Monday, 25 April 2011

Pomlazka: whipping females in the Czech Republic

Today is Easter Monday and don't you just wish that you lived in the Czech Republic where females of all ages are routinely whipped today?

The men and boys of an area make rods called pomlazkas out of willow branches which they cut from trees themselves and then braid into a disciplinary implement which looks a little like a birch rod, but one that has a nice ribbon at the business end.

The fellows then go from house to house hitting the girls and women across the backsides with their whips. They are then given a shot of vodka and off they go to the next house and the whole thing turns into an exercise to see who can keep walking without falling over. One woman's happy account of the day's events can be found here, which is where I got the video, but two other women who have less than happy memories of the day have left their stories here and here.

There are various explanations as to the origins of this tradition, the most plausible being that the willow is a symbol of fertility, but I reckon that this is a symbolic way to remind women and girls of their place in the great cosmic scheme of things. 

Now that is something that all readers of this blog should support!

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