Friday, September 08, 2006

'Hysterical' curse

Very interesting news items.. though reported at.. two different places.. quite inter-related..

NEPAL - ‘Snake god curse’ creates hysteria

KATHMANDU: While psychologists explained it as mass hysteria triggered by fear and tension, an alarmed Nepal town began ritual worships to propitiate a dead snake whose curse was said to be causing dozens of school students to faint, weep and scream.
The Laxmi Secondary School in Lekhnath town in Kaski district, west of the capital city Kathmandu, presented a strange sight for two days in a row. Students, mostly girls aged 14 to 17, began falling down in a dead faint, weeping loudly, kicking and screaming and making signs of extreme fear and distress.
The first fits began on Tuesday, when nearly two dozen students displayed the symptoms. The alarmed school authorities and parents were nonplussed by the phenomenon and at a loss as to what to do. Nearly two dozen more students, including some boys as well, displayed the same bizarre behaviour on Wednesday as well, causing frantic parents to take their wards to the district hospital.
The principal of the school, Sribhadra Baral, decided to suspend classes for the rest of the week.
Shamans have been called to exorcise the slain snake’s spirit before the school reopens on Sunday.
Some teachers and local residents told visiting journalists, including private television channel Kantipur, that the disturbance had been caused by the curse of a snake god. Last month, the school authorities killed a snake found on the premises. According to local superstition, the snake was a deity that has been haunting the school to avenge its slaughter. Some of the afflicted students said they had fainted after seeing a huge snake that was poised to bite them.
A Kathmandu-based psychologist, Saroj Ojha, discounted fears of an unknown affliction hitting the school, saying adolescents, especially those who were weak physically or mentally, often showed signs of hysteria when under any emotional trauma.
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Meghalaya school students exhibit 'unusual' behaviour

SHILLONG: The Meghalaya government is looking into reports that a number of students from Christian schools in the state were exhibiting "unusual behaviour" like uncontrolled weeping and convulsions.

There have been reports during the past few weeks that students of 15 schools in Shillong and other institutions in the Khasi and Jaintia hills region were fainting, weeping, chanting hymns and having convulsions.

Christians thronged a Presbyterian church in the Malki area of Shillong since Tuesday following reports of "unusual lights" surrounding a cross kept on the pulpit, a witness said.

Deputy Chief Minister Donkupar Roy, who is in-charge of education, said the government was watching the situation but wanted the heads of institutions to handle the matter.

P B Lyngdoh, principal of the All Saints Diocesan School, where students also exhibited "strange" behaviour, claimed, "This is a part of the Christian revival which took place 100 years ago in this region. This is god's answer to our prayers. The behaviour of students is very much part of this."

Some students appeared calm while others struggling with "the holy and evil spirits" were restive, said Lyngdoh, who is also the vicar of All Saints Church. He claimed the restive students calmed down after they were taken to church and prayers were said in their presence.

1 Comments:

Blogger Arattai Ambujammal said...

Schools are centers of creativity, rationalism and education. There is no end to our "revivals","resurrections", "curses", "veppilai-adi", "saami-adal" and other superstitious beliefs - let's keep kids out of this. And to see that the heads of such schools are taking help of "healers" and "shamans" - upsetting.

9:41 PM  

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