food / travel

Exorcism In India, Where A Ghost Fair Lures Believers

Exorcist at work duing the Malajpur ghost fair
Exorcist at work duing the Malajpur ghost fair
Shuriah Niazi

MALAJPUR — Every February, people gather in the village of Malajpur, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, for a unique ghost fair. It’s one of India’s most celebrated festivals — an ancient event where exorcists rid the body of evil spirits.

Amardas believes that a ghost has taken control of her sister-in-law, Dharmati Bai, who has been shouting strange words for more than a month now. “My sister-in-law must have been possessed by a ghost,” she says. “We've come to the Malajpur ghost fair to pay our respects to the temple. They’re treating her now, and I hope she’ll be cured.”

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Society

Face In The Mirror: Dutch Hairdressers Trained To Recognize Domestic Violence

Early detection and accessible help are essential in the fight against domestic violence. Hairdressers in the Dutch province of North Brabant are now being trained to identify when their customers are facing abuse at home.

Hair Salon Rob Peetoom in Rotterdam

Daphne van Paassen

TILBURG — The three hairdressers in the bare training room of the hairdressing company John Beerens Hair Studio are absolutely sure: they have never seen signs of domestic violence among their customers in this city in the Netherlands. "Or is that naïve?"

When, a moment later, statistics appear on the screen — one in 20 adults deals with domestic violence, as well as one or two children per class — they realize: this happens so often, they must have victims in their chairs.

All three have been in the business for years and have a loyal clientele. Sometimes they have customers crying in the chair because of a divorce. According to Irma Geraerts, 45, who has her own salon in Reusel, a village in the North Brabant region, they're part-time psychologists. "A therapist whose hair I cut explained to me that we have an advantage because we touch people. We are literally close. The fact that we stand behind people and make eye contact via the mirror also helps."

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