Weekend break from answering questions. Not to worry, if you asked one, it will be answered…
Instead, today I just have to tell you about this news item that appeared in today’s paper here.
A bomoh [translation: witchdoctoring con-artist] in the northern state of Kelantan was treating a Penang family for something or other. His diagnosis was that the family’s problems were caused by some bad spirits or demons. He – being a skilled bomoh – caught these spirits and imprisoned them inside the trunks of banana plants, a process which included driving huge nails into the stems and then burying them in the local cemetery.
The photo below comes from the New Straits Times online page. See here
for a bigger shot and more details about the story.
Hocus pocus, you say? Of course it was. And did the the sensible people of the local village believe this tale? Of course not! They had far more sense. They rang up the local police to tell them that someone had buried space aliens in the graveyard. Which in the end resulted in the police exhuming the bodies (with hands clad in rubber gloves…just in case?)
And the bomoh? Well, he says he’s not responsible for whatever happens to the Penang people now that the spirits are free. He’s just got himself an out – if the patients don’t improve, it’s not his fault. He can blame it on the police. Who says witchdoctors aren’t clever?
Fantasy is not half as weird as the stuff real people will believe…