Thursday, January 1, 2009


happy new years!

i am currently traveling in ecuador (¡muy bonita y traquilo!). here they have a tradition of burning lifesized dolls of people and/or characters (eg wall-e) at midnight on new years. it is an awesome sight. since many of the dolls represent figures of authority (politicians, priests, etc), i can see how it can be pretty cathortic (not to mention really fun).

however, recently i read an article about burning that's quite the opposite, burning as a form of suicide by women in afghanistan (aka self-immolation). from the article

"The predominant causes or precipitating events of self-immolation identified by survivors or contacts were various forms of oppression of or violence against women. Forced marriage or engagement during childhood was identified in almost one third of the cases (29%); bad or badal, practices involving forced marital exchange to settle a conflict between families or tribes, in 18% of cases; and abuse from in-laws in 16% of cases (these categories were not mutually exclusive)."


NEJM article

1 comment:

ThePeat said...

Reminds me of Sati:

and when Brunhilde throws herself onto her husband's funeral pyre at the end of Götterdämmerung. Creepy, right? that there are multiple traditions of burning women alive?