Sex workers dance at cremation ground for ’salvation’ in Varanasi

April 3rd, 2009 - 7:04 pm ICT by ANI  

Varanasi, Apr 2 (ANI): Sex workers from far and near converged at a cremation ground here and danced through the twilight hours of Wednesday to “attain salvation or a better re-birth”.

Wearing ‘ghungroos’ (anklets with tiny bells) on their unshod feet and with garish make-up, they danced to the tune of folk songs.

The three-day festival, which commenced on March 31, saw several hundred sex workers entering a temple and dancing through the night.

Called ‘Nagar Vadhus’ (spouses of the town), they danced to loud music and revelry on one side, while on the other side, funeral pyres were burning.

“The Nagar Vadhus have come here from far off places with the aim of pleasing the deity and attain salvation. By dancing here, they rid themselves off all their sins,” observed Nagnath, a priest.

These sex workers feel blessed to participate in this annual festival, which they say, dates back to 450 years.

“We pray that we get rid off this birth and death cycle. We also hope that if we are born again, then our next birth is better than the present one,” said Chhaya, a sex worker of Varanasi. (ANI)

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