Sat Feb 27, 4:32 PM
KATHMANDU (AFP) - Each year, Nepalese youth in two villages in the south of the Himalayan country save up their choicest insults for a 10-day "cursing festival" that reaches its climax Sunday.
The youngsters in the neighbouring villages of Parsawa and Laxmipur hurl insults at each other, their neighbours, villagers and passers-by -- and then laugh.
They gather in parks and other areas around straw heaped in the shape of a phallus to launch into the insults.
Insults like, "Monkey face, I hope your sons are as ugly as frogs," and "I hope your buffaloes die of diarrhea," ring out along with more obscene curses.
Village elders say the annual festival, which is just for youngsters, has been going on for as long as they can remember.
"I know of this tradition from long ago and took part during my youth," 78-year-old Ram Kumar Mishra told AFP by telephone from the region.
"The best thing about this tradition is after the festival is over, everyone feels good about each other. There are no bad feelings," Mishra, who lives in Parsawa, said.
On the last day of the festival -- this year on Sunday -- they set the heaps of straw ablaze and celebrate the Hindu festival Holi, which is marked by raucous fights using powdered coloured paints and water.
"We don't get to curse at any other time. But during the festival we're allowed to -- even in front of our parents and we all have a jolly good time," 16-year-old Raju Raut said after cursing his best school friend.
"Everyone gets cheered up," he said.