George Clooney gets spit on in Sudan

New York: Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney was spit on by a old woman in Sudan, but the actor was far from offended as it is a traditional ritual in the African country and is believed to bring good luck.

The actor and activist was in the war torn country shooting an hour-long TV special, `Winds of War` with Ann Curry for the programme Dateline NBC.

Clooney met the female village elder with the unique greeting in the border village of Abyei, where fighting is likely to break out should the north and south go to war.

"It was a tradition I haven`t seen,` Clooney said. She pulls you down and spits into your hands then she pulls your head down and she sits on the top of your head. I`ve had people spit at me before but it wasn`t a blessing," said the 45-year-old actor.

The Academy award winning actor is active in his mission to sound the alarm about the brewing potential for more conflict in the area.

Clooney, a United Nations Messenger of Peace, explained how Southern Sudan is set to decide whether or not to split from the rest of the country in a January referendum.

The vote is a condition of an agreement that Southern Sudan signed with the Sudanese government after a decades-long civil war in which 2 million people were killed.

But experts fear there is a good possibility that the Sudanese government will not allow the oil-rich region to split off, setting in motion a brutal new conflict.