I have always made it a policy on Beyond the Mango Juice to never include a YouTube video on this site. Now after over 200 posts I find myself going back on my promised word. It’s just that I find them so ugly looking. They’re big, bulky and well….overweight. Women wise, they’re very un-Thai like. With great regret the huge, fleshy, overfed, plump and portly pile of pixels is shown deeper into this post. First, here’s something much more to my liking, a photograph.
One of my more recent posts Baby and Python – Food For Thought included the photograph shown above. The post created a fair amount of debate via the comment box. The image was relevant to my story in that it showed in its extremity the vast differences in Western and Thai culture. I reasoned that the scene in the photograph was not shocking to seasoned Thai travellers and ex pats, very few if anyone at all would have witnessed such a sight, but if seen it would only alarm and not disarm their mindset. To a Thailand newbie brought up on Julie Andrews movies, Garabaldi biscuits and soft toilet tissue, it would be mentally disturbing.
The very first comment to arrive on the post came from Mike Rose author of Thailand Blogs. Mike suggested something I hadn’t considered when writing my story, he questioned whether the image had been photoshopped or in other words overlaid or edited. Further comments argued for and against Mike’s suggestion but none produced a definite conclusion. Today I am still in two minds myself about the photograph’s authenticity. However I would like to offer a little more evidence that the kind of practice highlighted in the photo is very evident in Asian culture today.
I proudly present proof of the role playing between snakes and children in Asian culture in my very first YouTube video on Beyond The Mango Juice. Some of you may have seen this short 70 second clip before but for those of you who haven’t then this is worth viewing. The video was not filmed in Thailand but in India and before you watch it here’s a bit of advice.
- Make sure you are not eating anything.
- Lock all your doors and take your feet off the floor and put them safely under your butt.
- Put your fingernails between your teeth.
- Practice saying the following “Doctor I need some tablets to help me sleep”.
Now the big, beefy, bovine chunk of video is ready to sing.
I did a bit of research into the video and whilst the facts it bore are by no means conclusive they do make a lot of sense. The cobra has obviously been de-venomed, it has also most certainly had its jaws taped or stitched shut, you can see in the video that it strikes with a closed mouth.
I also read during my research that this strange child and snake ritual is practised in the southern Indian state of Gujarat by the 600 strong Vadi tribe. Here’s a link to an excellent article onCurrent Affairs.com about the Vadi tribe which explains the Vadi’s ritual of introducing children to cobras at the age of two. The ten year snake initiation finishes with the boys being adept snake charmers and the girls expert snake handlers.
Here’s a snippet from the article, I’m sure they won’t mind.
“The training begins at two, the children are then taught the ancient ways of snake charming until they are ready to take up their roles in our community,” says chief snake charmer Babanath Mithunath Madari, 60.
“At twelve the children will know everything that they can know about snakes. They are then ready to continue the traditions of the Vadi tribe which can be stretched back over 1,000 years to India’s great Rajas (kings).”
Please do click on the link because it is a fascinating article.
Finally I would like to offer conclusive proof that I do not have any prejudice or narrow-mindedness toward overweight videos by publishing a further YouTube clip on Beyond The Mango Juice.
I did provide a link to this video in a post I wrote way back in February 2009 titled Cobra – King of My Fears. The video is about the Cobra Village in Khon Kaen Province in Thailand and there is one particular part of it I’d like you to view. The video is over four minutes long but the section I’d like you to see starts at the three minute forty second mark. You can use the bottom sliding bar to arrive directly at this point although I do recommend you watch the whole movie.
Before you get to the point I have highlighted please make sure you have some food in your mouth and then think real hard about what you are eating.
The video embedding has been disabled by request from its owner (I didn’t realise that until after I hit publish) but you can view it by clicking on the YouTube screen below and following the prompt. It takes about one second to get there.
Barring a heavy dose of snakebites (lager & cider) Beyond The Mango Juice will be back sometime next week with its normal brand of mickey taking humour but I hope you have enjoyed this more serious kind of post I have published here today.
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