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Villagers atone for ancestors' sins with massive cow-dung fight

Remarkable video has emerged from a remote southern India location of villagers breaking into a fight using cow-dung as weapon of choice. The villagers amass vast mounds of cow-dung and flatten them in an earmarked space in the village. Then the men strip down to their shorts and walk into the four-feet deep bed of cow-dung and pick up fights with each other. They roll massive balls of cow-dung and hurl it on each other. The ritual takes place a few days after Diwali and usually falls in late October. The cow-dung fights, which critics dub as India’s answer to La Tomatina, take place in the village of Gomatapura, sandwiched between the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The event is, however, as different as a tomato is from a heap of cow dung. There are no bursts of energy or adrenaline-pumping action. The key act involves patiently rolling up a huge ball of cow-dung and then aiming it at your victim, preferably catching him unawares - as can be seen in this video. A village elder Shivappa explains that the exalted tradition has been nurtured for the last 250 years. Centuries ago a few villagers had run over their ox carts on a sacred idol while shifting cow-dung, a traditional manure, from a dump yard to their farm. The idol started bleeding and the residing deity cursed the villagers to fight among themselves for eternity with the matter jettisoned by the cows. After the villagers begged for forgiveness, the deity calmed down and said he would be around to bless them if they seriously fought with cow-dung once a year without fail.
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