Superstitiously protected: Cambodia installs scare-crows to ward off coronavirus

Cambodia has been one of the few places to have escaped the wrath of the novel coronavirus. However, the reason, locals believe, is a stick figure

Rural ritual

Rural Cambodian homes are turning towards a stick figure with a plastic-pot head to ward off the novel coronavirus. It is a superstition followed mainly by farmers.


Ting Mong

Known as "Ting Mong" in Khmer, the creatively rendered scarecrows often pop up in villages that have been hard-hit by infectious diseases like dengue or water-borne diarrhoea.


Extra protection

This year, people in the Kampong Cham province are installing at least two of such scarecrows to make sure that their families stay safe from the deadly virus.


Army to the rescue

While majority of the effigies are usually dressed in plain clothes including check shirts, this time people are getting more creative. Some have dressed the scarecrows in camo-green like an army personnel, with a stick propped like a rifle across its hay-stuffed chest.


The antidote for virus

The Ting Mongs are meant to ward off evil spirits wishing to bring harm on an unsuspecting family by spreading disease. So, the locals believe this is their strongest vaccine from the virus. We've been fine since the outbreak," a local told AFP. "I'll continue to leave it up as long as Covid still exists." 


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