Part of the Human Comedy series.
Bowing is synonymous with Japan. Most Japanese take the custom seriously and perform it with zeal. If you ever witness two Japanese bowing to each other, you would be stunned at how much force is used to execute this customary form of greetings. There are instances each year of people suffering moderate-to-serious head injuries, resulted from them bumping heads while bowing to each other. In some cases, these injuries have led to deaths.
Japanese bowers sometimes would try to outdo each other (not as a competition but as an expression of respect). A Japanese would bow to another Japanese. The recipient would respond by bowing lower. The other person would reciprocate by bowing even lower. This exchange continues until someone hits the ground or gives up.
The Chinese government is notorious for its controlling nature. For instance, couples are required to obtain a permit before having a child. As if controlling people’s lives on earth is not enough, the Chinese government wants to control their afterlives as well. China enacted a new law some years back that prohibits Tibetans from reincarnating without the government’s approval.
If you are a Buddhist and would like to reincarnate after death, you better submit your application as soon as possible. China is infamous for its red tape. Getting an approval for a future reincarnation might take years.
Capital punishment is the oldest form of public punishment. In ancient times, capital punishment was in the form of death by either guillotine, stoning or hanging. In modern times, we find it more civilized to either inject the convicted with fatal drugs or send them to the electric chair. Some countries find it more feasible, economically, to hand the criminals over to the firing squad. The process is quick and painless.
There is one form of execution that is unknown to most people, but is popular in some parts of the world. The convicted murderer is brought to the mountaintop with his hands tied up. He is to be pushed down the mountain. Typically, the “push” is done by an officer of the court. However, members of the victim’s family may ask for permission to carry out the execution themselves.
It is interesting to note that if the person happens to survive the fall, he or she will not be pursued for past crimes and can start a new life with a clean sheet. But the probability for survival is probably not very high.