By Meggan McCarthy
The 18-month-old’s parents were told by elders in the village to do this as a tooth was growing from the toddler’s upper gum. This is believed to be a bad omen in the toddler’s village. The elders in the village believed that he would be attacked by a tiger and that the only way to prevent this would be to marry him off to a dog.
The ‘marriage ceremony’ was held in a Hindu temple and was carried out like a proper, traditional ceremony – including the payment of a dowry for the dog.
The boy’s father said that this marriage ceremony would not prevent his son from having a proper marriage when he comes of age.
Beliefs such as this, as well as many superstitions, are still widespread in rural communities in India.