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The meaning of «caning»

Caning is a form of corporal punishment consisting of a number of hits (known as "strokes" or "cuts") with a single cane usually made of rattan, generally applied to the offender's bare or clothed buttocks (see spanking) or hands (on the palm). Caning on the knuckles or shoulders is much less common. Caning can also be applied to the soles of the feet (foot whipping or bastinado). The size and flexibility of the cane and the mode of application, as well as the number of the strokes, vary greatly — from a couple of light strokes with a small cane across the seat of a junior schoolboy's trousers, to a maximum of 24, very hard, wounding cuts on the bare buttocks with a large, heavy, soaked rattan as a judicial punishment in some Southeast Asian countries.

Flagellation was so common in England as punishment (see below) that caning, along with spanking and whipping, are called "the English vice".[1]

Caning can also be done consensually as a part of BDSM.

The thin cane generally used for corporal punishment is not to be confused with a walking stick, which is sometimes also called a cane (especially in American English), but is thicker and much more rigid, and likely to be made of stronger wood.

Caning was a common form of judicial punishment and official school discipline in many parts of the world in the 19th and 20th centuries. Corporal punishment (with a cane or any other implement) has now been outlawed in much, but not all, of Europe.[2] However, caning remains legal in numerous other countries in home, school, religious, judicial or military contexts, and is also in common use[3] in some countries where it is no longer legal.

Judicial caning, administered with a long, heavy rattan and much more severe than the canings given in schools, was/is a feature of some British colonial judicial systems, though the cane was never used judicially in Britain itself (the specified implements there, until abolition in 1948, being the birch and the cat-o'-nine-tails). In some countries caning is still in use in the post-independence era, particularly in Southeast Asia (where it is now being used far more than it was under British rule), and in some African countries.

The practice is retained, for male offenders only, under the criminal law in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.[4] (In Malaysia there is also a separate system of religious courts for Muslims only, which can order a much milder form of caning for women as well as men.) Caning in Indonesia is a recent introduction, in the special case of Aceh, on Sumatra, which since its 2005 autonomy has introduced a form of sharia law for Muslims, as well as non-Muslims since 2014 (male or female), applying the cane to the clothed upper back of the offender.[5]

African countries still using judicial caning include Botswana, Tanzania, Nigeria (mostly in northern states,[6] but few cases have been reported in southern states[7][8][9][10]) and, for juvenile offenders only, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. Other countries that used it until the late 20th century, generally only for male offenders, included Kenya, Uganda and South Africa, while some Caribbean countries such as Trinidad and Tobago use birching, another punishment in the British tradition, involving the use of a bundle of branches, not a single cane.

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