Photograph - Photograph
A young Hindu has his cheeks pierced during a ceremony at Katargama, southern Sri Lanka. There was no blood...just a single tear appeared after the piercing. The combination of his stoicism with the heat and clanging temple bells made for a surreal experience I will never forget.
Tamil Hindus of Sri Lanka and South India refer to the place as Katirkamam. Out of love for Lord Murugan and to mitigate bad karma, bhaktars pierce their cheeks and tongues with vels, pull large chariots carrying murthi of Murugan with large hooks pierced through the skin of their backs. This practice is known as kavadi.
December 11th, 2010
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