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  1. Folklore expedition-The Maldivian version 1.0

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

    Note: This post was referred to as 'Silly little things!' in my light years post. 

    Yesterday I had to write a 'dhathurunaamaa'. (A travel journal? I don't know the correct term for that.) It was about a guy who goes to an uninhabited island to capture turtles. We must assume that they face pretty scary shit on that island. One person was nearly killed but at last they made a narrow escape and returned home after midnight.
    I have never faced a scary situation (and by scary scary I mean something supernatural. like a ghost actually?)..yet. Since it was a Dhivehi work it needs to make sense to 'the Maldivians.' And here in Maldives the idea of something supernatural would be a woman with long hair wearing a rai libaas (For those who don't know what a rai libaas is there'll be a picture somewhere in this post.) or the famous 'bodumeehaa'.

    I have to admit that I did actually watch a few Dhivehi movies when I was a kid. I still remember 2 or 3 'scary' Dhivehi movies. One of them was called 'E dhathuru' (That trip). A bunch of 'teens' go to this uninhabited island for a picnic but then one guy threw a crab at night somewhere in the jungle which hit a ghost. (A woman, obviously. I don't know why but Dhivehi film 'makers' can only picture ghosts as a woman. except Fathishandhuvaru. I totally forgot about that one but in my defense I didn't watch the movie.) Thus strange, weird things started happening to them.

    The other movie I still remember is called..umm..I forgot the name so I'll just call it  pebble. Oh who cares. It was a lame one anyway. But I did fear going to the bathroom. Why you asked? Well, I was like 10? or 8 when I watched it. and in the movie there was this octopus, in the toilet seat. So yeah, there's that. Once again in pebble the ghost was a woman. (The woman who played the ghost in this movie was famous for playing 'ghost' roles in movies. She said that people actually were afraid of her back then. That is so cool.)

    The actual subject of this post is superstitions and Maldivian folklore .(Mostly about supernatural creatures.)  Maldivian superstitions to be exact. (For those who fear supernatural powers, YES! I'm talking about you. You are in for a treat....sort of)
    The 'E dhathuru' movie, I wrote that the guy hit the ghost with a crab? When I was kid, before my mother threw out something at night she says this thing. (A prayer? A warning to the ghost?) In Dhivehi we call 'Gai kolhu gai gai dhuru' It's said as a warning to the supernatural creatures so that they would get out of the way and avoid getting hit by the stuff we throw. (This reminds me of the Sulaimaanugefaanu incident. You know the one. The ants? Yes. That one. I knew you were a genius. :P)
    So yeah, there's that. I wrote about 'gaikolhu gai gai dhuru' in my dhathurunaamaa. (Travel journal) One guy went to North of the island for fishing (alone, obviously. I had to make it scary.) however he caught a crab instead of a fish so he just threw it. (So Sherlock, you figured out my travel journal already? There is no more mysteries in life. I blame the social networks. Jk. Woohoo! I'm just overwhelmed because I will get to see season 3 of Sherlock real soon as they starts filming next month. Ohmygaaaaaaaod! If you don't watch Sherlock then I hate to say this but you should be ashamed. It is a crime not to watch Sherlock. It's not like our regular series. In a season there's 3 episodes and each episode is 1 hour 30 mins long. Believe me when I say it is epic. )
    I know that this is irrelevant but I just had to. This is so awesome that I could cry.  It's one of my favorites and it would soon be yours.
    Back to superstitions. 'Bodumeehaa' is quite famous among Maldivians. (There's this story about Hulhule' Bodumeehaa in one of our Dhivehi textbooks. I think it was when they were constructing the airport? I'm not so sure. But if you know which grade it is then please feed me with your information. I'm sure some of my readers would want to read it.) It is said that there's one of the 'bodumeehaa' in each island. Apparently it's like extremely tall. (Extremely tall would actually be an understatement.) I am a quite lost..for words. SLENDER MAN! Yes! It's the Maldivian Slender man. However I don't know about the face and the suit. I never heard any descriptions about the face. Maybe it's because he is soo tall that no one ever saw his face?
    'Bodumeehaa' is the Maldivian Slender man even though I'm not so sure about the face..and the suit.
    I am a supporter of 'Men should always wear suit'. Just saying.
    Next, the classic woman in a red dress. (or libaas to be exact.) They are beautiful and charming. These women already made quite a lot of appearances at different places. For instance in the jungle (obviously), at the side of an isolated road at dawn and in the evening. Here we call it 'handi'.
    Rai libaas. (The red dress of the famous 'handis' (ghosts)
    There's this folk story about one of these women. It's famously known as 'handi ganduvaru dhonkamana.' (English translation: Fair lady of the ghost palace. lol. This translation is really funny.) She met this guy in the jungle and they fall in love. When he asked her to marry him she said she would but under some conditions; he must never come in to the kitchen while she is cooking and he shouldn't spy on her and ask questions. He agreed to her conditions and got married. They were living happily for a while (They even had children.) until his friend, a sorcerer (or fandithaveriyaa in Dhivehi) visited him. The minute he saw his wife he knew she wasn't human and told him that.
    The husband then spies on her. When it was time to cook he saw her go to the bathroom and bent into the well (before the whole technological era we bathed from a well.) and took out living fishes. (The ones which fishermen catch from the oceans.) She then went to the kitchen and instead of wood she used her legs to cook. He broke their agreement and she was sad because he did that. She took off with their children, leaving him behind. (Thus marks the beginning of getting divorced/separated/taking off in Maldives. Jk.)

    Then there's the 'Rannamaari' story. (I kind of believed in rannamaari till I was like 7 or 10. I did not know the whole story but after a rainy night my place was such a mess. Leaves and branches everywhere. My lovely brothers then scare me saying that it was rannamaari. They had their fun. I wish I get to scare someone like that...Oh wait! I have my niece and nephew. Haha.)
    Okay! Focus! Rannamaari was the story behind country's conversion to Islam. In this interesting one there's this sea monster, (Sea monsters is called  fureytha in Dhivehi.) referred to as 'Rannamaari' which haunted the people of Maldives for like forever. Every month the people had to doll up a virgin and gift her to the demon at an isolated temple. The next morning the dead body can be found. A sacrifice. The girl is chosen similar to Russian Roulette. A Muslim traveler, Abul Barakaatul Yousuful Barubaree's landlord's daughter was chosen to be sacrificed. He suggested that he should go to the temple instead of the girl. He took her place and recited Quran in the temple. The demon disappeared and that was it. Rannamaari was never heard of again.

    I have more stories/superstitions of this country. But I think this would do for now. I wouldn't want to be the reason you can't sleep tonight now, would I? I, myself am trying not to think of the fact that I'm finishing this post at night and I'm alone. Oh shit! I am alone. and I just wrote about... I should go watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S now. That will make me forget all about this.

    Yeah.Potassium.Bye now.


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  2. 7 comments:

    1. Anonymous said...

      in Maldivian folklore and supernatural wateva things ghosts or spirits wears red or white cloths. nt suits :p

    2. Sau said...

      That is the regular ghosts/spirits/whatever. But I've never heard anyone say anything about the clothing of the 'bodumeehaa'. So we shouldn't actually rule of suits. Who knows? :P

    3. Sau said...

      You're welcome and thank you. :D

    4. Anonymous said...

      awesome... really awesome.. very interesting..

    5. Teresa said...

      I seen a tall dark figure in Maldives. Is this true because I thought I imagined it

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