The word taboo It has multiple meanings, and explaining its meaning requires talking about a purely social issue: the taboo is always established within a group, and is produced only by the quality of men to organize themselves to live in community. For example: eating cows for the Hindu religion, the other religions do not prohibit it.
Usually, everything that is restricted and prohibited, but not in the coercive sense of Justice and the penal apparatus of the State, but from a moral point of view. The taboo meant a starting point for the constitution of Law, before it becomes the organizer of most societies.
The fundamental issue of the taboo is its transgressor character: Carrying out an action that is considered a taboo implies colliding with what is considered to be in good taste, which is by no means objective or eternal. Taboos are changing, both over time and even at the same time in different places.
A central issue when a person who is not part of a community temporarily participates in it is knowing the taboos of the place, precisely so as not to have problems.
Origin of taboos
This question of the great differences on taboos shows that, in general, the main reason for the formation of them is not to persuade people to act in such a way that society can live their lives in a context of harmony but a much less well-founded origin, and more intrinsic to society: even in the primitive community groups it was thought that if man committed certain acts he must inevitably suffer certain consequences.
Both nationality and religion are the two belonging groups that make up most of the taboos: from sanction and of the habit, different habits were becoming prohibited for some communities.
Although all of these prohibitions are based on some reason, it is quite frequent that the observer outside the community only observes the prohibition, without knowing the cause that motivates it.
In the modern western societies, the idea of taboo acquired a new meaning, which are the issues that one voluntarily chooses not to talk about. It happens very often that some people can feel really hurt by some comment that another has made.
To prevent this from happening, there are a series of topics that are generally chosen not to touch (also words that are chosen not to be said, replacing them with others) although sometimes these topics are part of life, and inexorably they must be talked about at some point. .
Even in the smallest and most closed groups, such as the families, there are taboo topics that are not touched due to some particular circumstance that only the members of it know about. A very common taboo subject are those subjects linked to sexuality.
Examples of taboos
- Eating dogs, in European or American communities. In countries like China or Korea, it is seen as something normal.
- In some communities, premarital sex is frowned upon.
- Because they are superstitions, many times people avoid going under a ladder, opening an umbrella inside a house, or passing a packet of salt from one hand to the other.
- Talking about death is often a taboo subject. Alternative expressions such as ‘go to a better life’ are chosen instead of the simple ‘die’.
- Almost all practices related to the dead are considered taboos.
- Homosexuality was taboo in many communities for a long time. Western societies are currently making it stop being so.
- Within certain communities, body piercings are not accepted.
- Eat meat, for those who adhere to the Buddhist religion.
- Feed on human flesh.
- Within families, many times it is chosen to avoid any discussion of a political nature, due to the different affiliations of the members.
- Carry out incest, practice sexual relations with members of one’s own family.
- Eat cows for the Hindu religion. The other religions do not forbid it.
- Eat pigs for the Jewish religion.
- Most of the sexual organs, such as the penis and vagina, are not pronounced this way in public but have other words in their place.
- The way women dress in some Middle Eastern societies.
- Eating cats in Europe and part of America.
- Zoophilia, having sex with animals.
- Some diseases that can be very serious, such as AIDS, cancer or Alzheimer’s, are not usually pronounced as their name implies.
- The words ‘older adults’ or ‘elderly’ to avoid saying ‘old’.
- Eat black pudding for Islamist and Jewish religion.