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Taboos

I was recently reading an article on taboos. It was quite interesting and really got me thinking…  Taboos, certainly, are culture specific. For example; nudity is borderline taboo in the States whereas being perfectly socially acceptable in much of Europe.

I would really love to discuss this topic, so I’m bringing it to you:

What are some of the things you consider taboo? What are some of the things other cultures might consider taboo which you think are a perfectly normal and acceptable occurrence?

Oh, please, just for the fun of it, add any ‘out-there’ stories. I love those!

Thanks!

-Mliae

30 Comments »

  1. People these days consider something beyond norms as taboos but people who practice the so called taboos might have different belief about it . may be people have not understood their thought process .

  2. I grew up in a culture which treated sex — literally anything to do with it — as taboo. Running into someone at a sex shop could be the most mortifying thing lol!

    I find it interesting when cultures consider tattoos or piercings to be taboo, because from where I am they seem pretty widely accepted nowadays.

  3. Do you think talking about or fixing debt problems has become taboo? I’m not so sure taboo would be the right word, but it was the first thing that came to mind.

    • Actually, I think it’s becoming Taboo. Interesting that you brought it up! More and more, it seems that discussing issues which aren’t always win-win: money, war, equality, politics, religion – is becoming a off-limits to be safe topics.

      • It is unfortunate because I find a lot of people who are in debt live in a self-created prison; in their mind and in the real world. They can’t relocate for other jobs, they can’t quit jobs they hate, they become stuck.

      • You just hit the nail on the head. I think that it has gotten to a point where actually being in debt is much more taboo than speaking about it. With high interest rates on debt, and negative interest on many bank accounts, it seems like all we do is hoard our finances to pay down mortgages and balances as quickly as possible. Ironic that personal debt is a bad thing though, because as far as finance & loan approval goes, a business that has debt (albeit small) is considered a good thing. So businesses are always taking out loans while people are constantly trying to pay them off. Hhhmmmm…

  4. I’m an American living in Britain, and I wouldn’t go as far as calling these taboos, but I’m very conscious that being noisy and calling attention to yourself are frowned on here–there’s a social cost on doing those things. On the other hand, in contrast to the U.S., there’s no social risk in calling yourself a socialist. Maybe Bernie Sanders’ campaign broke that taboo in the states, but when I left 10 year ago, people would just about pass out in shock if you used the S word about yourself.

    • I remember when my American friends wouldn’t dare say the S-word either! I think you’re right, The Bern broke that one 😉
      As for the UK, I had never actually heard that said before, but I believe it. It’s quite much the same in N. Europe, where people vary from a whisper to dead silence in public. Never more than that unless they are inebriated.

  5. What about the taboo of honesty? When somebody says “How are you?” It’s an automatic response to say “I’m doing good!” Regardless of how you actually are. We don’t want the truth, we want life to be easy so we sweep everything under the rug so we can ignore all our problems.

    • Valid point! That’s so true, in so many cultures: that it is merely polite to ask and answer, but never to share the difficulties that one is having.

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