Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day XIII - Churel

Poor impure woman,
Scary hair and backwards feet,
Ghost stuck in squalor.

Unlucky is the impoverished Indian woman who dies during a period of 'ritual impurity'. Hindu mythology has it that low-caste females unfortunate enough to pass away whilst giving birth or going through 'that time of the month' become Churel: saggy-breasted, bedraggled ghosts with backwards feet and no mouth. Doomed to hang around graveyards or squalid places until a successful exorcism is performed, Churel are also said to seek to capture young men, possibly to suck their blood. They've been condemned to a really crummy afterlife because of poor time-keeping, poverty and the simple fact that they are women. Surely death should not be so discriminatory.

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