who use online apps to facilitate casual sex will currently not be able to do this. “A lot of my previous research has shown that frequent and trouble-free sex life is important for higher levels of enjoyment of life and general mental health, and this is particularly true for older adults,” Smith said.

However, this study showed that older adults were less likely than younger adults to engage in sexual activity. (IANS)

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Understand Your Kids’ Perspective to Make Them Exercise

Parents need to put themselves in children's shoes to make their kids take time off the screen and exercise

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little kid
Being strict parents will not help, you need to understand your kid's perspective. Pixabay

Strict parenting may not always yield the best results, especially when it comes to making your kids take time off the screen and do some exercise, suggests new research Lifestyle news.

Rather, parents who know a child’s preferences and participate in the activities become more successful in keeping him/her motivated to do exercise, showed the findings published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Parental control, meaning varying degrees of coercion and disregarding the child’s role in exercise-related decision-making, was perceived as undesirable and reduced enthusiasm for exercise.

“For example, strong, public and overt encouragement in tournaments and games was perceived in some cases as embarrassing and even shameful,” explained postdoctoral researcher Arto Laukkanen from University of Jyvaskyla in Finland.

kids team
“For example, strong, public and overt encouragement in tournaments and games was perceived in some cases as embarrassing and even shameful,” explained postdoctoral researcher Arto Laukkanen. Pixabay

“In addition, underestimating and ignoring the temporary cessation of exercise motivation, for example, was perceived as controlling and reducing enthusiasm for exercise.”

The study involved interviews with 79 first-, second-, and third-grade students.

The researchers found that children aged 7 to 10 years had a clear distinction between parenting that increases and reduces exercise motivation.

A very typical unpleasant exercise experience for children was related to limiting screen time and the associated command that the child should go out to exercise.

baby-girl-kid
Parents want to limit the screen time of their kids and want them to exercise. Pixabay

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“This is very contradictory, as parents try to take care of the children’s screen time and adequate level of exercise, but at the same time they may be contributing to alienation from exercise,” Laukkanen said.

“Perhaps exercise should not be set in opposition to screen time, but one should strive to organize independent space for both of them in everyday life.”

However, the researchers said that further research on this topic was urgently needed from the perspectives of both children and parents. (IANS)