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Baby Tossing And Dhinga Gavar

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Often we can see, that every place has its own rules or traditions which are followed by the devotees of the region. From harmless, funny to highly dangerous rituals- India has it all! India being full of colors never fails to entertain the citizens. Each year, each month and each week- we have the stuff to celebrate. But sometimes these traditions are weird and make us think for a minute. One such activity is baby tossing which is mainly practiced in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Baby Tossing- Maharashtra:

This is a 700-year-old ritual practiced by both Hindu and Muslim families. Legend has it that centuries ago, when the infant mortality rate was high, a saint advised the families of this region to demonstrate their faith in God by throwing their babies off the roof and that God would magically produce a sheet below to catch them in. Since then this ritual is practiced with great enthusiasm. Once the child is born, it is taken to a dargah or temple where the baby is held over the sheer drop of the roof by its limbs, shaken by the priest, and then dropped.

The age limit of the infants is 1-3 years old. Though it never caused harm to any of the infants, many area campaigners protested against the ritual because of the high danger it possesses. In 2009, attempts were made by the district authorities to ban this practice. It was stopped for a while in the year 2011, but the practice was resumed in the Digambareshwara temple in the village of Nagrala in 2012. And again people are practicing it.

Dhinga Gavar- Jodhpur:

Dhinga Gavar is a unique festival that is meant for women in Jodhpur. It is actually the procession of women disguised as various characters. Women prepare well for this festival by booking makeup men to preparing costumes. The function of Dhinga Gavar starts after sunset when the statues of Dhinga Gavar are put on a dais at 11 important locations of old Jodhpur city. Each statue is decorated in a typical Rajasthan costume with gold jewelry of 5 kg to 30 kg. It is a perfect night out for women in the area. They disguised themselves into several mythological and historical characters like Krishna, demons, kings and even the contemporary male roles like policemen. The legend goes by, that once god Shiva disguised himself as a cobbler to tease Parvati. In return, the goddess disguised herself as Bhil tribal women. Married women and unmarried girls follow the traditional rituals of Dhinga Gavar. The rituals go on for 16 days.

While on one hand, some Indian traditions are completely bizarre and annoying on the other hand many are exciting and fun. These two totally contradicting traditions of the nation, truly makes India- The INDIA! And that’s the beauty of our country. Though we need to change and work on many of them, there lays rest who are heartily welcomed and celebrated.

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