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Nepalese Priest Defiles Himself For National Atonement

on 2001/6/19 9:49:02 ( 1314 reads )


KATHMANDU, NEPAL, June 10, 2001: Nepalese bade an ancient Hindu farewell to Crown Price Dipendra that they hope will banish the ill fortune that has struck the palace. Dipendra, as Crown Prince, was named king as he lay dying in a coma from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. As for his father just a few days before, the "katto" ceremony required a brahmin priest to deliberately defile himself by eating meat, then dressing as Dipendra and crossing the Bagmati River on elephant back. At first, the elephant appeared reluctant to go. As Nepali dignitaries slapped its buttocks to send the bad luck on its way, the elephant turned and chased them up a narrow path. Once brought under control by the mahouts, it lumbered across the river and away. The priest will be banished for the rest of his life, supported in exile by gifts and money donated by wellwishers anxious to rid the capital of the bad luck that has plunged the nation into crisis.

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