Cambodian Belief About Suicide by Hanging

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perkele
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:37 pm

Cambodian Belief About Suicide by Hanging

Post by perkele » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:00 pm

Since suicide seems to be a hot (at least potentially still warm) topic at the moment - I just recently came across this story here: Cambodian Belief About Suicide by Hanging

I found it interesting and amusing, and hopefully potentially uplifting in some way for someone maybe.
Samouth wrote:Personally i still believe that depression and stress is still a new topic for so many Cambodians, especially those who live in the province and remote areas. They really don't believe that depression and stress is an illness that need treatment. It is really hard to explain some of them that people killed themselves because they felt upset, stress and depressed, since some of them believed that there were some other things that urged the person to hang him or herself.

Most Cambodians believed that there was a bad spirit inside the person that hung him or herself. That spirit urged and drew the person to do it. Normally that bad spirit led the person to hang him or herself in the forest. Interestingly, Cambodian believed that before the spirit led the person to kill him or herself, the spirit would gave some hints or did something to let people around that person to notice something, such as the person might had been seen walking with no head. However, if no one didn't see all these hints, the person will end up hanging him or herself. If someone had seen the person walking with no head. She or he will go to tell the person's parents or relatives. Then the parents or relative will go to invite the priest, monks and police to do the ritual (ceremony) to help that person. One thing that they have to be careful is that they have to hide it from that person. No one will allow that tell that person that someone saw him or her walking without head. This will destroy the whole plan and ceremony to help that person.

How to help that person (ceremony) and why do we need police to involve in that ritual

First, parents go to talk to police (normally the one that used to involve in such ceremony), then that police will go with his pistol and arrest that person by accusing him or her of stealing someone properties, killing someone or raping someone. Then police will threaten that person and will tell that person that she or he will be executed by shooting. Note, from the arrest until the ceremony finish, that person will be blindfolded the entire time and no one will allow to talk to that person even parents and relatives. Therefore, that person will be crying the entire time and will be asking to meet his family or wife/ husband or children. It pains to see it but we have to do it to save his or her life.

Police will walk that person from his or her house to the forest where monk and priest are waiting there already. At that place, they will dig a tomb hole and have a scarecrow made up from banana tree. That scarecrow represents that person. When everything already prepare, police will order him to stand near the hole and shoot the gun next to his or her ear. Why shooting the gun near the person ear, because we do it to scare the bad spirit and hope that it will leave the person body. After that the priest and monk will cut the scarecrow into half and toss into the hole. Then the monk will give blessing to the person and bring him or her home.

While doing it, not many people especially children will be allowing to see it as we believe that when that bad spirit leave that person body it might goes into another person body.

I have seen it a few times when i was young and every time i came back home, my mom always blamed and ordered me to wash my face with water, flower or perfume to bring me luck. :smile:

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