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Ghanaian schoolgirls have been banned from crossing a river while they are menstruating - and on Tuesdays. The ban, apparently given by a local river god, has outraged children's activists, especially as girls must cross the river to reach school.

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and on Tuesdays

But of course

Well clearly he hates the female anatomy so much he doesn't ever want to hear anyone say "see you next Tuesday"

Wanna join the Lesbian Alliance Club?

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But of course

I mean if you were an ancient African river god wouldn't you care for the Roman 7 day week?

Evidently

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He doesn't have anything against Tuesday's, he's just off that day

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I'm surprised they even bothered to state it. Everyone knows women shouldn't cross rivers on Tuesdays.

I've read that orthodox jews aren't allowed to tie knots on Saturdays, but their religion at least has something to do with the week. (God created the Earth in seven days.)

Most days (in English) are named after Norse gods, Thursday is Thor's day, Tuesday is Tyr's day, Friday is Freya's day, Wednesday is Odin's day (Wōdnesdæg, Middle English version writes it as Wednesdei, "day of Woden".

They was originally named after planets named after Roman gods that were mostly taken from Greek gods, but Germanic languages (including English) substituted it with Germanic gods. So Jupiter (same as Zeus) was replaced with Thor.

(sorry for long comment, I'm Swedish, couldn't help myself)

Ah so this is the kind ofeducation you get in a non-shithole country. /s

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That part makes me laugh really hard... it's like "yo when they be bleedin'... and on Tuesdays."

Does it say anything about bank holidays?

Yeah, I'd put money on said "river god" or rather his spokesman doing something shady near that river on Tuesdays.

The menstruation part is just a cover up to make it sound more like a normal religious prohibition.

It's Tuesday my dudes........

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1.2k points · 6 months ago

I feel that this is a headline that should be in a RPG setting like D&D or Pathfinder, not IRL.
What.

Eh, beating up a local river god is straight out of the Exalted RPG core rulebook, so I'd go with that over D&D or PF.

Seriously though, I had to check what sub I'm in when I saw the headline.

Achilles fought the river god Scamander in the Iliad

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My girlfriend adores Exhaulted and I have to side with you on this one. This is completely awful.

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What do you think life is. Its just one big RPG.

Fuck that place.

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Yeah, but it's pay2win.

Except everything can only be bought with in game money.

You either need high charisma or you have to roll good starting equipment at character creation. Alternatively, you can go with a chaotic evil alignment and basically play on easy mode.

Only if you have the favours perk that lets you call for a bail whenever you get busted.

Requires the Rich Parents or Corporate Connections perk.

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737 points · 6 months ago

The river God told them to build a bridge for those girls, but that was conveniently left unheard.

Actually the Bridge wouldn’t help. They’re literally not allowed to crossover from one side of the river to the other irrespective of the how. This includes but is not limited to canoes or bridges. It’s the act of crossing over the river.

Scott and I spent nearly 2.5 years there in Ghana over the space of 6 years. Traveling back and forth. The vast majority of that time in country was spent along the Ofin river (Pronounced Oaf-een). Women not crossing the river on Tuesdays is such common place knowledge. In fact, in my experience they won’t cross on any Tuesday. Menstruating didn’t matter. It was also widely understood that if a woman did cross the river on a Tuesday she would become pregnant.

Also, and this next belief is topic adjacent, but oft time we would be traveling to our site or around the area for whatever the reasons and on Tuesdays none of the women would be allowed to work with the Galamsays. Galamsay miners are “artesanal miners” which always seemed to us a more flowery word for what a lot of these miners REALLY were, which is the hardest working, boot strapping, make it happen yourself mother f’ers I’ve ever seen. Their name is also synonymous with “Illegal Miners” a lot of the time. But more often than not they go to a plot of land and with no more than shovels they dig and wash with little more than a home made plank of wood, tilted at an angle with a small square of carpet at the end. They find gold. More than Scott and I were ever capable of finding. Some would be mechanized, but most of them wouldn’t be at all. It was sheer will. That being explained, on Tuesdays, no women allowed if they’re menstruating. I was told verbatim; “The blood will chase the gold away”. Keep in mind, one of the keys to “finding” Gold’s is washing it, and you need water. And that water comes from??? You guessed it, the rivers and streams. I remember one time seeing a group of about 8 women who, on a Tuesday of course were not allowed to mine with the men, and so there they were, off the beaten path in an old Chinese mining hole that was not reclaimed, and they were right up against the edge of the pit washing dirt by hand. I remember walking past them and thinking how hard, how truly hard that kind of work was and yet here they are. Cutoff from the men another Tuesday in a row, but unstoppable. They would provide for their families and themselves (these were women mind you, not young girls). From an entrepreneurs viewpoint I remember thinking wow, and I was ashamed also because I knew that these women were working harder than I have ever worked in my entire life... and for them; it was just another Tuesday.

Actually the Bridge wouldn’t help. They’re literally not allowed to crossover from one side of the river to the other irrespective of the how. This includes but is not limited to canoes or bridges. It’s the act of crossing over the river.

Hrm so my glorious tunnel under the river plan is out then too?

10 points · 6 months ago

Seems fine to me since you're going under not crossing over.

Comment deleted6 months ago(5 children)

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Rules are rules.

How about traversing the globe in the opposite direction of the river to get to the other side. Technically you wouldn't be crossing that particular river so it should be allowed.

This guy figured it out. Everybody can just go home, we got the problem fixed right here.

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Well they did say "crossover", nothing about under.

What if they just turned around and took the long way around?

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[deleted]
28 points · 6 months ago

I’m not sure how long ago you were in Ghana, but the expansion of galamsay is wreaking havoc on the environment. However hardworking and bootstrapping these illegal miners may be, they are utterly destroying waterways, and are outlawed for good reason.

I had a front row to it. And you’re right they don’t help the environment at all. In my experience it was the Chinese miners who were front an center. They had the money to run fully mechanized operations, but they would NEVER reclaim land. Granted, neither do most Galamsay, but the rate in which they can move dirt pales in comparison to the well funded Chinese. Our show shined a light front and center on the Chinese and not too long after thousands of Chinese were deported. Illegal mining slowed. But, from what I hear it’s back and stronger than ever. I don’t defend that. Admire the grit? Yes. I’ve dug in pits with these guys and worked with them. They are such hard workers. But, the practices, use of mercury, etc. cannot be defended. But if one were to try, they would say, in some cases, they just need money. Not a good excuse. But I’ve heard it.

[deleted]
11 points · 6 months ago

That sounds spot on, and I apologize for having inferred praise for the practice in general. The guys in the pits are not the problem, but, of course, the moneyed interests behind them don’t get an appropriate share of the blame. And, yes, the pace has picked up again, though the government in conjunction with the media has begun to shine a light on it in an effort to get it under control.

No apology needed, it's a solid point to bring up. And again, I spent most of my time in a few areas within 1 region of Ghana, granted a heavily mined region, but I'm certain that if we looked closer you would find what you were saying also.

How fucking stupid are these people? Also who the hell is Scott??

47 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Yep, Scott was my business partner. We started mining, in Ghana, then after a couple years Scott wrote a letter to the production company of Gold Rush. They responded and we had a reality tv show on Discovery for 2 short-lived seasons on the Discovery Channel. Scott and I don’t work together any longer, but we’re still best friends. I texted him this article. He said we could have beat the BBC to the River God story by 8 Years.

Ok now we know who Scott is, but can you tell us about Amy?

Just saw that. As I read once in r/showerthoughts I swear I correct Auto-correct more than Auto-correct corrects me.

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From his username he seems to br part of some sort of survivalist or travel show.

Also lack of education does that to you.

15 points · 6 months ago

How fucking stupid are these people?

Uneducated/mis-educated is not the same thing as stupid. Ignorance can be cured and represents waste when it isn't.

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Dam the river with tons of earth fill, every tuesday. Problem solved.

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Comment deleted6 months ago(1 child)

It’s not new at all. However, I admit I’m not sure how far back it began. I can say that from my point of view I was not always convinced that the belief in the River Gods was always genuine or pure, not always. Before mining any land we would always have to do a ceremony with libations and sometimes even a sacrifice (chickens and one time it was a goat). This would entail the Chief of the land and the Elders. There would be alcohol drinking (by the Chief and Elders, they would offer to us and we would always point to the next guy) and alcohol being poured on the ground. But then there was money offered as well. Now, money doesn’t always taint religious belief/customs for me, however when I can pay an extra amount to be able to mine on Tuesdays it was frustrating. It was interesting to know that simply by paying more money, this some how made it either acceptable to mine on Tuesdays, or admittedly in other cases, an acceptable risk.

5 points · 6 months ago

It was also widely understood that if a woman did cross the river on a Tuesday she would become pregnant.

This really reads like there is an open season on women by the river on Tuesdays, and that things were bound to happen whether the women wanted it or not.

what

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If a river god speaks in the forest and you hear him, do you still build a bridge?

I was about to call you racist because bridges aren't that hard to build and surely there'd be a bridge across a river that people have to cross daily.

There's one. One bridge in over 50 miles of river. One bridge only at the largest of all the towns in that district.

Damn Ghana. Get it together.

Where is top gear/Grand tour when you need them.

I’d be more concerned about hygiene. From the World Bank report linked in the article:

It is estimated that 11.5 million women in Ghana lack hygiene/sanitation management facilities that adequately separate waste from human contact. According to the latest UNICEF water and sanitation in schools monitoring report, 59 percent of primary schools in Ghana have adequate water and 62 percent have adequate sanitation.

Granted, that's a more serious concern, but sanitation requires central planning and infrastructure and investment.

A footbridge is something that can be built by a group of villagers over a few month period and has been a technology known since ... I don't even know -- The neolithic age probably. It can literally be made out of rough timber and uncut stone, and often were before the Romans made it into an art form over 2000 years ago.

We're not talking about a steel cable suspension bridge that can support an 18 wheeler with a gross weight of 22,000lbs. Just a footbridge that schoolgirls can walk across.

but sanitation requires central planning and infrastructure and investment.

So do schools. 40% don’t have effective sanitation. We’re not talking about sewers, as I highly doubt that’s available in the other schools, so you don’t need much infrastructure or central planning. Just enough to organize where the materials are going and organize the supplies, most of which could be delivered by boat or helicopter if necessary.

A footbridge is something that can be built by a group of villagers over a few month period and has been a technology known since ... I don't even know -- The neolithic age probably. It can literally be made out of rough timber and uncut stone, and often were before the Romans made it into an art form over 2000 years ago.

It depends on the river. On a river that wide a wooden footbridge isn’t going to last. You need a solid foundation and a firm bottom for the supports. This would require pile drivers at a minimum, and while you can make a crude pile driver that’s going to require poles long enough to get through the relatively deep water (given the width of the river) and deep into the bottom, preferably several feet. You’d also need to ensure river boat traffic can get by, complicating the design. The Romans could do it, and apart from the boat requirements the locals probably could too, but the Romans had far more infrastructure and building experience than these locals. There’s a reason Roman structures stand to this day.

Just a footbridge that schoolgirls can walk across.

On a river 100 feet or 30 meters wide. That’s more than a simple footbridge.

Some rivers can be extremely hard to bridge due to frequent flooding, an extraordinarily deep channel, or a very fast current, among other concerns. It's not unreasonable or racist to assume a very poor country without the capital to properly build other types infrastructure might not have a lot of bridges.

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2.3k points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

River god.. how does one get a job like that?

ETA: Woke up to 2k likes. That's the most I've ever had. Thanks kind internet strangers lol. I might not be a river god but I can settle for reddit god.

happy new year to me! 😂

2.2k points · 6 months ago

Step 1: Find a popular river crossing

Step 2: Buy a ferry

Step 3: ?????

Step 4: Prophet

148 points · 6 months ago

Giggle

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[deleted]
40 points · 6 months ago

This is a quality joke.

This guy memes.

!RedditSilver

40 points · 6 months ago

!redditgarlic

14 points · 6 months ago

Oily, pungent, and divisive. Just like redditors!

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I wonder how said "River god" will go about enforcement of this decree. Either: Not at all. Or we're getting a new headline next week about mandatory river crossing underwear checks...

Good guy Kim has been fighting the water gods for years now. With nukes even

[deleted]
19 points · 6 months ago

Legends will be told and songs will be sung about the Mad Kims, who bucked the logic and science and diplomacy of the world in order to secretly fight the terrors of the deep. They had to be the world's nuisance to be its savior.

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14 points · 6 months ago

That beats Xerxes I (the Persian king from 300), whose real-life version sentenced the Hellespont (yes, the strait) to be whipped for destroying the bridge built for his army.

How does one get a job like that?

73 points · 6 months ago

You are on a list now.

The list of candidates?! Yes!

Score!

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Dude... school girls

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Droughts or flooding are their usual methods.

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At some point the river will either flood or go dry. Which is the anger of the river god.

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88 points · 6 months ago

Nepotism. Tough to get in unless you know an ocean deity.

132 points · 6 months ago

It's Neptunism at that point.

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/u/rivergod care to comment?

37 points · 6 months ago

I saw the river god a few years back in Vegas. That Irish guy can sure dance. Or was it River Dance? Too many free drinks. That weekend was a blur.

  1. Find uneducated people

  2. Call yourself river god

  3. Profit

A watery tart

[deleted]
20 points · 6 months ago

Was she handing out swords again, god dammit?

That is no basis in forming a government man.

If I went around calling myself king because some moistened bint lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd lock me up!

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First, you need to be in a Ghibli movie.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR!?

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The YouTube channel Oats has a good tutorial you can follow:

  1. Live the life of a peaceful Vietnamese farmer during the Vietnam War

  2. Have your whole village get burned to the ground while you were out fishing

  3. Clutch your arms around your dead wife and yell into the sky

  4. Have your skin flake off and float away as you get REALLY angry

  5. Get so angry that you become a Type Green

  6. Send American soldiers to alternate timelines and alter the biological nature of any corpses you find on the battlefield

  7. Make things float in the air

  8. Profit

Wtf are you talking about heh.

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He Bo is branching out or outsourcing...

When someone asks you if you're a River God, you say YES!

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179 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Grew up in Ghana. There are plethora of these rules. They normally serve a conservation purpose or a simple sexiest. Not fishing, farming or hunting on certain days just serve a conservation purpose but like all things in a religious setting it's tied to the wishes of one deity or the other.

It's B.S....the God part.

Now, these girls can cross this river anyday of the week regardless of their menstrual cycle. That is to say, no one is checking. But will they dare? It's the equivalent of a Catholic stealing the bread & wine meant for the Eucharist. No, you won't burn in hell but 99.99999% of those raised to believe in the Eucharist will not dare!

Solving this.

You will need to convince only ONE person to change this custom. It's neither the government or the chiefs of these traditional area to stop this. You need to convince the Queen Mother.

In this part of Ghana (This falls within the Ashanti Kingdom) the Queen Mother is arguably the most powerful monarch. She a woman (duh) & the Kingmaker. Convince her & she will end this in a day. Libations will poured, sacrifices made, gods appeased and BOOM.... girls can magically cross this river. It would help if the Queen Mother crosses first....you know just to make sure the gods are indeed okay with this rule change.

All said & done, it's an age old tradition and traditions die hard. Most of the girls will still be too scared to cross. Fear of malicious spirits red in tooth and claw rule our lives.

Yeah but what if she gets pregnant after crossing?

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Queen Mother... Kingmaker... This sounds like part of a Game of Thrones plot.

[deleted]
9 points · 6 months ago

Is the queen mother an actual person? Who chooses the queen mother.

Yes, she an actual person. Ashanti's are matrilineal so I believe it's inherited along a female line. I don't know how the selection is done though.

What her number?

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Ghanaian river gods appear to be giant dicks just like Greek river gods.

At least Ghanaian gods don’t put their dick into everything like Greek gods.

" It was also widely understood that if a woman did cross the river on a Tuesday she would become pregnant."

from a poster above who's been to the region.

What’s with gods and male immortals trying to impregnate everyone? Do they want to paid an obscene amount of child support?

when you're immortal you deadbeat it and just wait out your prison sentences.

  1. Fuck someone

  2. Wait 5 years

  3. Fuck someone else

Truly the life of god

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129 points · 6 months ago

So this river god is weak to girls on Tuesdays and when they are menstruating?

I am a powerful, manly go -- gah! Is that blood! I faint!

I TOLD YOU NOT TO CROSS THE STREAMS MEDAMMIT.

MEDAMMIT

Took me a second...

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The river god is an excuse to prevent girls from getting an education. I’m pretty sure the river god is more preoccupied with making sure his river is clean from pollution and that the fish thrive rather than who crosses his river on what day.

Idk, gods can be kinda petty at times.

I don't know how to classify God's demands as petty and not petty. For me, the very act of demanding something from humans makes any of God's demand petty....i mean you're God!

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84 points · 6 months ago

When dealing with a troublesome river god (i.e. a flood destroyed your infrastructure project) the best course is to have your army whip the water for a few days so the locals know you will not put up with such insolence. - Xerxes

25 points · 6 months ago

Caligula approves of this idea.

"If it be in the internet, it is certainly true."

  • Cicero

214 points · 6 months ago

River God? These rapper names are getting out of control.

I'm beginning to feel like a river god.

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Lil River makes good mumblerap and you just don't get it. My favorite lyrics go like this:

mmhmm yehimmehmehmmmhmm

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new HBO show River God, more nudity, more violence

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60 points · 6 months ago

Fuck the river god who cant make a school at the village .... Gods like these die in school (books /education) , may be that's why.

Comment deleted6 months ago(3 children)

Exactly, the river god is not the problem been it’s the authorities using the river god as an excuse to prevent girls from getting an education.

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165 points · 6 months ago

I am only concerned about these kids having to constantly cross a river to go to go to school. Forget about this crazy river god, the real issue here is not menstruation but the safety for these kids. Authorities should construct a bridge.

“The Authrorities” here appears to literally be called a river god.

So they might have a few issues to iron out before they get to bridges and infrastructure planning.

Or boat building.

Actually it's a pretty good strategy. This way you get the smartest and the strongest Anyone too weak gets washed away and anyone too dumb gets thrown in the river too? I mean that wasn't in the article but I am assuming

41 points · 6 months ago

Similar strategies really helped Sparta remain relevant

31 points · 6 months ago

Not exactly. You get the best rivercrossers.

There is a correlation between skills required to cross rivers and to kick messengers into wells, so it works out

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Building a bridge still results in crossing a river. Do you English much?

The River God requested a bridge be built.

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What do River God's have against Tuesdays?

"Stop bleeding on me, its kind of gross." - River God.

"Plus, Tuesday's are my day off." - River God.

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And on Tuesdays

So that's what Nuggan got up to after the Duchess died.

(In the Terry Pratchett book, Monstrous Regiment, a strictly religious country follows a god who hands down a terrifyingly long list of things that are anathema, such that breaking them is guaranteed. )

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meanwhile officials are more concerned about getting an apology for their country being referred to as a shithole.

Can we write to our own river gods to see if there's anything that can be done about this?

It's 2018, we need more progressive river gods in the world and dinosaurs like this one need to go.

Local river God? K

But this place is totally not a shithole.

Seems like just a way to get girls to not go to school, to keep them oppressed

"Super weird how I only menstruate on weekends, huh?"

what a shithole of a country.

Ugh 😑

[deleted]
6 points · 6 months ago

Some days I wonder how much more screwed up politics could be. And then I wonder how bad it would get if everyone took advice from an African shaman. And then I realize I do not have to wonder because it happens all the time in Africa. I hope your population explosion leads to a great awakening because listening to a guy who lives out in the woods, all alone for most of his life, about anything other than the woods he lives in, is a mistake. Do not make policy on a hermit who refuses to know his people and lives "by the old gods".

Build a tunnel.

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What is this River God's stance on Building Bridges?

All jokes aside, can we talk about how fucked up this is?

Those river Gods can put up with open sewer pipes, shopping trolleys and frogs ...but teenage girls? Hell no!

[deleted]
29 points · 6 months ago(4 children)
12 points · 6 months ago

Sounds like it, lol

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Literally shithole countries lmao

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Who's checking menstruation ?

local river god, being an omnipotent being it should prove no significant problem miss money penny

I doubt it's omnipotent, probably just has some cool water tricks.

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I actually had to double check that it's really 2018.

I'm afraid the river god has spoken and no gods are made up so, nothing can be done

4 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Talking about Nepal.

Woman in Nepal dies after being exiled to outdoor hut during her period

Thank Jebus that we don't have any crazy/stupid beliefs here in the USA.

[deleted]
5 points · 6 months ago

Why would a river spirit care about menstrual blood in its waters?

Lots of other gross stuff to worry about, like industrial chemicals and potentially the faeces of swine which are probbably a lot more harmful to the river ecosystem and possible supernatural beings than a little bit of blood could ever be.

The river god exscuse only holds up if you are an idiot with a faulty bullshit detector.

How about the fucking river god deal with his own neuroses. If he's afraid of women, he can just fuck off and stay upstream.

Its crazy how widespread local superstitions and voodoo are in many parts of Africa. Was watching a vice documentary about how Ghanaian internet fraudsters use voodoo to try to help them with their internet scams. Here's the video.

I taught for a bit in Ghana. Really lovely,friendly people. Would recommend anyone go there. This does however remind me of a time the group I went with wanted to climb a hill, but we had to meet the chiefs first for some reason. They said if you had your period you couldn't go up the hill. All the girls were pissing themselves laughing. I mean how were they suppose to know if we were in our periods or not?

wow what a shithole

Shithole

[deleted]
67 points · 6 months ago(8 children)

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Suddenly religion is silly when it's not YOUR god making the goofy rules

Shithole?

This story confuses me. There's all this talk about how a river god handed out a decree and how people apparently give gods a lot of power and those gods need more accountability and it seems to treat that as perfectly normal? The way it was being talked about, they might as well have been saying pastor or mayor, but there always no mention of anything like that.

Did I miss something?

Oh for fucks sake how can some poeple be so inherently stupid.

'Inherently' is the wrong word. You'd be like that too if someone taught you to be.

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And Tuesdays...

Those damned rivergods. Someone ought to do something about those things. But for real, aren't there any bridges they can use?

Can we call Geralt about this?

Why doesn't someone do something about periods?

But like, the river god said no, so what do we do?

a river that people probably stand on the edge and piss in is barring children on their period from going to school. ironic.

Build a bridge

It's almost as if religion is arbitrary and silly or something.

3 points · 6 months ago

Wow. Get out of the stone age, folks.

Ghana = A nice place and nothing other than a pleasant place for people to live in harmony with fellows humans and nature. Certainly nothing less than that.

3 points · 6 months ago

Primitive religious superstition.

That place sounds like a shithole

Fuck, this kind of news is so demoralizing, given that Africa is making great strides against traditional bullshit like this and towards a better future.

Come on Africa, one step back, two steps forward!! We're cheering for your prosperous, peaceful, happy future.

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[deleted]
42 points · 6 months ago(1 child)

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Maybe we shouldn't impose our disgusting western beliefs on these people.

Yes, all cultures are beautiful :))))) Let's all have a group hug and dance the Kumbaya

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5 points · 6 months ago

Judy:"Moooooom I don't want to go to school, I'm menstruating!"

Mom:"Judy, you are 8 years old, you are not menstruating"

Judy:"But......Mooooooooom, It's uh Tuesday!?"

World:Is Tuesday

Mom:"River God dam it"

[deleted]
30 points · 6 months ago(33 children)

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Lol making laws to please a god, what a banana republic, it's like we would not allow gays the same rights because our god says its wrong lol that would be so fucked up /s

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[deleted]
21 points · 6 months ago(1 child)

If you repeat a lie often enough people start to believe it.

[deleted]
30 points · 6 months ago(6 children)

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