I have a bucket list of places I hope to see one day. One of these countries is Bhutan and I writhe with envy-coupled-with-desire-to-live-vicariously each time I meet someone who has traveled there. Some friends recounted their recent trip there and I was intrigued. Their daughter, suddenly awoken from her jetlag, also enthusiastically chirped into the conversation to share with the use the country’s penis obsession.
It seems that they were inspired by the teachings of one of the country's most popular religious figures, Drupka Kunley, who lived around the turn of the 16th century. Known as the 'divine madman', he was from a distinguished family and wandered the country with his own brand of Buddhism, putting the sexual act at the centre of religious experience. As such, the doors of homes are adorned with massive paintings or sculptures of the penis, often emitting a thin trail of cosmic sperm, thought to ward off evil. Legend has it that Drupka Kinley would hit errant demons over the head with his penis to subdue them and turn them into protective deities. Several wooden penises are currently kept in the monastery and the longest (a brown wooden one with a silver handle) is considered a religious relic. In fact, it is used for blessing the devout and the monk hits young women devotees who come to pray at the monastery on the head with it. ‘The penis is stronger than the sword in many Asian cultures’ offered Carolyn. For any cynics, please refer to the following link:
http://www.galenfrysinger.com/bhutan_festival_penis_ceremony.htm. Note to self - have I found the perfect Christmas and wedding gifts?