Clad in a flamboyant attire with her face painted in a peculiar manner, her eyes lined with black kohl that stretches to either sides of her forehead and her lips stark red, a little Goddess sits with her feet resting on a metal plate as her worshippers kneel down before her. Once all the commotion of her followers ceases, she retires for the day. Apart from the cacophony of visitors, her life remains dull as she is not allowed to indulge in conversations with anybody outside of her immediate family or step out of the temple.
A Nepali Tradition
Girls, as little as toddlers, from a particular caste are observed by the Head Priest who looks for 32 signs and the befitting one is chosen as Kumari Goddess. These Goddesses ensure Kathmandu’s prosperity, reports Broadly.
Once declared a Goddess, a girl cannot go anywhere or talk to anyone besides her own family. To ensure that her purity remains intact, her feet cannot touch the ground. Therefore, the metal plate. These are the responsibilities she carries out with the power she gets.
Despite the high pedestal that she has been put on, childish fascinations haven’t abandoned the Living Goddess. She likes to listen to fairy tales and play the violin. “My daughter became a Kumari Goddess at age five. I did not have any desire to keep my daughter as Kumari. It was destined for us,” says her father, Ramesh Bajracharya.
Kumaris are dismissed from their Godly positions once they start menstruating and are replaced with new ones. “I do believe that there is some power to that figure which is beyond our understanding. I’ve grown up hearing about the incredible things that Kumaris endure. However, I feel like she is a child who had no choice of a normal childhood. As far as I know, she had a traditional daily routine. Further she’ll have a really tough time adjusting in the outside world once her period as the Living Goddess is over,” says Bandana Shah from Nepal.
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Fascinating, isn’t it?