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Evil Spirits in Isaan
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  1. #1
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    Evil Spirits in Isaan

    Villagers battle evil spirits after girl's death
    Superstitious villagers in Si Sa Ket's Si Rattana district are placing hastily made straw effigies in front of their homes to ward off evil spirits intent on taking their daughters.

    The Nation
    Published on January 29, 2008

    Disturbed by the death of an apparently healthy pre-teen and brainwashed by a soothsayer, the Baan Toom villagers believe the spirits are preparing to take the lives of 10 of their girls, especially those born on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

    The belief rapidly spread after the 11-year-old girl died mysteriously on Saturday.

    Around 800 families in the village quickly made the effigies, decorating them with nice clothes. Some were given spectacles and hats to make them more life-like.

    Signs placed near the effigies say "This house does not have anyone born on Tuesdays or Thursdays".

    The mother of the dead girl, Noorak Thongduang, said her daughter Sirirat was healthy and had been a school volleyball player. She had never fallen severely ill before.

    At about 2am on Saturday, Sirirat started shaking and convulsing. Her mother rushed her to a hospital in the district where the girl later died.

    "Sirirat told me she had a headache but felt better after taking medicine. I thought she was just tired from school activities," Noorak said.

    A doctor who attended Sirirat said she died of a heart attack. But he could not explain how one so young who had never been admitted to hospital before could have been struck down like that.

    "I do not know whether she had a congenital disease as the hospital does not have her health records.

    "She was unconscious when she arrived here. She suffered lung oedema and her heart rate was abnormal. She could have had a heart disease but did not realise it," the doctor said.

    A villager, Ngern Baothong, 54, said nervous villagers went to a fortune-teller after they learnt of the tragedy.

    The fortune-teller told them evil spirits had taken her life.

    But if the villagers placed effigies in front of their houses, the spirits would not harm them, the fortune-teller said.

    Wannapa Phetdee
    Phongphat Triphiphat
    The Nation
    SI SA KET

  2. #2
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    Re: Evil Spirits in Isaan

    This article really speaks about many of the things I have seen about the relationship between people in Isaan and Spirits.

    It is commonly believed that if a child is born on Tuesday, then that child will grow up to be mean. I have not heard anything assigned to Thursday before.

    The signs posted outside the house about the children of that house not being born on Tuesday or Thursday is very familiar. It is very important in Isaan to keep the Good Spirits informed of what is going on in a house. It is also equally important to keep the bad spirits a little confused about what is going on in the house. This is why there are so many nick-names in Isaan and lovely children will be called an ugly name; to keep the bad spirits uninterested in the child.

    I would be interested to hear how this wave of belief develops over the next week or so. There are some things that may sound silly on the surface to an educated Westerner that is newly exposed to this kind of hysteria. Sometimes it is easy to forget these people were developing this kind of believe before Jesus was born.
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    Re: Evil Spirits in Isaan

    I don't look down on beliefs about spirits, I just hope the girl's parents are going to get some real answers as well as to what happened to their daughter and why.
    spirits and modern medicine are not mutually exclusive.

    or, are they?

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    Re: Evil Spirits in Isaan

    It is a human trait to blame someone or something every time something unpleasant happens in life, and, unfortunately for them, the 'spirits' are handy fall guys!
    They cannot answer or defend themselves directly, at least not immediately, so whatever it is, if it unexplained, it is their doing.
    To be happy with where you are, first be happy with who you are.

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    Re: Evil Spirits in Isaan

    Quote Originally Posted by khunlungphudhu View Post
    It is a human trait to blame someone or something every time something unpleasant happens in life, and, unfortunately for them, the 'spirits' are handy fall guys!
    They cannot answer or defend themselves directly, at least not immediately, so whatever it is, if it unexplained, it is their doing.
    The unpleasantness seems to have been very much exacerbated by a very human soothsayer in this case ! Wonder what he/she charged these poor villagers for such "services"?

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