6. India: Marrying an Animal
Even though it’s not the most popular time of year to have a wedding, I allowed my thoughts to wander and consider the most unusual marriage rituals across the globe. The realization came that there are many fascinating cultures out there with some intriguing beliefs surrounding nuptials and marital bliss.
In the image pictured here is an Indian woman. As beautiful as the picture is, women have been known to be forced to marry animals in India. Why? In some parts of India it is believed that ghosts can inhabit certain people of the living world. Most notably, girls who are born with a baby tooth already erupted through the gum and girls who are very ugly or have some facial disfiguration are believed to be possessed by ghosts.
The only way to exorcise the ghosts is for the girl to marry an animal, typically a goat or dog. Even though there is a lavish wedding ceremony complete with booze and dancing, the girl is not expected to copulate with the animal – which is good news! She is free to marry a man later on, when the ghosts are proven to be rid from her. I wonder who makes this decision and how they come to their conclusion.