Saturday, November 14, 2009

Of Crying Game and Weeping Camel

I bought an 'old' movie DVD recently - The Crying Game. I remember the title because it was one of those 'unconventional' film years back in S'pore, but I cannot recall the story line at all. There is this narration in the movie about the frog and the scorpion. I heard this before. I am not sure if this narration originates from this movie, or the movie uses it to illustrate a point - innate human nature is hard to change.

The word 'crying' makes me think of weeping camel. Last year, there was this film cum documentary based on Mongolia and camels - titled Weeping Camel. It was fascinating. What happened was this Mongolian family living in the desert was attending to their camel which was giving birth for the first time. The whole family, from grandparents to children were out in full force. The camel was having a difficult birth and had labored for more than a day. Finally, they had to help it by pulling the calf out as the female camel was not able to pushed anymore.

Then came the problem - the female camel refused to nurse the calf. It kicked her calf everytime it came near her or moved off. So they had to squeeze milk from the camel to nurse the calf. After a few days, they decided they had to resolve the problem once and for all. There is this belief that music and song can help to bond the mother to its calf. But there was no musician around. (theirs is the only family for miles)

They send 2 of their kids to a distant town to get a musician. Woh - one of the kids was only around 9 years old - they are so independent. Makes me think that our local kids are over protected.

The kids got a musician playing a 2 strings fiddle to ride back with them. The 2 strings fiddle has a body that looks like a cello but it reminds me of the Chinese Er-hu.

The whole family gathered around the camel and its calf again. The mother of the family sang a song to the accompaniment of music from the fiddle. The camel cried listening to the song. I too was moved,- not sure by the camel crying or the tune of the song.

After this, when they pushed to calf to the camel, it let it suckled willing. Talk about music being able to move the world. No doubt about it as it can move even animals!

This film has a very simple story line but I was touched by the unity of the family and the care their shown to their livestock.

In our current commercialized farming - it is all about profit maximization - animal welfare is the last thing on the mind of these businessman farmers.

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