India is a land of festivals. This had been my opening line in almost every essay I wrote in school on India. Little did I know about the strangest and weirdest Indian rituals practised even to date! It leaves me wondering whether we are really living in an educated society or not. I am tempted to sneak into the brains of several people and understand what were they thinking when the decided to observe such practices!
1. Match Making By Kundli
One of the most common Indian rituals. No matter who you are. Just picture this. You are married off to a stranger on the basis of a Kundli! Your fate gets decided by a piece of lifeless paper. It does not consider whether there are some common interest, hobby, liking, compatibility of personalities. If the kundli is matching, marriage is fixed and if everything is matching but Kundli does not match then marriage is not fixed!
God, please save me the horror! Now I hope you understand why people from across the globe raise their brows on knowing a practize called ‘Arranged Marriage’.
2. Baby Dropping
It has got nothing to do with miscarriage. This bizarre practice dates back to 700 years when babies were thrown down from temple tops! Yes, in Maharastra and Karanataka even today certain sections of the society throws down their baby from temple tops to bring good luck and prosperity to the child. Once the baby is thrown down a group of 10 – 15 men try to catch it in a blanket which they are holding. If they miss it, the baby dies! If not, the baby is saved but takes many days to recuperate from the shock.
3. Kuzhi Maatru Thiruvizha – Peraiyur Festival
Pre-pubescent girls are buried alive, in an unconscious state for a minute in Peraiyur, few kilometers from Madurai. They are sunk into makeshift graves, covered completely, and after a minute pulled out. Family members first sprinkle ash on the child’s head and then spray turmeric water on face, after which the child falls unconscious.
If the child fails to do so, the burial is cancelled and the family is fined a thousand rupees. In fact, pit diggers ensure that the children are exhausted enough so that they don’t try and wriggle out. All this is done in hope to get their wishes granted.
4. Burying child till neck
In Gulbarga, parents bury their kids neck deep in mud for up to six hours as belief to cure their children from mental illness and disability. This practice is said to be performed during solar eclipse.
5. Thookam Festival
Topping the list of strangest Indian rituals, we have the Thookam Festival. Here people hang themselves up on hooks on rods to seek long life for their children. The 10-day annual Meena Bharani Thookkam festival is observed by the devotees of the Bhagavathi Temple situated at Kollencode in Tamil Nadu – Kerala border.
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