July 23, 2009 / 10:30 AM / 11 years ago

Naked girls plough fields in India for rain

PATNA, India, July 23 (Reuters) - Farmers in an eastern Indian state have asked their unmarried daughters to plough 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 ploughed the fields and chanted ancient hymns after sunset to invoke the gods. They said elderly village women helped the girls drag the ploughs.

“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)

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