Asia is a big, fascinating continent with a lot of interesting cultures, traditions, and people. Most of you heard some crazy things like the fact that you can buy a can of fresh air in China or that people in Thailand eat fried insects. Well, here are ten interesting and fun facts about Asia that you probably haven’t heard before!
10 FUN FACTS ABOUT ASIA
THAILAND’S CAPITAL CITY, BANGKOK, ACTUALLY HAS A DIFFERENT NAME
In Thailand, Bangkok is also known as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon. But if you want to use its official, ceremonial name, you must say Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit. Let’s take a moment to learn that out of your head.
BEING FAT IS ILLEGAL IN JAPAN
Japan introduced the ‘Metabo law’ in 2008 to reduce the overweight population in seven years. Once a year, every citizen between 40 and 74 needs to get their waistlines checked. Men may not have a waistline above 33.5 inches, and women can’t have more than 35.4 inches. Having overweight is not a criminal offense, but a person gets dietary guidance if so. If companies or local governments fail to reduce the number of obese employees, they will get a financial penalty.
EATING A FERTILIZED EMBRYO EGG IS A DELICACY IN CAMBODIA
Everyone knows that the Chinese have a weird fetish of eating crazy things, but who knew about this one? In Cambodia and some parts of Vietnam & Laos, you can find fertilized embryo duck eggs, called ‘Balut’, as a type of street food. When you eat this egg, you actually see the unborn fetus inside of it, and of course, you have to eat that too! The locals consider it as an aphrodisiac, full of proteins. If you dare to eat this, then you immediately get 1000 respect points from us!
THAIS NEVER CUT THEIR HAIR ON WEDNESDAYS
Thailand is a country with many superstitions and beliefs. One of these is that many Thai people don’t cut their hair on Wednesday because it brings bad luck. There are many stories about why, and nobody knows for sure, but one is that the Thai king always cut his hair on Wednesdays. That’s why the Thai consider it disrespectful to cut theirs on the same day. A lot of barbershops close on a Wednesday for this reason. If you need a hair cut, go on a Monday, because this will bring you a long life full of luck!
CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS IN NORTH KOREA HAS A DIFFERENT MEANING
Everyone remembers that movie where that green creature wants to ruin Christmas for everybody. Well, ‘the Grinch’ really exists, in the form of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. Because Kim Jong-Un’s grandmother has been born on the day of Christmas, nobody is allowed to celebrate Christmas as we know it. The only thing they are allowed to celebrate on that day is the birth of his grandmother (which he actually never met). No Santa, no tree, no wrapped up presents. 🙁
EVERYONE IN VIETNAM SHARES THE SAME BIRTHDAY
In Vietnam, everyone shares the same birthday because they don’t start counting their age from the day someone is born, but rather from how much Tet’s (Vietnamese New Years) they have celebrated. So everyone gets one year older on Tet Nguyen Dan, which is calculated on the cycle of the moon and is every year on a different date.
THAILAND HAS A MARKET RIGHT ON THE TRACKS OF A PASSING TRAIN
Thailand has many markets, but one of them is truly unique in Asia. A short drive from Bangkok lies the Maeklong Railway Market, a market where vendors sell local products like fruits, vegetables, seafood, fresh meat, etc. But the real difference here is that the market lies directly on the train tracks, and a few times during the day, the vendors need to pull back their awnings only seconds before the train passes inches in front of the stalls.
Check out how fast they pull back their awnings and put them back up when the train has passed!
A LOT OF ASIANS HAVE LONG FINGERNAILS TO… PICK THEIR NOSE
If you’ve been in Asia, you’ve surely seen it multiple times. Some Asian guys have one long fingernail, most of the times on their pinkie. Apparently, this is often used as a tool to pick their nose or clean their ears. Yuk! Luckily, there are also people that just grow them to show that they don’t do manual labor. Which indicates that they are wealthy and above the regular working class.
50% OF ASIANS LACK THE ENZYMES TO METABOLIZE ALCOHOL PROPERLY
One of the myths about Asian people is that they get more easily drunk compared to Caucasian people. In fact, this is not entirely true. But a lot of them lack the right enzymes that make sure of the metabolization of alcohol. The shortage of these enzymes can cause nausea, headaches, and the well-known ‘Asian flush’, which occurs when someone’s head gets really, really red.
IN INDIA, BABIES GET THROWN FROM A TEMPLE FOR GOOD LUCK
The past 700 years, Muslim & Hindu Indians in the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka have a horrible ritual where young babies get thrown from a local temple into a blanket. By doing this, it is believed that the screaming babies get good luck and stay safe & healthy.
Here’s a video of the crazy event: (Beware: the images can be shocking!)
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