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Strange Courtship Rituals Around The World

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Fighting With Pandanus Leaves (Tenganan,Balinese village)

People of the Balinese village of Tenganan have taken fighting for love up a notch with their highly ritualized Usaba Sambah Festival. The event, which happens every May, is also a sort of coming-of-age rite for all the unmarried men of the village—and the perfect chance for them to attract the ladies. The men fight inside an arena, armed with the thorny leaves of the pandanus plant, and with only a bamboo shield to protect them. As one might surmise, blood flows freely among the combatants.

Meanwhile, the unmarried girls—far from being squeamish—are usually eagerly watching the action. To ensure they get the best view, the girls are placed on a foot-powered Ferris wheel (you read that right) that stops turning only when all the men have finished fighting—a process that takes several hours. If it’s any consolation to the guy powering the Ferris wheel, sometimes there are zero single ladies in the village.

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