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Baby-throwing ritual in India

(31 Posts)
NancyPreg Thu 06-Aug-09 19:12:05

From everybody's favourite daily: -toddlers-thrown-roof-good-prosperity.html

PeachyLaPeche Thu 06-Aug-09 19:28:50

Was surprised not to have heard of this though tbh my Lecturer in Eastern Studies was very good at accentuating the positive IYKWIM

What I would say is:

It's crap and if anyone tried that with my boys I would break their legs, thank goodness I can find no reports of babies being injured- phew.

It's also only one village out of so very many so whilst it's fine IMO to say FFS, we can't extrapolate that to a general Muslim or national thing

NancyPreg Thu 06-Aug-09 19:42:01

I wonder how this ritual actually got started.... for example, I wonder how the link between good health and being tossed from a great height was actually made? And did the height from which a child was thrown get higher and higher each generation, rather than being fixed at its current height from the get go?

I posted the link because I was curious to hear if anybody had any experience of this ritual and perhaps could shed some more light on it but as you say, it isn't a sub-continent-wide phenomenon...

PeachyLaPeche Thu 06-Aug-09 19:46:38

Is it about putting your faith in God / Allah?

As it's a Muslim thing I would assume so. A public demonstration of sending your most precious thing out for his safekeeping.

lisad123 Thu 06-Aug-09 19:48:23

thats terrible, what if he missed those poor children

NancyPreg Thu 06-Aug-09 19:55:52

I must've just scan-read the article because I just saw people throwing kids not muslims!

PeachyLaPeche Thu 06-Aug-09 19:56:44

nancy I googled it a bit (interested, degree in world faiths so intrigued somewhat) and it says it's a Muslim ceremony from a Mosque

PeachyLaPeche Thu 06-Aug-09 19:58:34


Don't worry, am not an assume-they're-Islamic sort of Bigot I rpomise!

NancyPreg Thu 06-Aug-09 20:06:05

Ah yes, it does say from a mosque (but that part didn't register - I was more focussed on the throwing bit!).

I had a trek leader once who had Sri Lankan heritage and when he was a baby, his (Sri Lankan) grandfather insisted that he be passed underneath an elephant to confer good health or similar but his mum said, 'no', so his grandfather offered to babysit one day and duly took the baby off to the zoo and persuaded the keeper to allow him to pass his grandson underneath one of the elephants!! After which he showed no further interest in babysitting!

fuzzywuzzy Thu 06-Aug-09 20:10:30

It's not a 'muslim thing', I saw a news shot of it a while ago at my parents (on an indian channel), and it appears to be a 'village thing' they're chucking children off Mandirs (hindu temple), and the muslims are doing the chucking off shrines of people they consider holy.

Most certianly not a Muslim thing! A dumbass thing IMHO.

sherazade Thu 06-Aug-09 20:11:28

superstition and such evil nonsense are completely unislamic.

thanks god for wahhabism.

PeachyLaPeche Thu 06-Aug-09 20:12:17

Oh really? Sorry fuzzywuzzy, didnt eman to offend but did paste link so at least you know twas a msitake and nothing more smile

PeachyLaPeche Thu 06-Aug-09 20:13:25

Oh and yes agree with dumbass definitely

fuzzywuzzy Thu 06-Aug-09 20:14:04

Not offended in the least Peachy... It was actually horribly shocking to watch it being done, the babies are really small, my dad started yelling at the TV screen, he was most offended that Muslims were doing it too!!!!

Aranea Thu 06-Aug-09 20:17:39

Pedant alert:

Kinda off the point, but I'm a bit shocked at the line 'held taught by a group of around 14 men'

PeachyLaPeche Thu 06-Aug-09 20:21:43

I did something at Uni on Hinduism and how some (and I can't remember whether it was Brahmanical or village tradition) Hindu's thought children rated as less human than adults (related to the prohibition on burials in ganga-ma etc), and I assumed it was another exhibition of that until I read about the Mosque- a bit like Sati was linked to attitudes to women (and yes I know it's been illegal for years- thank goodness).

But clearly as it transcends religious affiliation it's a local thing.

Quite obviously the vast majority of Hindus and Muslims would run a mile if you approached them with the suggestion that you chuck their child off a building 5 stories high so there has to be something there completely transcending the whole faith bit and going to 'just' local behaviours.

Which in a way I am glad about becuase then it reflects on nobody except the prat willing to participate.

sherazade Thu 06-Aug-09 20:25:33

i'm a muslim and i'd consider that what they were doing incredibly sinful. if not blasphemous . hmm and downright inhumane .

Why do they have to shake them first? Insult to injury really.

PeachyLaPeche Thu 06-Aug-09 20:29:56

It'snot exactly the spirit of Mohammad is it?

I'm not a muslim but I have a lot of respect and time for Mohammad and much of the Quranic teachings. I can't say i've seen anything that wouild make this vaguely OK

OTOH nor have I in Hinduism; the variability and cultural naturefo Hinduism makes it easier for a wider number of variants to occur but even then- WTF? This is obviously about sowething very odd.

Might have a glance through a few books later

CloudDragon Thu 06-Aug-09 20:33:30

It's nothing to do with Islam it's purely a fucked up cultural thing.

NancyPreg Thu 06-Aug-09 20:38:48

The thing that I find intriguing with this type of thing is the plasticity of the human brain such that rituals like these get started and then develop to the point where they become a regular feature of the local culture. We are a bizarre species!

PeachyLaPeche Thu 06-Aug-09 20:48:17

Exactly nany, I always feel a need to understand why things like this happen. It's so against everything we do to protect our kids

I can't find anything anywhere much though except shock horrow coverage from today. There's so much still to be elarned about Indian culture, I guess I shall have to add it to my list. It's 'just' a good luck ritual-

NancyPreg Thu 06-Aug-09 21:07:42

Makes you wonder what other rituals take place within small communities/populations that the wider world doesn't (yet) know about...I bet there's stuff that goes on that we couldn't even dream up!

LastTrainToNowhere Thu 06-Aug-09 23:10:22

It's nothing to do with Islam and it's nothing to do with Hinduism. It's a local thing and most likely confined to that particular village and the neighbouring ones.
I'm a Hindu, my husband is from Maharashtra (that's the name of the state that these villages are in) and we have never heard of such a thing!

edam Thu 06-Aug-09 23:50:11

I wonder whether the mothers are happy about this. Or have the Indian version of EMILs (or EFILs) dragging their babies off...

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