Monday, December 19, 2005

Burning is learning by Glenn

OK so we are here in Varanasi and it is considered by the Hindus as the holiest of their cities. If you die here you end the eternal cycle of reincarnation so there are lots of old people waiting to die here. Varanasi isn't only famous for that its famous because its the place to be cremated if you are a hindu. What this means is there are 5 full time burning ghats, locations where the bodies are taken to to be burned, that run 24 hours a day. First the body is placed in the Ganges, their holiest and most polluted river, and then burned. Around the burning ghats there are stacks of firewood that is weighed so they know how much to charge for the cremation. Well its totally normal for people to come and watch the cremation as long as you don't take pictures. So Rob and I decide that we should go check this out since its one of the "things to do" in Varanasi. So we walk up to see these ghats and I thought they would be big and I don't know be very clean looking.

Well was I ever wrong. They put these bodies on fires the size of a large camp fire. I will never forget how chillin it was to hear the sizzilling of the skin on the bodies that were being burnt. I will never forget seeing a charred black human head and how the fire tender would use a stick to break up the body. Indian women aren't allowed to go to a cremation of a family member because they would cry and there is no emotions allowed at a cremation. Its really weird that no one is sad or crying at a cremation. It really wierded me out and I didn't like it. I didn't like seeing the bodies either and I'm pretty sure the images will stay in my mind forever. I thought it was a surral event but the funny thing was I think I could have stayed longer and watched because it was just so wierd and disturbing to me.


Blogger Summers said...

Hmm, "deer in the headlights" eh? Sounds shocking and crazy!

11:54 AM  

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