16 Disturbing Photos From The Afghan 'Self-Flagellation Tradition'

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In Afghanistan, it has become a kind of tradition and even a ritual to injure yourself with a sharp object. It doesn't matter what part of the body exactly, anything is pretty much fine. Some parents even 'help' their small children who aren't able to cut themselves yet and injure their children. It isn't the space age in every single country yet. :(

1. This ritual doesn't differentiate people's ages: adults and little children can participate. However, the scene is quite disturbing.

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2. Apart from people hurting and injuring themselves, the fact that a father cut his little son's scalp has raised a lot of reactions.

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3. This is how Afghan society celebrates Ashura (The Day of Remembrance).

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4. This weird Shi'ite tradition involves sharp objects, especially multiple knives, that are tied at the end of a chain and hit against one's own body.

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5. Ashura is celebrated by Shi'ite followers to remember and mourn the death of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the prophet Muhammad.

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6. However, it wouldn't be right to say that all Shi'ites follow such a celebration ritual.

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7. A big part of Shi'ite Muslims consider this a cultural ritual, not an Islamic one.

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8. No matter what the reason is, the scenery is more than enough to freeze one's blood.

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