(4) Gadhimai Festival

Man is powerless against the grandeur of the universe. That is why he created God (s), under the pretext of his own weakness.

 _MG_4870 blood.NpMass media, keeps quite controversial insight into the progress and history of the festival. It discloses more negative attitude towards tradition whose roots stretch deep before historical times. Modern people make rather distorted understanding of the existing event(s) and not only; the Eastern Hemisphere cultures and traditions, that evolved into more than an end in itself, to create a show.

_MG_4863 blood.NpGadhimai is a global festival that attracts thousands of Hindu people in Nepal. According to ancient Hindu tradition, in honor to Almighty God has sacrificed animals and blood. They believe, if Gadhimai bloom then all the problems will be solved.Donation gives strength and Khukri (slaughter) are proud of their work. In these days of the festival, animal sacrifices take over the entire country. Speaking in modern language, it has transformed as a profitable business. Earn suppliers, vendors, dealers, slaughters. There are millions of livestock, which are driven across the border in Nepal.

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Most of these are not registered. Suppliers earn huge sums of money on illegal livestock, which is mainly driven into the country from India. The authorities turn a blind eye to this illegal share, for the same officials are included in this transaction. City are in full swing with a business venture.

In each home yard it can be seen killing of livestock, which at the end of day is flooded with animal blood. For knife sharpeners, hands full with work. Slaughtered bodies’ burners fumigated full courtyard. It is interesting to watch people’s faces, at the time of being killed livestock. Before the sword is still hanging in the air, they show up in surprise, doubt … A moment later, when the sword touches the animal’s head … watchers face freezes. And a moment later, when the head is severed from the body, frosted faces, in an instant, turns into a joy and sing, accompanied by applause. ” Good cut! “

Watching people’s emotions

To the all temple sites have been supplying animals intended for slaughter. Sheep, bull, pigs, poultry. Sacrificing has moved out of control. Not everyone can pay for the slaughter of animals. Therefore, it takes place secretly in almost all the house yards. Even in the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu. Try out the killing, have been offered even to tourists. In European’s point of view, it looks quite sadistic.

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_MG_3849 meat preparation.KtmNo wonder that suddenly appears, some sort of mystical Animal Protection Organization, that pays inadequate views of these ancient Hindu traditions. Prior to slaughter, around the animal’s head and hind legs is throw a rope, which, with the help of two assistants are tight. Animal helplessly waiting for death. With one blow of the sword, the head is detached from the body. It is perceived by the jubilant shouts. At the end of the day, the whole yard floods of blood.

P.M. Nepal

(3) Through the pain…

An old Hindu belief tend to say that,  the man on the earth is full of sin. Before coming to the Kingdom of Heavens, the human soul must be pure. It must go through a baptism of fire and the body has to pass through all the pain of the earth.

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Cremation place

  The deceased’s body cremation is carried out shortly before sunset, for Hindus believe, that this time has less negative impact forces, however, physically it is not always possible. According to Hindu beliefs, the preparation process can be carried out, only when to say goodbye to the deceased, came all the relatives. Often waiting takes even a whole week. During hot weather, it is a major concern to keep the dead body fresh. Before cremation, the deceased is wrapped in a bright red canvas cloth made of cotton or silk fabric.

It is a Hindu tradition, which has been extended to Nepali. The whole bustle, surrounded by the dead, takes place in quiet tones without abrupt gesticulation, and all respect is paid to the deceased. When the deceased is wrapped in the fabric, it follows the body’s natural purification. First of all, it is laid in the river, and the legs are submerged in water. Surrounded by relatives, in complete silence, the water drains away all dirty, that had accumulated in the body.

After this procedure, clean body has landed on a special promotion, which is followed by facial ablution with fragrant Jasmine water. Everything happens slowly. Only the best thoughts, dedicated to the deceased, and memories with loved ones. With this procedure, the deceased’s corpse is prepared for cremation. This is the main process and, the special attention is paid. Cremation place on a small podium has been prepared at the river bank. On the podium, in the cross has been placed wood blocks. On it, is laid in the deceased’s corpse.

Firewood is loaded around the dead body. Burning is promoted through the straw that covers the entire body. When the deceased’s corpse on a stretcher is taken to the cremation site, it is surrounded by relatives, and held a moment of silence. Specially appointed people who are engaged in the preparation of the cremation process, now can ignite a woodpile.

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Cremation has begun. People who are familiar with the cremation process, pays special importance to its mission. In their opinion, it would be wrong to accept cremation process, as only a natural body burning. It is to be understood as entering another world or dimension. It is taken into account many important factors at the time of cremation, which only knowing by specialists, who find spiritual strength and physical mass interactions.

Cremation history, penetrate deep in the past and is dated in 3000 B.C. and probably even earlier. Prehistoric man intuitively felt that the man is operated by two forces, that is, physical and mental. However, leaving the physical body, the soul remains, which can not be destroyed by any force. It travels immortal, through the global space, to find another physical body in order to incarnate again. The soul can not be separated from the human body when a person is still alive. It leaves the body when he died. However, it should be cleaned again before reincarnation, in another body. Nations of the world practiced a variety of funeral rituals.

Burial of the deceased in the grave (with and without relics depending on the state of the tribe)
Mutilation of the body before the burial.
Funeral respecting cardinal points.
Burial in a vertical position.
Burial alive
Funeral process feeding of carrion birds
Funeral process shifting the dead body down the mountain.

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Purifying process

Cremation with fire was not only a burial process. This process served as an important role during the epidemic. The fire was the only medicine, to treat disease areas taken over. There were cases when were burned alive sick people. In Africa and the Pacific region, mercilessly with fire was punished homosexuals. During the Middle Ages, in Europe, fire’s severity turned against unbelievers, pagans, satan, and mentally ill people. However, always and everywhere, people understand the fire as a purifying force.

Each of the above procedures for the burial, the people retain the myths about the immortality of the soul and its re-incarnation. Basically, however, it is maintained faith in the existence of the soul which can be separated from the body only with the help of fire. During the cremation, the man to go through the baptism of fire. Purifies the soul, and only then begins a tour through the world.

P.M. Nepal

(2) The game

It is something special that breaks, the mountain valleys magically silent. It can not be compared with the rapid mountain rivers noise. Suddenly generated winds early in the morning, who cast the whale fog in the valley. It is a bracing joyful human voice, at the end of the week, flowing across the mountain village. In a small Himalayan valley, were people are happy after hard work done.

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Feast before the game

  Sometimes really envy takes over, watching the man-made happy and joyful, how affectionate and true it can be. What is more, that it is a self-made home show without any modern communication systems. Imagine that the show needed a few clothes attributes – the rest is your imagination. Not for the pleasure of someone, but for yourself. Thus, the small village people spend the weekend at the slopes of the Himalayas. Everything starts with a feat, as to say, – to strengthen the power. The basic product is rice with dried meat. Children receive a piece of cookie, or other snacks that are delivered in plenty to the local shops from the neighboring China.

Observing the behavior of men and women, who sometimes disappears behind the house corners, can guess that there could be used alcohol (Roxy), and, in pretty large quantities. It is made of rice and can be used as light alcohol and distilled. The latter, which is not filtered, contains many harmful impurities.

So, when everyone is well fed and slightly inebriated, then people start flocking. Women come together and loudly discussing what the tricks to use, in order to be able to disperse them one by one and then, bound. Men gather reluctantly, however, secretly watching women, how to capture hers suddenly. Nepali women work hard; cut firewood, carries heavy burdens, and in terms of strength, sometimes are equivalent to men, even beating them. Watching the game you can be a witness of all real power equality of the two sexes.

The rules of the game is very simple. It is open to people of all ages. However, it requires dexterity and a little courage. Basically, there are two teams, men and women. Each of the teams try to coax one of the opposing team, and then tie with a rope. Each of the teams rushing to save his partner.The men stealthily approaching the women in the crowd, when suddenly shouting rushes into it and try to capture some of the women. They use both the rope and long scarves. Deftly maneuvering sometimes manages to tie together a number of women at the stake. However, women face stiff resists that sometimes pass a counterattack, and men need to seek refuge behind the house corners. When someone is tied to the stake, it is ridiculed and shaming of awkwardness. The atmosphere during the game are quite belligerent. Strong women, casting men as chaff bags. After intensive capture, both teams are tired and agree on a ceasefire. Men rush to use respite and disappears behind the house corners.

Youth rejoice with the older generation demonstrating agility, maybe more with erotical overtones. However, at this age everything is allowed. Boys with agile swing, throw a scarf like a lasso, and it wraps  around a girl’s waist, – another moment, the boy grips scarves other end, just need a little pull and, the girl is trapped.

 The guy bent himself so quick as eel. The girls could not grab the guy and tie up. Both tried to tickle and take off some parts of the clothes, but all in vain. The guy was impossible to subdue. The same thing happens with adults. Too dizzy from the alcohol, the use of force, which is overvalued, sometimes everything turns into a brawl. Sometimes women prevails.

P.M. Chilime. Himalaya

 (1) When hope dies last.

Never trust modern doctors, do not believe Shamans and magic … live together with nature, listen to it, and you will get advice. However, if it does not work, then …

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Puja, by the entrance

  When a patient still seeks medical help but it does not work anymore and is refused, despair takes over him. Patient instinctively seeking help is ready to take any steps and accept the help of unconventional natural methods, or as popularly called,- Shaman’s help. However, the patient’s desperate cry, does not lie only because modern medicine is powerless. Himalayan valleys, home to the castes and ethnic groups are often isolated from the modern city, and to receive the necessary medical assistance sometimes takes two days. The only mode of transport is a stretcher, on which the patient is laid in and attracted, not to dropping out, and escorted by four people are taken to the nearest hospital.

The weather is not always favorable. On the way to the nearest village have overcome a narrow mountain passes and get to the nearest suspension bridge takes a half-day tour. Not every patient can pay, live taxi – the Sherpa, to launch the long and dangerous journey. It may prove fatal. Then, the only hopeful possibility is to turn to the local Shaman. Although this visit is a commercial, however, when there is nothing to lose – hope dies last. Place where happened the mystical therapy was no different. There was neither sacred trees, or cult-stones, or sacred spring. A simple home courtyard, with something like ground cavity or cave in the corner, which was located in the western direction. Here, then starts the whole procession. At the entrance to the cave was placed an donation bowl, decorated with colorful flower bunches and colored pebbles. Everyone was able to donate some contribution to the local Shaman in exchange for a little grace.

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The whole procession (incantation) begun inside the cave, which were allowed to enter only for local Shaman. From the cave came out strange sounds, that for human was hard to imagine. Something like mumbling in low tones, that were increasingly intensified and turned into a squeaking sound. For a moment of silence occurred, and after a short time again, was heard unintelligible words and sounds sets, which even locals were unable to explain. Thus, it takes almost an hour, while the cave is invaded by scary silence. The only sound was the wind gusts, that occasionally rustles courtyard.

After a moment, in front of the cave appeared Shaman himself. His face is turned into a grimace, eyes half closed, and he stared at nowhere. It seems, that he is still deeply engrossed in a trance. He slowly approached closer to the selected location, from which to start, the whole magical cure. It
was with cords, made from animal intestines, collared triangle. Locals warned strangers, about the dangers of being in the black magic triangle are. In the opposite corners of the triangle were placed two sacrificial utensils. Shaman took place at the top of the triangle. To the right of him, there was a woman who had come well in advance. Her’s face was pale and very unhealthy. She suffered from some sort of mental ailments, for which, the town doctor was not able to explain and treat.

Shaman did not pay any attention to my presence. His attention was drawn to the sick woman. Little was said. Either he was well aware of the woman’s ailment or, as a magician, saw all through her’s body. Something muttering to himself, the magician gave the woman string’s end and the other end kept to himself. It was a natural link between them. With a quiet manner of a drum, the magic ritual begun. Drums’ low sound increasing with every moment, the Shaman tried to talk down those with screaming squeal. When suddenly, his body begun convulsed. It stretched up, in a moment shuddered, and collapsed .. and so, again and again … at the end, his stature collapsed, and the yard was taken over by silence. Slim woman holding the string, not for a moment prevented the view from the Shaman. After a small silence, the drums rumble and screaming, all the magical procession resumed with double vigor. Magic triangle, wrapped in corrosive smoke even more emphasized the cult.

Shamans movements, recalled like mind-lost  crazy people. When it seemed that everything has gone in mind-blowing performances, suddenly out of nowhere with a chicken under his arm, appeared two assistants and took their seats at the sacrificial bowl. Another moment – Shaman created something like screeched devil voice, and then: two assistants at the same time cut off chicken heads. They waited a moment to drain a blood, and after by Shaman’s hint, respectfully, something starting with himself, offered sacrifice dishes Shaman. All attention was paid to the sacrificial dishes with fresh blood. While still warm, Shaman’s hand dipped into a bowl. He draw hand in to blood,  and began to splatter it on the sick woman who was still in a deep trance.

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Magic Triangle

Woman even didn’t winked an eye. The Shaman’s incantation began to flatten, and a moment later was silenced. This was the moment when he began to straighten his body. Grimace clenched face had disappeared. In front of us were standing another man, with a spiritual face, a little tired after the work done. To each other, they did not pay the slightest attention. Female suddenly eased from a deep trance, as if nothing had happened. She stood up and, in the slowly course, still in trembling went away, and after a moment vanished from  sight.

P.M. Himalaya