Fart in Public, Kill Your Self
It happens even today — a Baluch who farts in public commits suicide -- but a Briton in England said he came out of retirement to resume his farting performance on popular demand.
Mir Nadir Jamali, a nephew of former Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Jamali, once narrated a tragedy that befell two brothers from the Baluchistan town of Usta Mohammed in the early nineties.
He said a Baluch youth was playing volley ball when people heard his fart. “He went home and committed suicide.” About three years later his younger brother was playing the same sport when he farted. “The second brother also committed suicide,” Jamali said.
The Baluchi word for fart in Baluchi is tirr and farting is considered one of the worst taboos, called aib.
Most Baluch children are told how shameful a fart is at a bedtime story.
The story goes there was man who farted in public and fled his village out of shame. Many years later, he wanted to find out how his family was faring so he returned in the darkness to see what was going on.
He peeped into his hut and heard his wife cussing him in front of his son and recalling his fart.
According to Wikipedia there are 15 million Baluch worldwide. A huge part of Baluch society is mostly tribal and tens of thousands of them still eke out a nomadic existence in the tough, but resource rich, region.
The native land of the Baluch is called Baluchistan--in fact the land is named after the people--divided among, Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. The area under Pakistani army occupation is slightly bigger than New Mexico. The area under Iranian mullahs is the size of Nevada, and that under Afghanistan is the size of West Virginia. A bloody insurgency is going on in Pakistani annexed Baluchistan, while U.S-backed Baluch militants are also challenging Iranian rule in Seistan-o-Baluchistan.
Majority of Baluch intellectuals shy away from discussing the subject of fart, repeated queries made by this writer showed.
London-based Baluch intellectual and writer Koulmir Namiran says it is nothing wrong for fart to be considered bad in Baluch society. “Common sense, it is bad because it smells bad. Many people don't like bad smell, especially Baluch because they have fresh air and open spaces,” Namiran said from London.
The stink in fart is mostly because of hydrogen sulfide, butyric acic and carbonyl sulfide. The other gases in fart include methnae, hydrogen, cabon dioxide and oxygen.
The Baluch live their lives under a strict honor code. The British after studying them had come to the conclusion: Respect the Baluch.
A Baluch man commits suicide after farting in public is otherwise he would remain a butt of ridicule for the rest of his life. One main reason fart is taboo is because it is associated with anal sex.
Also among the Pashtuns, the dominant ethnic group in Afghanistan, that lies to the north of Baluchistan, fart is considered taboo, though they do not kill themselves on farting in public.
In contrast in the West, fart is sometimes considered funny.
According to Bob Woodward, President Bush had a penchant for cracking fart jokes with his advisor Karl Rove. Once in 2005, Woodward wrote in his book State of Denial, Bush conspired to have Rove sit in a chair that would have caused a big fart sound by remote control. But that was the day when the 7/7 bombing news broke out and the prank was postponed—to be carried out two weeks later that left Rove, one of the world's best known Neocons, nonplussed.
Timothy Noah writes in Slate, “A robust tradition of fart jokes exists within Anglo-Saxon culture, going back at least as far as Chaucer, and the fart joke holds a venerated place in English politics. Legend has it that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, once farted in the presence of Queen Elizabeth I, whereupon he went into exile for seven years. On his return, the queen reputedly greeted, "My lord, we had quite forgot the fart."
(Read full article: http://www.slate.com/id/2150806/)
In some Western European nations, farting has been turned into a performing profession.
There is at least one performing artist in the world today. His name is Paul Oldfield, a Briton. Oldfield, also known as Mr. Methane, has an interesting web site where he writes farting is fun.
"We all do it, even the Queen of England breaks wind," he says, recalling, "In my case it all started quite by accident at the tender age of fifteen. I was practising the Full Lotus position encouraged by my Yoga loving sister when I discovered the ability to breath both fore and aft, so to speak."
(See web site: http://www.mrmethane.com/mr-methane-farting-history/)
To a query from this correspondent, Oldfield, 42, who prefers to go by his stage name of Mr. Methane, said that he briefly retired and then started up again about 2006 ish on popular demand.
"I got tired of the road really but then after resting a while I got back at it as people started offering me decent money if I would come out of retirement and perform," he said. "So I guess the motivation to come out of retirement was monetary or at least a monetary recognition of my farting talents."
Prior to Oldfield there was a Frenchman named Joseph Pujol, better known worldwide as Le Petomane who died in 1945.