Photos and videos of people making frog marriages to “appease the rain gods” flood social media every year at the slightest hint of an impending rain shortage. But if you think it’s just a one-off case of rain-related superstition, think again!
Today we live in a world where science and technology have helped us decipher some of the deepest mysteries of the natural world. But in some parts of our diverse country, countless social myths surrounding seasons, weather and nature continue to thrive. As we enter the second half of the monsoon, let’s take a closer look at some relatively popular myths about rainfall in our country and assess the possible reasoning behind them.
Myth 1: Marriage animals can influence rain behavior
Let’s get this out of the way first. Every year, the monsoon news cycle sees frogs, donkeys and other domesticated animals begrudgingly traumatized in the sacred marriage by farmers and farm workers, usually during times of scarcity of rainfall.
While frogs, like other amphibians, interact with the rain because they prefer a moist and dark environment (frogs mate during rainy seasons), there is no scientific or logical evidence to suggest that their marriage brings rain from our sky. can sprout, to say the obvious. Such practices can often lead to animal rights violations, as they are forcibly imprisoned and involve a long list of rituals.
Myth 2: Don’t eat seafood, cottage cheese and certain other foods during monsoons
You may have heard many people repeat the seafood part of this statement if you are from south or southeast Asia. This cannot be classified as a myth as it is backed up by science leading many health experts to recommend the same.
The monsoon month provides ideal conditions for the spread of many pathogens in the water. Some of these can infect fish, which can be transmitted to humans after consumption. In addition, since many fish species spawn during this season, consumption at such a critical stage of their lifespan can adversely affect their natural ecology and lead to stomach infections from the fish eggs. However, if you maintain good hygiene and cook your fish properly, you can reduce the health risks.
Consuming curds or even ice cream, on the other hand, is totally fine if you’re careful about the drastic temperature gradient. In fact, curd is one of the recommended foods because of its natural probiotic properties. Make sure everything is cleaned thoroughly before eating.
Myth 3: The air is fresher during monsoon season
While it is true that the monsoon in India is generally associated with cleaner air, showers are not the main reason for this phenomenon. Studies conducted in many parts of the world showed that rain only helped to reduce the amount of small particles (PM 1.0-2.5) in the air by less than 10%.
For a significant cleansing effect, we would need at the very least heavy to violent, extremely heavy rains, which are still only large (PM2.5) airborne particles by only about 30% and has a negligible effect on small particles.
In fact, our monsoons are relatively cleaner just because low wind speeds and excessive pollution of the October-December festival season clog the air after the monsoon and winter. For Indian cities, it’s a case where all the red flags seem harmless if your outlook remains pink.
Myth 4: Other Cultural and Religious Rituals to Produce Rain
India is home to many different cultures. As such, our agricultural nation has several bizarre rituals that aim to appease the rain gods and cultivate them under the best conditions.
While some of these are relatively harmless, such as the Varuna Yajna, where priests dip for hours in barrels of water to please Lord Varuna, some remain questionable. For example, among remote tribes in Uttar Pradesh, it is a tradition to send naked underage girls to households to beg for provisions, believing it would help with rainfall in the region.
These practices are rooted in superstition rather than any logical reasoning and in some cases can create dangerous conditions for their practitioners. While there’s no evidence to support these traditions, a few harmless habits can help you deal with anxiety during difficult times, even if they don’t produce the desired results. Therefore, these practices may have some merit after all.
And yes, you can eat your food from your pots and pans if you want to. Your lazy lifestyle won’t affect the weather on your wedding day; this is my personal guarantee!
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