Friday, January 09, 2009

More thoughts on the woman burned in Papua New Guinea

Tonight I made pasta, and as I put a single campanelle on a spoon to blow on it and then taste it to see if it was done, it jounced off the spoon and fell flatly against my bottom lip. It was only there for a second before it fell off, but the stickiness of the pasta meant it did stay there for a beat. And it burned. I immediately thought of that poor young woman--just a second of burning on my lip was agonizing. And she felt it everywhere, until she died.

Another thought. I told a friend about this news story, and he got caught up in the detail that she had been placed atop a pile of tires to be burned. He said, "A culture advanced enough to have tires, and yet they're still burning people alive for witchcraft?"

He also pointed out that Papua New Guinea was one of the last places to give up cannibalism (just 50 years ago, as a quick Google search reveals).

The entire news story on the woman burned to death for witchcraft, as reported by CNN, can be read here.

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