An 18-year-old Indian girl has married a stray dog as part of a tribal ritual designed to ward off an evil spell.
DailyMail reports that Mangli Munda, from a remote village in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand, wed the canine in a lavish ceremony. The wedding was hastily organised by village elders after a local guru led Mangli's parents to believe that the teenager possessed ill-luck and that marrying a man would bring destruction to the family and her community.
The baffled dog, Sheru, a stray found by the girl's father, was brought to the wedding in a chauffeur
driven car and welcomed by revellers.
Mangli, who has not been to school, said she was not happy to wed a dog, but insisted that it will help change her fortunes.
The hesitant bride said:
'I am marrying a dog because the village elders believe that my evil spell will be passed on to the dog. After that is done, the man I will marry will have a long life.'
Mangli's father Sri Amnmunda agreed.
'The village elders told us that we should organise the wedding as soon as we can. We had to make sure that the evil spell is destroyed. And marrying a dog is the only way to get rid of the bad luck. Many weddings like this have taken place in our village and also the other neighbouring villages. This is a custom that we thoroughly believe in.'
According to the village's customs, the marriage will not affect Mangli's life, and she will be free to marry again later without divorcing the dog. Mangli added:
'My villagers say that many girls like me have followed this ritual and they have gotten rid of their evil spells and are living happy lives now. I will also be free to marry a man of my dreams after after the evil spell is over. I will marry a man one day. It is the dream of every girl to marry a prince charming. So I am also waiting for my prince.'At the wedding ceremony, people danced to traditional drumming, while around 70 relatives and local villagers attended the wedding. Mangli's mother Seems Devi said:
'Apart from the fact that the groom is a dog, we followed all customs. We respect the dog as much as we would respect a normal groom. We had to spend money on this wedding in the same way as we would in a normal wedding. But that is the only way we can get rid of her bad luck and ensure the benevolence of the village.'
Now with the marriage ceremony over, Mangli has to take care of the dog and raise him as a pet for the next few months.