2.Devotee getting pierced. The French sociologist Émile Durkheim argued in Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912) that the collective performance of ritual generates a kind of ‘electricity’, an ecstatic state of shared excitement that he called ‘collective effervescence’. The rituals trigger hormones that stimulate the reward systems of the brain. Pain or fear can be transformed into pleasurable experiences and arouse a sense of belonging and assimilation, becoming an intense social glue.
In the Alagu, performed among the Tamils, devotees of Lord Murugan have their skin pierced with a single needle through the tongue or cheek to hundreds of piercings covering every part of their bodies, including swinging around a central pole from ropes attached to thick hooks pierced through their back, some carrying babies in their arms. Others carry elaborately decorated bamboo canopies called kavadi, a shrine for God Himself.
The day of Panguni Uthiram, commemorating the marriage of Shiva and Parvati, is for the grahasta dharma (or the married life of a householder). People pray for removal of obstacles in marriage proposals, for the birth of a child, cure from ailments and for solutions to various problems they face in life. #bnw #bnwphotography #bnw_society #bnwcaptures #bnw_planet #bnwcommunity #artofvisuals #visualart #artphoto #photoanthropology #documentaryphotography #indianphotography #indianphotographer #photographers_of_india #surrealismphotography #lensculture #bnw_magazine #photoessay - 3 minutes ago