Bob Geldof's plan to digitally catalogue all known human existence is quite a lofty goal. Maybe he'll find some good material in the powerful and eye-opening show Taboo on the National Geographic Channel http://www.ngctaboo.com . Taboo is an hour-long program that challenges the way we look at other cultures and ourselves, by exploring practices that are completely normal to their participants but seem brutal, disgusting or even immoral to many of us today.
This season of Taboo premieres Sunday, August 5th at 9pm et/pt. The first episode focuses on life-threatening initiation rituals and painful ceremonies that must be performed to fulfill community acceptance. NGC takes viewers to Australia, where members of an urban subculture are pierced through their skin with giant hooks and suspended from the ceiling. Then, deep in the Amazon jungle, teenage boys must suffer for hours as they hold their hands inside specially woven gloves filled with hundreds of huge stinging ants; refusal means the disrespect of their elders and the inability to marry within the tribe. Following episodes air Wednesdays at 10pm, and cover topics like sexual identity and body modification.
I'm not sure if the channel can be seen in Norway, but The National Geographic Channel has developed a special game that you can place on your site letting you and your readers uncover what they’d decide if forced to choose between having their breasts ironed to delay puberty or eat the still-beating heart of a snake that was killed in front of you for virility. It might surprise you to learn what you think is less taboo…and how your answers compare to those around you. You can find the game and the embed code here:
NGC has just posted some really compelling and graphic video preview clips, which I thought you might be interested in checking out and sharing with your readers.
This clip explores a ritual that brings tribal boys into manhood, by having their skin sliced thousands of times to create scars that resemble alligator skin:
Let me know what you think of the game, and please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments about the promotion. If I don’t have the answer at hand, I can forward it along to the right people at NGC.
On behalf of National Geographic Channel