P. Selvakumar’s new wife is a real bitch.
The 33-year-old man from Tamil Nadu province in Southern India, the Associated Press reports, married a female dog in a traditional Hindu ceremony designed “to atone for stoning two other dogs to death — an act he believes cursed him”:
A man in southern India married a female dog in a traditional Hindu ceremony as an attempt to atone for stoning two other dogs to death — an act he believes cursed him — a newspaper reported Tuesday.
P. Selvakumar married the sari-draped former stray named Selvi, chosen by family members and then bathed and clothed for the ceremony Sunday at a Hindu temple in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, the Hindustan Times newspaper said.
Selvakumar, 33, told the paper he had been suffering since he stoned two dogs to death and hung their bodies from a tree 15 years ago. “After that my legs and hands got paralyzed and I lost hearing in one ear,” he said in the report.
The paper said an astrologer had told Selvakumar the wedding was the only way he could cure the maladies. It did not say whether his situation had improved. Deeply superstitious people in rural India sometimes organize weddings to dogs and other animals, believing it can ward off certain curses.
The paper showed a picture of Selvakumar sitting next to the dog, which was wearing an orange sari and a flower garland. The paper said the groom and his family then had a feast, while the dog got a bun.
Mr. Selvakumar’s crime was stoning and hanging two dogs he saw mating when he was 18, which was followed soon after by the stroke which left him partially paralyzed. Over two hundred people showed up to Mr. Selvakumar’s wedding to his 4-year-old mongrel bride (the bride ran away during the ceremony but was quickly brought back), and the practice of interspecies marriage for atonement is “not uncommon” in more remote areas of India.
This practice is in stark contrast to the Jewish concept of atonement, which is more centered on tikkun than penance for its own sake. Indeed, one blogger asks why this “token marriage” would be preferable to the more tikkun-oriented alternative of taking care of stray dogs.
It’s little tidbits like this that make life more interesting.