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Meet the Rat Children of Pakistan

 - International - May 28 SHARE ON:

One of the most bizarre religious practices the world has ever seen has resulted in the creation of a group of people in Pakistan called ‘the Rats of Shah Dola.’ Also known as the rat children of Pakistan, these are people who stick out as being beggars with very small heads and flat foreheads wearing long robes. How did this come to be?

In short, Shah Dola was a Sufi Saint who took care of babies born with mental disabilities and abandoned by their parents. These children had to beg to earn their keep and survive their lifestyle. It was also said that the saint could bless childless couples with children. There was a catch however.

The couple who prayed for a child would have to donate their firstborn to Shah Dola’s service. Desperate childless parents abided by the rule far after his death, and to this day, the saint’s shrine in Gurjat still saw firstborns left there.

The administration of the shrine put a heavy iron cap on the head of these children, restricting the growth of brain and skull. This resulted in these children growing up with mental disabilities and physical features which many people unfortunately associate with rats.

Despite the government of Pakistan attempting to take control and ban the practice, no official efforts were made to stop the practice. People still give money to the beggars due to superstitious beliefs that should they not work charity with them, their own children would be born with similar disabilities. Media outlets attempting to shed light on the practice did not stop it from happening, and it goes on to this day.

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COVID-19 makes its way into our dreams

 - COVID-19 - May 28 SHARE ON:

The idea that COVID-19 has affected our day to day lives is something we’ve grown accustomed to. It has changed our social interactions, our shopping, our work life, and every other domain we would otherwise go through without batting an eye. But who would have thought that research is showing that COVID-19 is even affecting how and what we dream about.

Harvard Medical School psychologist Deirdre Barrett has conducted research by collecting some 15000 dreams and dissecting how dreams were affected throughout the pandemic’s unwelcome stay. Barrett’s initial work found that the first wave, dreams of breathing inability and being covered in insects increased drastically.

Homeschooling and lockdowns also changed the nature of dreams, with people finding themselves in prisons or taking surprise tests in the safety of their homes upon dozing off. After the pandemic’s first six months, the more day to day problems of the pandemic worked their way into the psyche.

People started to dream about forgetting to wear masks and being surrounded by massless people which leads to a sense of anxiety. The shift seems to have been dreams about catching the virus (insects, sharks, breathlessness) to social anxiety (crowds, forgetfulness, etc.)

With two-third respondents women and one-third men, Barrett published her work in ‘Pandemic Dreams’, a short anthology of dreams collected from 2020 onwards. Not even the dream world is safe from this pandemic as the themes we encounter in waking life seem to have seeped into our unconscious. Have you ever had COVID-19 related dreams? Leave them in the comments below!

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The BTS x McDonald’s Menu Collab has finally landed in Malta!

 - Food - May 28 SHARE ON:

After driving the internet absolutely crazy with anticipation of its arrival, the McDonald’s x BTS menu collaboration has finally landed in Malta and with it, a load of exciting surprises.

The meal reflects the band’s signature order – a 9-piece Chicken McNuggets, large fries, large Coke and Sweet Chili and Cajun dipping sauces inspired by South Korean McDonald’s recipes.

BTS Meal is here are u on the way yet

Posted by McDonald's on Friday, 28 May 2021

Beyond the meal itself, the pop culture giants have collaborated to drop a merch line available on the Weverse Shop app with a collection combining both iconic brands to present a number of hoodies, bathrobes, socks and sandals.

The meal is available until June 24 or until stocks last as the BTS meal hits close to 50 markets globally.

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Luxembourg welcomes positive results after becoming first country with free public transport

 - International - May 28 SHARE ON:
Luxembourg welcomes positive results after becoming first country with free public transport

Luxembourg has reportedly welcomed encouraging results after becoming the first country in the world to make public transport free last year, transporting an increased 10,000 people every working day.

The European Country introduced the measure during March 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic and has received positive results so far.

Numbers reportedly skyrocketed since the introduction of Mobilité Gratuite (Free Mobility), with a total of 40,090 using the tram on working days; 10,000 more than when it was a paid service.

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