VIDEO: Sudanese groom flogs one of his friends to test his endurance as part of tradition - GulfToday

VIDEO: Sudanese groom flogs one of his friends to test his endurance as part of tradition

A videograb shows the groom flogging his friend.

Gulf Today Report

A Sudanese groom lashing a guest with a "whip" on his wedding night to test his endurance is doing the rounds on social media platforms.

The video shows the groom and a number of people around him performing a folk dance, during which he flogs a guest.

The guest endured the blows of the whip steadily without moving or screaming, as he seemed to feel no pain.

It is noteworthy that flogging at weddings, or what is known locally as ‘Al-Potan,” is a traditional ancient Sudanese custom and heritage among some tribes of Arab origin.

The Ja'aliyin tribe was famous for this custom, which is one of the major tribes of northern Sudan that is settled in several regions and cities, most notably Shendi, Al Matma, and Kabushiya in River Nile State, where the tradition became linked and attributed to the heritage of that tribe.

The inheritance of whipping with a whip (kirbag), in the local communities of the Ja'aliyin tribe, is a way to display patience, endurance and courage, as it is one of the main events without which weddings are not complete.

People believe that being whipped with a lash is a way to show a man’s chivalry, patience, endurance and courage. Owing in large part to the Ja'alin’s influence, lashing has significantly spread to all cities and towns in Sudan.

In fact, whipping young men has now become a fundamental part of all kinds of celebrations.

Traditionally, friends of the groom line up side by side, each resting on a rod and in a position to be lashed on their bare backs, either to demonstrate their appreciation to the groom or to pay an old lashing debt.

‘Al-Potan’ is not without pain, blood and difficulty. But there is no room in it for tears, movement or shaking. That is why every young man ensures maximum stability and no blinking even when the whip gets into his back and shoulders, regardless of the pain or bleeding.

No one is quite sure when it first started, but many assume that it goes back to the 1930s and 1940s, although some studies point back to a tradition much further back.

Today’s generation has different perceptions of whipping. According to a university student Husam Farouk, ‘Al-Potan’ is a sign of underdevelopment, as it relies on strength and physical endurance to demonstrate confidence and chivalry.

In his opinion, strength does not depend only on muscles and muscles are definitely not the only thing that can shape a man’s personality and social image. Besides, he notes how lashing is no longer accepted by courts as a criminal sentence, and is in conflict with human rights principles.

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