Evil Scars on Roads: Folk Beliefs and Narratives of Road Accidents in Bangladesh

Israt Jahan Lipa (Memorial University of Newfoundland)

In Bangladesh, road accidents are mostly understood through systematic investigation focusing on structural factors of road designs without attention to cultural aspects. There is a significant lacuna of road accident research from a folkloric perspective focusing on individuals and their beliefs about road safety. Following an experience-centered phenomenological approach, I have focused on folk narratives about road accidents. I observed people perform different rituals to protect themselves from road accidents. There is also a significant presence of material culture that reflects these folk beliefs across social class and gendered identities. Together, these issues are important to examine from a folkloric perspective to explore a different dimension of studying road accidents.

Part of 06-09 Rooting Death in Folkloristics, Friday, November 03, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm