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Stepping on Human Skulls in Bangalore’s Black Magic Graveyard Holy Curiosities 

Stepping on Human Skulls in Bangalore’s Black Magic Graveyard

As I stepped over the leg bone, I laughed. I’m no bone doctor, but it looked human to me. Orthopaedist, is that what it’s called? I’m no orthopaedist. Must be from a cow, or maybe a dog. Do dogs get that big? Not a human. Definitely not a human. But then I tripped, and I stepped on a skullcap, that really nailed it for me. This Bangalore graveyard was covered in human bones. “Maybe the dogs dig them up,” suggested Kaveri, as she led the way to the high priestess…

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Another Little Bangalore Boat Church Holy Curiosities 

Another Little Bangalore Boat Church

53 weeks ago, I posted about my first boat church. The other day — deep in Bangalore’s Austin Town — I found another. So what does this represent? St Thomas coming to Kerala? Or Jesus and Mary coming to India? Is the boat a little Fisher of Men? Or the stormy trip to Gerasenes? How many of these boat churches are there? And when will I find one that’s not empty?

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Hindus Are Buried…?! Holy Curiosities 

Hindus Are Buried…?!

I didn’t know Hindus were buried. Like, they’re always cremated, right? And then we stumbled on our local Hindu graveyard. And realized how wrong we were. The Bangalore architect laughed at me when I asked him about it later. “That’s the great white myth,” he said. “You Westerners still like to romanticize us Indians like the colonialists. But it’s not true. These days, most of us Hindus prefer to be buried.”

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Gorgeously Gory Paintings in a Burmese Temple Holy Curiosities 

Gorgeously Gory Paintings in a Burmese Temple

Most people visit Ananda Phaya to see the massive gold Buddha. I’m not surprised: it’s remarkable. But hidden in a side-alcove, propped up in the ceiling, I couldn’t help noticing a series of paintings. Gloriously gore-filled paintings of demons wreaking havoc on mortals: boulders rolling over bloody victims, body parts dangling from coatracks, quartered corpses splayed out for crows, body part littering slabs of tile. What was this?

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Sweet & Holy “No Pissing” Signage Holy Curiosities 

Sweet & Holy “No Pissing” Signage

If there’s a wall in India, someone’s planning to treat it like a latrine or a dump. Official signs, unofficial pleas, it doesn’t matter. Notice the dribbles of urinet spray below. What if you tried painting a Hindu god or two on the wall? Surely that would help. Is that spray diarrheal??? Really?!!?!? In Bangalore, to keep your sidewalks clear, you really need more God. Much more God. In fact, bring all of them! That’s right: Hindu, Christian and Islamic symbols, arm in arm, side by side, under the banner…

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Jesus and Mary in a Little Indian Boat Holy Curiosities 

Jesus and Mary in a Little Indian Boat

It’s Good Friday, and so why not mention this delightful little boat I pass every day? It gives passage to Baby Jesus and Mama Mary, who endlessly sail the open seas of Bangalore’s Shanthinagar district. Of course, by “open seas” I mean a dirty, dusty, honking, traffic jam. And by “sail,” I mean sits on top of a little concrete chapel. But what I love is how India can turn a crummy concrete chapel into something so endlessly endearing. My only question is: why a boat? I guess only the…

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The Creepiest Amusement Park of All Time? Holy Curiosities Theme Parks Top Stories 

The Creepiest Amusement Park of All Time?

Singapore is bland. It’s a high-priced row of shopping malls and fine eateries, with a few hawker markets thrown in. “It’s soooooo boring,” warned my hairdresser Miss P. But then you stumble on something like this. The Tiger Balm Gardens: The most disturbing theme park of all time. There’s sex, violence, bear-maulings and scabies. Statues of slutty immoral crotch-grabbing wenches, and creepy animals dressed as humans. Down a dark musty cave, a terrifying tableaux displays every vengeance that awaits you in the hell you’ll surely meet.

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The Modern Afterlife Holy Curiosities The Occult 

The Modern Afterlife

With Melaka being a culture mix of Indian, Malay, Chinese, Dutch and Portuguese, amongst others, local customs are very much honored and preserved. Buddhists, keeping up with modern times, offer their ancestors the very best in the afterlife. Apart from the expected cash to spend and incense to purify and keep them from harm, the modern dead are blessed with all of life’s daily amenities and enjoyments including cigarettes, a complete wardrobe, soda pop and beer, as well as lingerie and extra set of dentures, and the latest iPhone! “I’m…

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Celebrating Easter in China… Holy Curiosities 

Celebrating Easter in China…

When you’re in a country that doesn’t officially celebrate Easter, like China, sometimes you get nervous.  Will the Easter Bunny get his visa yanked at the last-minute?  Are you sure those chocolate eggs are melamine-free?   Is the holiday even legal here? Well, we had those same concerns too, but finally decided China’s gonna love Easter! Good FridayFirst, start your Easter right, with a large order of “Holy Fries” for Good Friday.  Weren’t chips Jesus’ favorite snack?  Even if they weren’t, they’ll go great with your Friday fish.

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