Naked girls plow fields for rain

PATNA, India Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:35pm EDT

A farmer works on his paddy field against the backdrop of monsoon clouds at Shanmura on the outskirts of Agartala, capital of India's northeastern state of Tripura, July 19, 2009. REUTERS/Jayanta Dey

A farmer works on his paddy field against the backdrop of monsoon clouds at Shanmura on the outskirts of Agartala, capital of India's northeastern state of Tripura, July 19, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Jayanta Dey

Related Topics

PATNA, India (Reuters) - Farmers in an eastern Indian state have asked their unmarried daughters to plow parched fields naked in a bid to embarrass the weather gods to bring some badly needed monsoon rain, officials said on Thursday.

Witnesses said the naked girls in Bihar state plowed the fields and chanted ancient hymns after sunset to invoke the gods. They said elderly village women helped the girls drag the plows.

"They (villagers) believe their acts would get the weather gods badly embarrassed, who in turn would ensure bumper crops by sending rains," Upendra Kumar, a village council official, said from Bihar's remote Banke Bazaar town.

"This is the most trusted social custom in the area and the villagers have vowed to continue this practice until it rains very heavily."

India this year suffered its worst start to the vital monsoon rains in eight decades, causing drought in some states.

(Writing by Bappa Majumdar Editing by Sugita Katyal)

FILED UNDER: