Humans are social beings. They are the ones who live by rules and regulations laid down by their society. Rules not only include their way of living but also the traditions that they follow. A tradition is what defines a general value of a being. Traditions may include a small gesture of bowing your head in front of elders to par beyond imagination. It is something passing on from one generation to the other. But, what if the tradition and the culture made by us starts to violate our personal rights? Will you follow them even then? Well, I would not. But around the globe there are many communities who have forgotten the actual meaning of culture and tradition. They continue to violate human rights, just under the name of ‘so-called- tradition’. Let’s have a look at such hollow and shocking traditions.
DANCING WITH DEAD: FAMADIHANA
Death of a loved one is of the saddest moments of an individual’s life. We mourn, cry and feel distressed over the loss of that person. Well, in Madagascar the scenario is a bit crazy. They take the corpse of their loved ones out once in every 7 years, violating dignity of the dead. Feast is organised and processions are taken out in the town with the dead on the shoulders, dancing and singing with them and then re-wrapping them in fresh clothes. This continues for next 7 days after the which the dead body is buried. Just think about, the infection the corpse brought, after being buried for so long?
ANTS LAIDEN GLOVES
Just imagine, being stung by ant! Remember the burning sensation of an ant sting? It was just one ant. Now imagine, a glove full of bullet ants, worn for at least 10 minutes! Quite a horrifying sight, right? This happens each year in Amazon Satare mawe tribe. It is a tradition for boys to prove their manhood by bearing the pain. Isn’t it violating their human rights? All that just to prove how manly a person is. Strange!
BRASS COIL AROUND YOUR NECK
Every women spends a lot on her beauty. But for the women of Kahwi tribe, Myanmar, beauty comes with a lot of pain. “Giraffe women” as one of their folklore character is the ideal way of how a women should look in Myanmar. To make her neck tall, she has to wear brass coils from as low as 5 years of age, throughout her lifetime. The increased length of the neck leads to deformation of their clavicle, making them prone to cervical as well as deformation of ribs. Deforming a women and subjecting her to so much pain, just for the sake of tradition! Is it right?
Ever thought of piercing your entire body with hooks, knives and with vehicle parts? Even the thought of it seems like a nightmare. But this is a tradition, again violating human rights. In southern India, Thaipusam is an offering to lord Murugan. Piercing all over the body not only with bells , or hooks but trishul, skewer and many more. Processions are then carried out by the pierced person throughout the town with a bucket full of milk in hand. Such a painful tradition under the name pleasing God, seriously?
The next in the list of violation of the dignity of dead is endocannibalism. Heard about canninalism? There is a far more creepy tradition in amazon’s Yanomami tribe where they drink the soup of the dead. Yes, ashes and bones of the dead are made into a soup, which is said to bring good omen. All thanks to the culture, laws of maintaining dignity of dead all are in vain.
Hanging in the air like an eagle! Well I’m not describing a movie scene, but a reality. The tradition followed in Kerela, India involves piercing hooks on the back to give a person the form of an eagle. People stay in the same posture for an entire day to satisfy lord Kali. But hanging in that posture for an entire day is a threat to life as it causes excessive blood loss. I don’t feel this is the way to please any supreme power, instead the person will surely land in ICU after such a hectic act.
THE AIR BABY
Tossing an infant from 50 feets. Sounds crazy, right? But this is a sight every year in Sri Santswar temple, India. People drop the babies on a white sheet form the roof in order to bring them good omen. But I don’t know what else it brings along except risking the infant’s life.
The list of traditions that violate human rights is endless. The way people believe in such traditions is surprising. It should be kept in mind that traditions are made for us and by us and there is no need for us to suffer in the name of some ancient traditions made by our ancestors. No doubt, divine power exists, but just think about it, are these traditions the way to satisfy God? Are you actually happy doing all this?