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Dec 12, Jodi rated it liked it. With so many customs and rituals to choose from, it would be difficult to decide which to cover and there will always be ones people would want to know like the variations of a cakewalk or feel shouldn't have been included.

Infographic: 10 curious customs from dinner tables around the world

This reviewer felt the selections covered a wide variety of topics and were as grounded as possible in historical basics. It was refreshing to have the male author discussing the male dominance and female subservience effects of many customs--even if frustrating. May 09, Nathan Albright rated it it was ok Shelves: challenge. I received this book, along with quite a few others [1], many of which I still have to read, when some friends of mine went on a discount book-shopping effort. Their thought, at least as far as I can interpret it, is that this book was purchased to provide for research material on American customs, to see if it would bolster our shared perspective on the heathen nature of many customs.

If this was their thought, it was an accurate one, as the author is generally candid about admitting what he ca I received this book, along with quite a few others [1], many of which I still have to read, when some friends of mine went on a discount book-shopping effort.

In terms of the contents of the book, the author divides up rituals into various categories: etiquette, gestures and postures, transitions, the mating game, costume and appearance, ways of dealing with food, family affairs, entertainment, holidays, superstitions, and a miscellaneous catch-all category at the end for those rituals the author wishes to write about that did not fit into the other categories. In writing about these rituals the author mixes comments from research, where the sources are named and occasionally critiqued, personal stories from the author or family members, and a great deal of personal commentary and speculation, especially when it comes to cultural and sexual politics.

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There may also be a social function, however, that relates to primitive beliefs about the dead It is hard to say. Those readers who have a dim view of habits and traditions that spring from heathen cultures will find a great deal of ammunition against such practices, but the author appears to hold no such difficulty with pagan origins even as he frankly admits them in many cases.


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Nor does the author of this book appear to have any sort of knowledge about biblical law except as it can be found in its degraded form in the Talmud or in commentaries about the behavior of Hellenistic Christians who had already become greatly acculturated to the Hellenistic and other pagan European ways. The book is useful as reference material, but not a pleasurable book to read. I have to say, I loved this book. I learned so many interesting tidbits! Ultimately, the greatest insight I gleaned from Curious Customs is that history counts.

One cannot predict future trends and behaviors without understanding how developments have evolved in the past! This is a "cultural studies lite" kind of read.

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I cruised through it this morning over my coffee. It's interesting to think about the orgins of customs, but this guy is a bit iffy at times Jun 10, Shane rated it liked it Shelves: nonfiction , read-in , read-in Got this from a friend who was moving. It was interesting.


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Not awesome but there were definitely some interesting origins of the customs we experience every day. At this point some of the references and jokes are dated but it's perfect for a bathroom book or anywhere else were you just have a few minutes to read an entry or two.


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Feb 17, Sharon Beers rated it liked it. The stories behind American rituals. Why do we cross our hearts and thumb our noses? Why do we throw rice at weddings? Why do we dye Easter eggs? Light reading for waiting in lines, etc. Mar 12, Meghan rated it it was amazing Shelves: intercultural.

Curious Customs () - IMDb

Interesting read about the origins of different customs and holidays. A good resource to have around. Signs of the times. Hal Johnson rated it really liked it Sep 11, Jennifer rated it it was ok Dec 05, Marls rated it liked it Mar 17, This fun book makes a genuine effort to succinctly consider the origins and reasons for many American customs we follow without thinking -- and to separate the incorrect ideas or odd stories that pass around for "reasons why we do this" from the more genuine explanations.

Gwende rated it liked it Jan 26, Kathy T.

Curious Customs Bizarre Beliefs Around World

Dixon rated it really liked it May 23, Sheila rated it it was amazing Sep 12, Kelly rated it liked it Mar 16, Andrew rated it liked it Aug 08, Larry rated it really liked it Mar 06, Fibrowitch rated it liked it Sep 07, Cyndy Calkins rated it liked it Sep 27, Sheila rated it liked it Mar 05, Rachel rated it it was ok Feb 18, Hannah rated it it was ok Oct 20, Steven Allen rated it really liked it Oct 03, Search all titles. Search all titles Search all collections. Your Account Logout. Facing Each Other 2 Volumes. Edited By Anthony Pagden. Edition 1st Edition.

Why Do Americans Drive On The Right? Find Out In "Curious Customs"

First Published Imprint Routledge. Pages pages.