India is a home of numerous complex rituals as their lifestyle goes. It has a booming present day economy with a specific quality product in IT, and also antiquated clamoring markets which look exactly same as five hundred years ago – leave the cell phones and DVDs market aside.Some Indians, savagely embracing the very same advancement that those in the West underestimate, currently that their nation is still known for its sacred cows and its bizarre customs. Generalizations can be hard to swallow. In any case, they shouldn’t detest this rundown: it reflects one and only little and fascinating shade of the huge, unfathomable, multi-faceted nation that is India.
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Honed widely in the seventeenth century, Sati was a custom whereby a widow – intentionally or involuntarily – would rest beside her dead spouse before being burned alive alongside the dead husband. The widows who were found attempting to escape this destiny, in spite of the serious social pressure to self-immolate, would be attached to the burning structure, or their limbs would be broken in order to prevent more attempts to run away. Once in a while, they would even be pushed back with bamboo sticks into the blazing memorial funeral pyre. Despite the fact that it was banned by the British frontier government in 1859, it was still followed in some parts of India. It is still banned under the present Indian government, with brutal punishments for those few who still demand to constrain innocent ladies to their deaths.
People from South India ‘celebrate’ the Theemithi festival by walking barefoot across a pit filled with burning hot firewood, or sometimes glowing charcoal. The fire walking is done in honor of the Hindu goddess Draupati Amman – so rather than hurrying across the pit, the devotees have to do it slowly, as though it’s a walk in the park.
The ritual begins when the head priest traverses the pit with a pot on his head, filled with sacred water. He is then followed by other men, who seek to prove their piety by withstanding the pain. Participants suffer from burns on their feet – and sometimes worse injuries, on the all-too-common occasions when they fall into the burning pit.
The thookam festival sees the backs of devoted Hindus pierced by sharp hooks; the men are then lifted off the ground onto a scaffold using ropes. Sometimes, children are even tied to the hands of the participants. Originating from southern parts of India, the festival has now been banned by the Indian Government after continued pressure from human rights organizations.
4. Bull Fighting
Not at all like Spanish bull-fighting, Indian bull-fighting, or Jallikattu, is managed without the assistance of any rope or weapons. Thankfully, the bull’s life is also saved after the rituals, bovines being are hugely respected in India. Celebrated amid Pongal (harvest Thanksgiving), this is a standout among-st the most dangerous games played in India. Youth, vigorous for some desperate glory, more often people tries to tame the bull or if nothing else just hangs tight on the bull for a prize – generally money.
More than a hundred people have been dead in southern India in the course of two decades. A murder case against Jallikattu is continuous in the Supreme Court of India, which is thinking about a prohibition on the game. The Bulls are forcefully fed liquor; their eyes are sprinkled with pepper powder, and their testicles are squeezed with an end goal to infuriate them.
Muharram is the first month in the Islamic Calendar, and this is the month which is celebrated as the anniversary of the Battle of Karbala, when Imam Hussein ibn Ali was killed, trailed by 72 warriors, who were also killed following the next ten days. Shi’a Muslims in India, and also other countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh, mourn this occasion by flagellating their naked bodies with a pack of chains known as ‘Matam’. Sometimes, these Matams additionally contain razor blades or knives.
6. Baby Tossing
Every year in the month of December, more than a hundred babies are tossed from a temple roof into a crowd below. They plummet 200 feet, to where a group of men stands waiting with a cloth meant to catch them. The reason? Married couples – looking to be blessed with, perhaps ironically, more babies – take part in this event. It is also said to bring good health and luck to the family. The Indian government is looking to set a ban on the jaw-dropping ritual, which takes place in the southern state of Karnataka.
7. Food Rolling
Enter certain temples in Karnataka, and you’ll be ordered to stop, drop and roll. Supplicants roll their bodies over scraps of food discarded by Brahmins – the highest, priestly caste in India. The act of rolling is practiced by all of the castes lower than Brahmin, and is said to cure skin disease.
Made snana has been in practice for over 500 years, but it is now on the verge of being banned. Though restrictions in certain temples had been put up in recent years, these restrictions were lifted after protests from devout Hindus. Members of the Indian government have therefore decided to educate, rather than impose their will upon the people. Good luck to them.
8. Chicken-shredding exorcisms
In Hinduism, exorcisms are carried out by various means, according to the traditions of different regions. One of these methods involves the slaughter of a white chicken: the bloody parts are strewn around the house by the Pandit or priest, who is usually in charge of performing the exorcism. The possessed person in question is then addressed as a demon, or by the name of a dead relative who may have become a demon within them. These demons, or spirits, are said to be afraid of white chickens. In some cases, the demon is reported to have screamed ‘I go! I go!’ through the possessed body, before apparently leaving. Supposedly, this is followed by the immediate revival of the exorcised person, who appears to wake from something like a trance, with no memory of the events or of the chicken.
9. Tongue piercing
Not studs, but long and sharp needles are used to puncture the tongue. The needles – usually made from wood or steel – can be so long that the tongue is forced to stick out of the mouth permanently, unable to retract. The piercing is common a number of religious festivals. In some regions, young boys and sometimes girls take part in the ritual piercing. The ones who are going to pierce their tongues wear a garland around their necks for a day before the ceremony. The piercing ceremony is usually followed by dancing and merrymaking. These practices are also seen in countries other than India, in southern parts of Asia.
10. Female infanticide
This social evil exists not only in India but also in many other parts of the world whose populations see male children as more desirable than female children. Preference for a male child can be so extreme that female infants might be killed, or set afloat in the river. Illegitimate girls, especially, were vulnerable to murder prompted by shame: only if a man agreed to marry the mother-to-be could the child often be saved – but this hardly ever happened. Infanticide was banned in the 19th century.
11. Kesh Lochan
This is the practice of cutting one’s hair and offering it to God. Some people go as far as to go completely bald. The Jain’s saints and monks, however, do not cut their hair, they pluck out their hair and then offer it to God. They pluck their hair by themselves or ask someone to do it for them. This is done as a mark of renunciation of worldly pleasures and to teach endurance of pain
12. Exorcism by marriage
In India, people strongly believe in astrology. Some women are said to have the ‘mangal dosh’ which is said to endanger the lives of their husband. To remove this ‘mangal dosh’ these women are married to the inanimate object like Tree. In some part, these women are also married to an animal.