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Wednesday, October 3, 2012
The Mysterious Banana Plant
For the Hindus, the installation banana plants on both side
of the entrance of wedding ceremony are a must. They think banana plant will
bring ‘valeyadi valey’ or ‘continuity of life’.
Banana plants are also used for the purpose to avoid
misfortune in case where a couple is found of not suitable to be married; the man
will need to marry with a banana plant first. A priest will carry out the
wedding ceremony and upon the completion of the ceremony; the man will chop
down the banana tree to signify the failure of the first marriage. Only after
that the couples are married with a proper ritual. It is hoped that in doing so
whatever mishaps already been carried away by the banana tree. And that the
second marriage will bring happiness and prosperity.
In old Malay village, the banana plant clusters were used as
places to throw away or bury black magic items, heirloom items or spirits
imprisoned inside a container. Because of this the old folks always advise the
young ones not to play around banana plants at dusk. There were also stories
told that the newly buried corpse transformed into banana trunk upon digging
up. Because of these stories, banana plants be become ‘taboo’ and almost synonym
to Malay mysticism.
The Chinese however believe a banana plant to be notorious
of attracting spirits. The larger a banana plantation is, and then the chances
of finding power spirits are higher.
A person is forbidden to urinate or shit inside the compound
of a banana plantation. Besides that, he also need to mind his language; if he
ignores these taboos then bad luck will be fallen onto him. He is also forbids to
smear his blood onto a banana plant because it is believed that the banana
plant will turn into banana spirit once fed with human blood. On the other
hand, Chinese also believe that banana plants can bring ‘ong’ or fortune and
luck to the house owner.
In Taiwan, it is forbidden to cast a person’s shadow into
holes dug during banana planting activities. It is also a no-no to burn banana
leaves in a large scale as the local believe that this action will make the
person to be void of offspring.
Like the Chinese, some Thai believe that a banana plant may
house a type of vampire spirit called ‘Phee Pop’. This ‘Phee Pop’ can be caught
through certain rituals.
So friend, do you have your own version of banana plant
usage to be added to this library?