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Traditions and Customs Quiz Questions & Answers

  1. Why do Christian brides traditionally wear the wedding ring on the fourth finger?
  2. What did handshaking originally symbolize?
  3. Which people traditionally smoke a pipe of peace?
  4. What primitive religion is still practiced in the West Indies, notably in Haiti?
  5. What kind of dance do native women perform for tourists in Hawaii?
  6. (a) According to a superstition, which bird’s feathers should never be in a house as decoration?
    (b) Why should you never give a knife to a friend, according to custom?
  7. (a) Why did early sailors and pirates wear earrings?
    (b) Why is it considered unlucky to open umbrellas indoors?
  8. (a) Why is number 13 considered unlucky?
    (b) How many years of bad luck follow breaking a mirror?
  9. What was the most important symbol of Kingship in the Lake States of Africa?
  10. What two flowers were supposed to have been the colors for Holi in India?
  11. What was the name of the Island in ancient Greece where no births or deaths were allowed to take place?
  12. Match these toasts with their lands:
    (a) Skal - Japan
    (b) Viva - England
    (c) Prosit - Brazil
    (d) Cheers - Spain
    (e) Salud - Scandinavia
    (f) Banzai - Germany
  13. What does “Namak Haram” mean?
  14. Why is it customary to wear blue beads among the nomadic tribes of the Middle East?
  15. What did the ’Pigtail’ symbolize in China?
  16. Name the Polynesian people of New Zealand who are found of tattooing themselves.
  17. Why was lipstick used in ancient Egypt?
  18. What is called “The Japanese custom of committing suicide to save face”?
  19. (a) In which country is it a tradition to drink tea made of salt and yak butter?
    (b) Over which shoulder should you throw spilled salt?
  20. Which people use the following modes of greeting?
    (a) rubbing noses
    (b) folding hands together
    (c) pressing one’s thumb to that of another person
    (d) kissing on both cheeks
    (e) shaking one’s own hand

Quiz Answers

  1. It was believed that the fourth finger has a vein that is linked directly to the heart.
  2. A Legal act symbolic of the parties joining in compact, peace, or friendship.
  3. The Red Indians
  4. Voodoo
  5. The Hula
  6. (a) The Peacock’s
    (b) because it will cut your friendship
  7. (a) They believed that ear-rings would keep them from drowning.
    (b) Umbrellas were associated with the Sun God and it was sacrilege to open them in the shade.
  8. (a) According to superstition, there were 13 people at the Last Supper – Christ and his 12 disciples. So it was ominous.
    (b) 7 Years
  9. Royal tribal drums. Through the rhythm of the drums, a king communicated with his ancestors, and the larger the drums of the king, the more powerful it was supposed to make him.
  10. The Tesu and the Mohua
  11. Delos
  12. (a) Skal - Scandinavia
    (b) Viva – Brazil
    (c) Prosit – Germany
    (d) Cheers – England
    (e) Salud – Spain
    (f) Banzai - Japan
  13. Indian believes that a split between 2 friends brings enmity. To renew a broken friendship, they must seal their reunion by eating salt together. Eating a man’s salt is to partake of his hospitality. A “Namak Haram” is one who is not true to his salt as he breaks the covenant.
  14. To ward off the evil eye
  15. The pigtail was a symbol of abject humiliation.
  16. The Maoris
  17. It was believed that a red circle painted around the mouth kept the soul inside the body and the devil outside.
  18. Hara-Kiri
  19. (a) Tibet
    (b) The left
  20. (a) Eskimoes
    (b) Indian
    (c) Africans
    (d) French
    (e) Chinese

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