In Cambodia, People Are Scaring Away COVID With Scarecrows

The “Ting Mong” scarecrows are not just for birds, but spirits and ghosts too.

Travelling across Cambodia, scarecrows are everywhere. They’re called “Ting Mong” and are placed in front of houses to protect families against diseases and bad karma. They are most common in rural areas, where there is more space and more attachment to older traditions rooted in animist beliefs. In friendly competition, neighbors try to have the most stylish, flashiest, and scariest design. But since the pandemic started, there’s even more of them.

Ting Mong are more human-like than scarecrows in other countries and are meant to trick evil spirits that the place is being guarded. Through the years, they’ve also become a reflection of Cambodian culture, creativity, and humor.

While some are fashioned with a Spider-Man mask, sunglasses, counterfeit Louis Vuitton outfits, or Nike sneakers, others look menacing with a hoodie, fake machine guns, knives, and wooden sticks. Now, they wear medical face masks too.

In full:

Related Stories

Latest News