Thailand: Japan's Doraemon cartoon cat in rain ritual

Villagers with the wooden cage with the toy inside Image copyright Thai Rath
Image caption The Doraemon toy took the place of a real cat inside the wooden cage

Villagers in drought-affected northern Thailand have used a toy of a popular cartoon cat to perform a rain ritual - in case anyone complained about them using a real animal, it's reported.

Ordinarily, a live cat would be used as part of the ritual to pray for rain, but locals were worried about being accused of animal cruelty, the Thai Rath website reports. Instead, they turned to the Japanese manga character Doraemon - a time-travelling robotic cat - which was duly loaded into a wooden cage and carried around the village in Phrae province. Farmers in the area grow corn, but a lack of rain means many are struggling to irrigate their crops.

Doraemon was chosen because nobody could find a more realistic cat toy, the report says. The ritual involved the toy being taken to sacred sites around the village, and ended with a ceremony at a nearby monastery, according to the Bangkok Post. But so far the villagers' prayers have gone unanswered, and Thailand's drought persists. As well as causing problems for farmers, the dry spell is also starting to affect tap water supply in some places. The country's rainy season usually begins in May and lasts until November.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Doraemon is hugely popular in his native Japan and his TV show has been broadcast around the world

Next story: Turkish town sees nine sinkholes in three months

Use #NewsfromElsewhere to stay up-to-date with our reports via Twitter.

Related Topics