02 Jan '12, 6am

Ancient ritual to beat 'petty little people' for good luck thrives in Hong Kong

Ancient ritual to beat 'petty little people' for good luck thrives in Hong Kong

Squatting at a makeshift shrine with joss sticks burning beside her, Granny Leung starts bashing a manlike paper cut-out with a pair of sandals. -- PHOTO: AFP HONG KONG (AFP) - Squatting at a makeshift shrine with joss sticks burning beside her, Granny Leung starts bashing a manlike paper cut-out with a pair of sandals. 'I beat you little people, I'm sending you away!' chants the 76-year-old woman, one of the last practitioners in Hong Kong of the ancient Chinese ritual of 'da siu yan', or 'beating the petty little people'. Granny Leung performs her mysterious incantations in the bustling shopping district of Causeway Bay. And business is booming. For as little as HK$50 (S$8), Mdm Leung claims she can curse her customers' enemies and reverse their bad luck by burning paper offerings and hitting paper figures with shoes. Believers say the ritual can help to drive away evil ...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STISt...

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