8 bizarre customs practised in South Asia
Indian Naga Sadhu dries his hair Photograph: (AFP)
Here are 8 such bizarre traditions you didn't know about:
- Baby tossing
Couples who are blessed with a child after taking a vow at the Shri Santeshwar temple take part in this bizarre practice every year, in the first week of December. The infants are caught by onlookers waiting with a blanket.
- Deuki: Sacred slave
A Hindu temple in Nepal
- Sky burial
As the name goes, dead bodies are taken to open fields at a very high altitude, to be left behind for scavengers. The tradition looks to provide resources to earth, even after death. Sky burials have been made illegal now but it can still be observed with the permission of the family.
A flock of vultures
- Fire walking festival
Thimithi festival in Sri Lanka
- Isolated labour
- Love burglars
In Bhutan, however, it’s not so easy as young girls usually sleep with the entire family and any protest from her gets the boy thrown out. At present, the custom is seen as backward and laws have been enacted to stop it.
Girls in the northernmost valley of Bhutan where love burglars are found
- Polyandry system
A young Nepalese bride at the ceremony
- Marry a tree
According to belief, she brings early death to her spouse and the curse can be broken only after she gets married to a tree before she ties knot with her fiance. She could also marry a clay urn.
A Hindu lady praying to a tree
(Contributed by: Zeba Khan)