Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Parliamentarians in Kyrgyzstan slaughter rams to banish "evil spirits"

As Paul Harvey used to say, "It is not one world." Then again, since Canadian MPs don't seem interested in following the God of the Bible, they might want to try this in Ottawa when the new parliament meets later in 2011. As reported by Olga Dzyubenko of Reuters on April 21, 2011:

BISHKEK - Members of Kyrgyzstan's divided parliament slaughtered seven rams before their morning session on Thursday, in a sacrifice they hope will banish "evil spirits" disrupting their work.

Kyrgyzstan elected a new legislature in October in a bid to build the first parliamentary democracy in former Soviet Central Asia, a region otherwise run by authoritarian presidents.

But the fragile governing coalition has come under threat after weeks of bitter recriminations and disputes in parliament, leading a senior government member to resign temporarily...

..."We decided to resort to popular customs, in order for this building not to see bloodshed anymore," member of parliament Myktybek Abdyldayev told Reuters after the rams were sacrificed on a green lawn in front of the government headquarters...

..."We acted like those who light candles or fumigate their homes in order to banish an evil spirit from their conscience," Abdyldayev said.

The ritual of making a sacrifice is widespread in the impoverished, predominantly Muslim nation of 5.4 million. It is practised mainly during funeral repasts and at solemn ceremonies of reconciliation.

"This is a popular ancient tradition, carried out in order to avoid a repeat of last year's tragic events and for peace and harmony to triumph," said parliamentarian Kurmanbek Osmonov.

But Ondorush Toktonasyrov, one of those who led last year's protests that toppled President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, scoffed at the ritual as "a sign of backward mentality."

"Deputies have no idea about parliamentary culture," he told Reuters. "This is an official building where the president works, and the parliament slaughters rams!"

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