In some countries, poor people mutilate themselves (and sometimes their
children – India & Egypt) in order to obtain sympathy from overseas tourists
and hopefully be provided greater cash donations.
This particular individual has perfected a way of cutting the surface of his
skin to provide maximum visual impact while probably not causing serious injury.
Others, or so I am told, go to greater extents, such as breaking leg bones and
ensuring the bone protrudes out of the flesh.