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16 birth customs from around the world.
If the royal baby had been born in another country or culture, he may have wound up with his head shaved, spat upon or have had his placenta buried.
GlobalPost looks far and wide for some fascinating birth customs from around the world.
1) The Netherlands
If the royal baby had been born in the Netherlands, his visitors would be treated to "beschuit met muisjes," which translates literally to "biscuits with little mice."
Don't worry, this is a Dutch tradition that does not involve little mice. Instead it is a delicious toasted pastry with sugar-coated anise seeds on top. Traditionally, if the baby is a boy, the seeds are white and blue, while a baby girl gets pink and white. When visitors come they chow down.
(Robert Vos/AFP/Getty Images)
2) Mayan culture
The royal baby doesn't know it, but he is secretly glad his mama isn't Mayan. If she were, she would likely have doused the little guy in freezing cold water, which is thought to calm heat rash and promote restful sleep.
It's looking like the royal baby is going to be a George or a Henry, but if he had been born in Germany, Will and Kate would have had to choose his name from a list of preapproved names issued by the office of vital statistics, the Standesamt.
If you want to name your baby something that is not on the list, you have to submit the name for approval and the office will assess it based on whether it indicates gender (Matti for a boy, for instance, was rejected) and whether it is thought to have a potentially adverse effect on the child's life. If your name is rejected, though, you'll have to pick another and each time you submit one, you pay.
4) Muslim cultures
In many Muslim cultures, on the seventh day of the baby's life his father should make a sacrifice of a sheep and then the baby's head should be shaved. The sacrifice is called "aqiqah," and usually consists of two sheeps for a boy and one sheep for a girl. After the sacrifice, the baby's head is shaved and then the weight of his hair in silver is given to charity.
5) The Navajo
On the Navajo reservation, parents throw a party the first time a baby laughs. It's considered a significant event in that it marks the child's transition from the spirit world to the physical world. Careful though, the person who made the baby laugh is responsible for throwing the party and footing the bill.
Check out some other, non-baby-related yet no less awesome cultural traditions from around the world.
A new mom in China spends 30 days in confinement with her newborn. She is not allowed to leave her home and is expected to adhere to a whole bunch of rules that include not being allowed to eat raw fruit or take a shower. The rules are aimed at restoring balance to the new mother's body. Many modern Chinese women struggle with the custom, though millions reportedly submit to it willingly every year.
According to NPR:
"Sitting the month," or "zuo yuezi," is deeply embedded in Chinese culture. It was even mentioned in the 2,000-year-old "Book of Changes," or "I-ching."
New Jordanian mothers steer clear of cold foods and drink. According to tradition, a new mother's bones are thought to be open and consuming cold substances could lead to rheumatism and arthritis down the road.
If the royal baby had been born in Switzerland, he would have enjoyed napping in a hngematte, which is essentially like an awesome baby-sized hammock. Swiss mothers swear by the thing, saying that it can swing, bounce and rock the collick right on out of town.
9) Nigeria and Ghana
The Ibo people in West Africa treat the placenta as the dead twin of the newborn and give it full burial rites. "Zen boku" translates to "the place where the placenta is buried," which is often under a tree.
The Kikuyu people in Kenya bury the placenta in an uncultivated field and cover it with grain and grass. Some other African cultures bury the placenta in the dirt floor of a family's home.
(Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images)
If the royal baby had been born in Bali, Indonesia, he would not be allowed to touch the ground for the first three months of his life. He must be held and carried at all times.
At three months, there is a Nyambutin ceremony at which his feet touch the earth for the first time. By not touching the earth, the baby's connection to the spirit is thought to be kept intact.
Swedish parents are apparently all about the butt pat. They lay their infant down on his belly and buff his bottom in firm, rhythmic motions until he falls asleep. The act is thought to mimic the experience of being in utero.
And Swedes aren't the only ones to harness the mesmerizing effect of the butt pat.
In Bulgaria, it is considered bad luck to coo over a new baby because the Devil supposedly steals the praise and harms the object of admiration. So instead, Bulgarians pretend a baby is ugly and say the equivalent of "may chickens poop on you," while fake spitting on the kid. Hardly the royal treatment.
Among the Kalash people in Pakistan, a few days before a mother gives birth, she moves out of her home and into a special hut called a "bashleni." The hut is painted with animals and contains a shrine to the goddess of fertility, Dezalik. For the most part, the expectant mother is in seclusion, though women who are menstruating are also allowed to enter the hut.
(Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Here's a tradition that has a royal connection: the postnatal jamu massage for the mother. Apparently, the jamu massage originated in Indonesia as treatment for the royal family before the 17th century, though soon spread throughout Southeast Asia. The massage is a combination of herbal massage and abdominal binding.
The Japanese are very attached to the umbilical cord, so much so that they keep it in a box, a nice laquer box. It's called a "heso-no-o," or “tail of the belly.”
According to the Japan Times:
Ask them why they keep it and the explanation most likely to be offered is that the cord deserves to be honored and saved for posterity because it is a link to one’s mother. This is a notion rooted in Japan’s strong and sentimental views on the connection between a mother and her child, even into adulthood.