An exploration of flesh hook suspension contrasted across two cultures, one ancient and one modern, yields similar psychological and sociological benefits. For a millennium, the Tamil Hindus have maintained the sacred act of perforating their skin with metal hooks to suspend their bodies (chadak puja). In the 1990s, the practice of suspension diffused into non-Tamil cultures. This 15 minute presentation demonstrates the socio-religious significance of the chadak puja and traces its historical adaptation into the emerging international counterculture of “suspension practitioners.” For both groups, the physiological stresses of suspension trigger transcendent states of dissociation and generate secular, social benefits of ingroup catharsis and cohesion. This analysis stems from historical sources and qualitative research accumulated through both direct observation of the Sri Lankan Vel festival and participant observation in the Oslo Suspension Convention.
by: Paul King
Übersetzung: keine (English only)