It is a concept that refers to everything that, according to social conventions, superstitions or religious beliefs label as prohibited. In fact the word “taboo” means “the prohibited”
In this way, taboos are usually classified as all those actions or behaviors that are vetoed by society. In this sense, there are numerous taboos depending on the area of human activity.
There may be linguistic taboos , which are those according to which certain expressions or words, considered in bad taste or related to delicate topics, such as sex or death, are subject to being classified as taboos, depending on the type of culture.
On the other hand, for religious reasons there is a great diversity of taboos, some of them refer to food, such as cows for Hindus or pork for Jews.
There are also taboos regarding sexuality, such as incest, contraception or patrimonial sex, etc.
Hence the euphemism , which is basically expressions that are used to replace taboo expressions or words that soften their original meaning.
Today, society has created a large number of taboos, most based solely on social prejudices and others in order to preserve moral values , and some on superstitions.
Examples of taboo
- Most practices related to the dead are considered taboo.
- Talking about death repeatedly is a taboo subject
- In certain communities body piercings are not allowed
- Feeding on human flesh
- In the case of the Hindu religion, eating cows is considered a taboo
- In the Jewish religion eating pork is considered a taboo.
- Eating cats in America and part of Europe
- Eating blood sausage for the Jewish and Islamist religion
- Zoophilia, carrying out sexual relations with animals
- The way women dress in the Middle East
- Say old to old people
- Eat black meat at Easter
- Homosexuality in some parts of the world
- Go under a ladder
- Political or religious discussions
The taboo directed towards sexual diversity , for example, most of the time is based on the rejection of what society finds unknown, strange, and for the same reasons, threatening, this due to the imposed perceptions.
In certain religions , taboos can also result in situations in which bad luck is mitigated: opening an umbrella, breaking a mirror, going under a ladder, etc.
Likewise, other taboos , such as the ingestion of human flesh, are supported by the laws: we can hunt an animal to ingest it, but not a person, because that would lead us to cannibalism and in turn commit the crime of homicide.
On the other hand, anthropology admits taboos in certain primitive peoples whose belief system revolves around a magical-religious vision of the world, according to which naming, touching or looking at certain things, people or places of a religious nature are grounds for taboo .
Similarly, among the various types of existing taboos, those that refer to the prohibition of pronouncing certain phrases or words stand out. Such is the case of Chinese culture , which is the one that has probably developed this type of language restrictions the most, a clear example of this may be at lunchtime where it is forbidden to name certain ancestors, sanctities or emperors.