During drought all Hindu girls wearing nothing at all plow fields to produce rain
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cultural practices for the rain to comeClick thumbnail to view full-size
Frog marriage to bring rain
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Farm Beliefs in India and Sri-Lanka
IN Bihar, an eastern Indian state, unmarried daughters are plowing their fields. Under instruction from their farmer-parents, they obey and attend the farming chores undressed. Their fields are parched and have long been without rain water.
Plowing fields with naked girls is a determined effort to place the Gods of the Weather in total embarassment so that they'll send badly needed monsoon rains, officials said last July 23
Onlookers testified the naked girls in Bihar state really plowed and harrowed the fields. They sang traditional hymns at the close of the day to invoke success and kindness from the Gods. Kind, old and able women villager helped the girls drag and push the plows.
Upendra Kumar of remote Banke Bazaar- a town council official- said, "Villagers believe their acts would get the weather gods badly embarassed who in turn would insure bumper crops by sending rains" Kumar added, "This is the most trusted social custom in the area and the villagers have vowed to continue the practice until it rains very heavily".
India this year suffered the worst drought and untold damages to crops in some states.
FROG MARRIAGES ARE DONE IN INDIA TO BRING ON MONSOON RAIN
RESIDENTS in a suburb of Nagpur, 860 kilometers east of the state capital Mumbai, looked on as the frog-groom, Raja, and frog-bride, Rani were joined in union in a solemn ritual- according to the Times of India. (see last picture in thumbnail)
Tradition dictates that if frogs are married with full Vedic or Hindu rituals- the rain god is pleased and the heavens will open within days. Similar ceremonies have been held all over India.
Farmers in India have been watching the skies and horizon for signs of the much-awaited rainfall. Meanwhile- as the monsoon failed to come, patches of fields dry up and water supplies run dry after a long, hot summer.
SRI - LANKAN farmers have their own beliefs about farming. One- they believed in spirits called bahirawas who are said to dwell underground or within the air space. Bahirawas- Sri-Lankan farmers believed- looked after their harvest. Bahirawas sometimes appropriate for themselves part of the harvest thus causing losses to farmers. To prevent further losses, the farmers offered special poojas or offerings on the fields for the Bahirawas.
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Following is an unedited excerpt about the economic condition of India, especially the plight of the farmers and the poor.
"Suicides of Farmers and collapse of Agricultural sector
"In the last two years, more than 218,000 people across India committed suicide mainly due to poverty, family feud, strained relationship with loved ones, dowry harassment and health problems. In a research by the Indian National Crime Records Bureau, it was noted that suicide cases in the country were registered at 118,112 and over 100,000, in 2005 and 2006, respectively.
"Most of those who committed suicide were farmers, and the victims took their lives either by hanging or consuming poison. Aside from farmers, women also topped the list of people in India with suicidal tendencies. Since 1998 about 25 000 Indian farmers have committed suicide because they could not repay their debts. These debts, however, have largely accumulated because these farmers were severely overcharged by their money-lenders asking for up to 32% of interest.
"76 per cent of the nation’s land is belonging to 23 per cent of population. More than 15 million rural households in India are landless. Another 45 million rural families own some land, less than 0.10 acre each, which is hardly enough to make them self- sufficient, let alone generate a profit. 340 million people in India are dependent largely on agricultural wage labour, $1 or less a day.[Rural Development Institute (RDI), Washington]
"70 per cent of the Indian population still directly depends on agriculture, but growth in this sector declined from a lackluster 3.8 per cent to an even more anaemic 2.6 per cent last year.
"Recently, a national report on the employment situation in India has warned that nearly 30 percent of the country’s 716 million-strong workforce will be without jobs by 2020. Government of India doesn’t have the resources or political will to find jobs for such a large population.
"Retail trade employs 8 percent of India’s population, the largest employer after agriculture. There are more than 12 million small retailers in India, 96 percent of whom are small mom-and-pop stores, each occupying less than 500 square feet, creating the highest retail-outlet density per capita in the world. [Tarun Khanna, Yale]
"Call centers and other outsourced businesses — such as software writing, medical transcription and back-office tasks — employ more than 1.6 million people in India, mostly in their 20s and 30s. Heart disease is projected to account for 35% of deaths among India’s working-age population between 2000 and 2030 says World Health Organization study. That number is about 12% for the United States, 22% for China and 25% for Russia".
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