18 June 2007

As nature intends

On the island nation of Libertee Fornone newborns are openly mutilated. A few days after birth their tongues are stripped of taste buds in a procedure called rapalingua. The procedure is relatively quick, though quite painful, so doctors usually use anesthesia. Far less than 1% of newborns die as a result of complications from the procedure.

The island's doctors and religious leaders generally recommend the surgery. In fact, for years it has been the most common surgery on the island! The doctors recommend rapalingua mainly for its health benefits. Dr. Sise Sircome, a prominent doctor on the island explains it this way,
"If all food tastes the same, then there is no incentive to eat unhealthy food. Therefore, the surgery produces healthier, longer living kids."
But it's not just the doctors who advice parents to have the surgery performed. Rev. Verita Evita of the island's Order of the Bländ speaks of the spiritual aspect of the decision,
"We celebrate the child's rapalingua within our community of faith. It symbolizes the love the parents have for the child and the preparation and experience they will pass on to the child as he grows and develops."
It should be mentioned that rapalingua is only performed on males on the island. When asked why, both doctor and reverend alike were shocked, indeed almost offended at the question. Off the record, the doctor claimed women were not as susceptible to overeating. The reverend said, in soft tones, that women's tongues are "next-to-holy" and must be respected.

We caught up with Dablen Mikidselife and wife to be, Takinaway Mikiddisision, who are planning on having many children on Libertee Fornone. Asked if they would consider rapalingua for their kids, their response was automatic, "Of course! How could you say no to that?! Besides everybody does it; we wouldn't want our kids to feel different."

No comments: