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Mafi Dove – The African Village Where Childbirth Is Taboo

The village of Mafi Dove, in southern Ghana, is home to around 5,000 people, almost none of whom were born here. Because of an archaic belief that childbirth in the village brings offense to the gods, expectant mothers are rushed to neighboring communities to deliver their babies there.

Like many other Ghanaian communities, Mafi Dove has a host of customs and traditions that have been passed down since times immemorial. But apart from minor taboos that don’t really impact the lives of its inhabitants, this village continues to enforce three major rules that make it unique in the world. One of the first things you notice when visiting Mafi Dove is the complete absence of animals. Apart from the wild birds flying overhead, there’s virtually no bird or mammal to be found here. Rearing animals in Mafi Dove has been forbidden for as long as anyone can remember, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. Interestingly, bringing animals into the village and slaughtering them on the same day is permitted, but people aren’t allowed to rear them here.

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Chinese Maternity Hospital Lets Expecting Dads Experience Labor Pains

When a recent study revealed that expectant mothers want more empathy from their spouses, the executives at Aima maternity hospital in eastern China came up with a wonderful idea – ‘Pain Experience Camp’. The camp offers fathers-to-be the chance to experience the pain of childbirth by giving them electric shocks through special pads placed on their bellies.  The shocks simulate labor pains by causing muscles to spasm.

The painful service was started in November and over 300 men have signed up for it since then. In fact, the response has been so overwhelming that in addition to free sessions twice a week at the hospital, Aima has opened a pop-up booth at the local Shi Mao shopping mall. Each session lasts about five minutes, during which a nurse gradually raises the intensity of the shocks between a scale of one to ten.

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Mother’s Day Event in China Lets Men Experience Pain of Childbirth

Of all the Mother’s Day events this year, I think this one was the most befitting – putting men through the pain of childbirth. A local TV station in Nanchang City, in south China’s Jiangxi province, had about 20 men volunteering to put themselves through the excruciating pain of labor . They were hooked up to a special machine that simulated the pain using electric shocks. Needless to say, the men couldn’t even last 30 seconds.

The theme of the TV show was to have men submit to the pains that women endure during childbirth. The challenge consisted of 10 levels of pain, with an agony scale ranging from 50 to 500. Electric shocks were sent into the abdomens of the male volunteers in order to achieve the desired effect. Predictably, the men were writhing in pain within seconds, begging to stop the experiment.

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Artist Plans to Give Birth in Art Gallery, in Front of an Audience

Brooklyn performance artist Marni Kotak plans to have her baby in an art gallery, before an audience, during a performance she hopes will convince people “that human life itself is the most profound work of art, and that therefore giving birth, the greatest expression of life, is the highest form of art.”

Entitled “The Birth of Baby X” Marni’s performance will be the craziest thing that happened in the art world since Marion Laval Jeantet injected herself with horse blood. She is due sometime in the next five weeks, and visitors entering the Bushwick’s Microscope Gallery are warned the baby could arrive at any time. The artist has chosen the place as a “birthing room” and will spend every day there until she has her baby. “I have decided to do this because I want to show people that, as in my previous performances, real life is the best performance art,” she said.

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