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March 30, 2017

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'Possessed' student given isolated room during exams

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A Tainan student was allocated an individual room during the national senior high school entrance examination last weekend for allegedly being routinely possessed by a spirit of a traditional deity, local media reported yesterday.

It is the first time a student took the Basic Competence Test for Junior High School Students in a classroom alone for the reason. The teenager showed no signs of abnormal behavior during the two-day exam.

The student's behavior changed as if he was possessed by a Chinese folk deity at 10 a.m. every day before returning to normal after a while.

Spirit possession is a part of traditional Taoist belief system that has attracted some following in Taiwan. Some people on the island work as professional "jitong;" which can be roughly translated as shaman.

Concerned that their son's behavior would affect the order of an ordinary test room, the student's parents requested a special room for him.

The examination affairs organization designated a special test room for the student after his parents presented a document issued by a doctor proving the student suffered from "involuntary dizziness and headaches."

A more thorough examination is needed to identify the real cause for the student's unusual behavior, said the doctor.

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