Cuando la medicina "falla": El mal de ojo y las creencias sobre el cuidado de los niños entre madres rurales Saraiki de Punjab, Pakistán / Where Medicine ‘Fails’: The Evil Eye and Childcare Beliefs among Rural Saraiki Mothers in Punjab, Pakistan

Azher Hameed Qamar, Qurat-ul- Ain

Resumen


Este estudio explora las prácticas basadas en la creencia del mal de ojo entre las madres Saraiki de un pueblo del sur de Punjab, Pakistán. Este estudio despliega tres aspectos del fenómeno del mal de ojo; en primer lugar, el "diagnóstico" del mal de ojo que descarta la ineficacia de la medicina moderna disponible; en segundo lugar, el nexo sociocultural del sistema médico popular y las amenazas inmanejables o inexplicables, y, en tercer lugar, las prácticas de protección y remediación que revelan la cultura sanitaria indígena. Se realizaron y analizaron cinco entrevistas semiestructuradas y un análisis fenomenológico interpretativo. Los resultados revelaron la percepción del fracaso de la medicina moderna disponible cuando se diagnostican los efectos del mal de ojo. La gente cree religiosamente en el mal de ojo y lo relaciona con los sentimientos de envidia, que hacen daño al niño resistiendo los efectos de cualquier medicina e inmunidad interna. El estudio concluye que los celos, el odio y las privaciones son las causas principales, y que las prácticas religiosas y folclóricas proporcionan un escudo mágico-religioso que permite la eficacia de otras intervenciones médicas. Este estudio arroja luz sobre la necesidad de que los profesionales de la medicina tengan competencia cultural al trabajar en comunidades indígenas, donde la medicina moderna no puede funcionar si no se sustituye gradualmente o se trabaja en consonancia con las creencias médicas populares.
Palabras clave: medicina indígena, mal de ojo; creencias mágico-religiosas; creencias sobre el cuidado de los niños


Abstract
The study explores the evil eye belief practices among Saraiki mothers in a village in South Punjab, Pakistan. This study unfolds three aspects of the evil eye phenomenon; first, the ‘diagnosis’ of the evil eye that constitute the ineffectiveness of the available modern medicine, second the socio-cultural nexus of folk medical system and unmanageable or unexplained threats, and third the protective and remedial practices that disclose indigenous healthcare culture. Using semi-structured interviews and interpretative phenomenological analysis, five interviews were conducted and analyzed. Findings revealed the perceived failure of the available modern medicine when the evil eye effects are diagnosed. People religiously believe in the evil eye and relate it with the feelings of envy that bring harm to the child by resisting the effects of any medicine and internal immunity. The study concludes jealousy, hatred, and deprivation as primary causes, and religious and folk remedial practices provide a magico-religious shield allowing the effectiveness of other medical interventions. This study brings to light the need for cultural competence of medical professionals while working in indigenous communities where modern medicine cannot work if it is not gradually replacing or working in-line with the folk medical beliefs. Key Words: indigenous medicine, evil eye; magico-religious beliefs; childcare beliefs

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