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Indian youth weds hill to ward off curse
RANCHI, India (AFP) - A teenage boy in a tribal village in eastern India wed a hill in order to appease its goddess and remove a curse placed on his mother, a report said.
The boy, Robin, married a hill named Lakshmi after the goddess of prosperity in the presence of a large number of witnesses in Jharkand state, the Hindustan Times said.
The boy's mother, who had fallen and hurt herself while trying to climb the hill, believed the goddess was unhappy with her. She started to pray to Lakshmi and after three months the deity visited her in a dream.
"The hill goddess asked me to get my son married with her. The marriage will help in getting rid of her curse," said Keswar Devi, who lives in Bordih village, some 170 kilometers (105 miles) southeast of the state capital Ranchi.
"I requested my son and he agreed for the marriage."
On Tuesday, Robin wore a traditional bridegroom's outfit and set out on foot with a large festive party from his village to the hill three kilometers away.
The 400 villagers washed the hill with water and Robin placed a garland at the top.
After the priest performed the wedding rituals, a reception was thrown by the groom's family.
"I have accepted the hill as my wife," said Robin. "I have no remorse."
A local anthropologist said it was not uncommon for tribal people to marry objects or animals.
"There are scores of examples that tribal people got married with trees, dogs and other animals," former Ranchi University anthropology professor V.S. Uppadhyah told AFP. "Their life is inextricably associated with nature."