Cambodian villagers trust magic scarecrows to ward off coronavirus

By Chantha Lach DECHO, Cambodia (Reuters) - Cambodian villager Ek Chan has avoided the novel coronavirus so far without masks or social distancing but rather the scarecrows she has made to keep the deadly virus at bay. Ek Chan's two scarecrows, known locally as 'Ting Mong', guard the gate of her house in Kandal province near the capital Phnom Penh, giving her peace of mind.

Reuters November 27, 2020 00:13:09 IST
Cambodian villagers trust magic scarecrows to ward off coronavirus

coronavirus " src="https://images.firstpost.com/wp-content/themes/firstpost/images/220x220_Watermark.jpg" alt="Cambodian villagers trust magic scarecrows to ward off coronavirus " width="300" height="225" />

By Chantha Lach

DECHO, Cambodia (Reuters) - Cambodian villager Ek Chan has avoided the novel coronavirus so far without masks or social distancing but rather the scarecrows she has made to keep the deadly virus at bay.

Ek Chan's two scarecrows, known locally as "Ting Mong", guard the gate of her house in Kandal province near the capital Phnom Penh, giving her peace of mind.

The practice has existed for more than a century in some Cambodian villages, where residents like 64-year-old Ek Chan trust their ability to fend off evil spirits and disease.

"Since I made these Ting Mongs, they helped to scare away any virus including the coronavirus and stop it spreading to my family," said Ek Chan, who has a male and a female scarecrow.

"I myself really believe in the magic of the scarecrows and I don't worry about catching the virus at all."

Cambodia is among the countries least affected by the coronavirus , with just 307 cases and no deaths reported, having contained minor outbreaks in March, July and August.

But many Cambodians are still wary of getting infected, with fears heightened earlier this month when Hungary's foreign minister visited the country and later tested positive.

That prompted the testing and isolation of hundreds of people potentially exposed, including Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, and temporary bans on gatherings.

The scarecrows are easy to make, typically comprised of rice hay, bamboo or wooden sticks and dressed in old clothes.

Some are even given motorcycle helmets and armed by their owners with sticks and knives.

Ek Chan said she knows little of the science of COVID-19 , the disease caused by the coronavirus , and though she believes in the power of her scarecrows, she hopes a free vaccine will be available soon.

"That will kill this virus from our country," she added.

(Reporting by Chantha Lach; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Republicans face growing corporate backlash after Capitol assault
World

Republicans face growing corporate backlash after Capitol assault

By Andy Sullivan and David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans in the U.S. Congress faced growing blowback on Monday from businesses that said they would cut off campaign contributions to those who voted last week to challenge President-elect Joe Biden's victory. The announcements by Dow Inc., AT&T Inc.

Guardians of Congo's gorillas unbowed as ambushed colleague is buried
World

Guardians of Congo's gorillas unbowed as ambushed colleague is buried

By Djaffar Al Katanty GOMA, Congo (Reuters) - A line of Congolese park rangers raised their guns in salute on Monday as the coffin bearing their colleague Burhani Abdou Surumwe, a 30-year-old father of four, was buried in the black volcanic soil of a Muslim cemetery outside Goma.

COVID-19 fuelling education's tech disruption, deepening digital divide
World

COVID-19 fuelling education's tech disruption, deepening digital divide

TORONTO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The COVID-19 pandemic deepened inequities in accessing and benefiting from education but the future of learning could be a more equal one, participants told Reuters Next panels on Monday.