These Afghan girls have to reject their femininity and pretend to be male. They are called Bacha Posh. In Afghanistan’s traditional patriarchal society, many women can’t leave the house without a male accompanying them. For this reason, if a family has no son, a daughter is often appointed to play his role. Having tasted freedom, some of the girls never want to go back.
Kok Boru is an ancient sport played with a dead goat. Similar to hockey or polo, two teams on horseback compete for control of its body and are rewarded for scoring goals at either end of a large field. While other games have evolved into sanitised modern versions, this ancient nomadic tradition is still thriving in the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan.
In the poorest regions of India, widows are a burden. Formerly, they would be burnt alive while their husbands were cremated. Today, many widows are made to leave their families and forced to beg in the streets. Fortunately, some Hindu monasteries are able to offer shelter and hope to these betrayed women.
“La Sape” is a unique movement based in Congo that unites fashion-conscious men who are ready to splurge money they don’t really have on designer clothes. Dressing in stark contrast with their surroundings, these elegant ambiance-makers become true local celebrities… but this fame comes at a price.
In Afghanistan women are not allowed to dance or go to parties so an old tradition kicks in, “bachas” are young boys who dress as women and dance for older men. Dancing though is not the only way the boys are used as substitutes.
In Tanzania, the tradition of child brides is still prevalent. Despite strict laws against this practice, promising harsh punishment for grooms and parents, young girls are still married off to much older men. In exchange, the family of the bride receives cows that it considers more useful than their daughter.
In modern-day Albania, a medieval tradition has survived to this day in which a woman can take a man’s place as the head of a family. Surprisingly, a few women still observe the custom, they’re known as sworn virgins. Under the strict rules of a centuries-old code, they sacrifice their own identities to stand in for brothers who have died. Most had to make the choice at a very early age. They did it to help their families but it comes at a price, they can never have children of their own.
In the Caucasian mountains people like tradition, no matter how violent it may be. In the 1990s public executions were common in Chechnya and Ingushetiya. They have their own justice and their own methods. The times are changing, as people seek forgiveness rather than revenge.