I have heard (from an Afghan man that I know) that in Afghanistan, they will construct kites, and then tie or tape pieces of glass and shards of pottery to the kite-strings and have "kite-battles", where they try to use the sharp shards on their kite-strings to cut the opponent's strings.
The desert is a curse from the Water God upon the wicked people who live in the South.
Said people offended the Water God in some way, and so the Water God placed water-trappers, bizarre, water-sucking beings, in the soil, and within years, the wilderness became a desert.
Thus, the desert folk shamans have special powers that allow them to find water-trappers so that they can be dug up and their water harvested.
You wake in a pub and see that it's full of were creatures, and they're all staring at you with a scared look on their faces. As you continue on into the pub you look at your arm. You notice that your arm is covered in thick brown hair. As you continue on into the pub you look in a mirror, and staring back at you is a 7 foot werebear. As you continue into the pub people start to shy away form you. Once you go the bar you ask the weretigress that's the bartender and begin to ask her why everyone is shying away from you, and she begins ro tell you why.