Nepal appoints 3-year-old as new living goddess
By YUVRAJ ACHARYA, Associated Press Writer
Tue Oct 7, 9:59 AM ET
KATMANDU, Nepal - Hindu and Buddhist priests chanted sacred hymns and
cascaded flowers and grains of rice over a 3-year-old girl who was
appointed a living goddess in Nepal on Tuesday.
Wrapped in red silk and adorned with red flowers in her hair, Matani
Shakya received approval from the priests and President Ram Baran
Yadav in a centuries-old tradition with deep ties to Nepal's
monarchy, which was abolished in May.
The new "kumari" or living goddess, was carried from her parents'
home to an ancient palatial temple in the heart of the Nepali
capital, Katmandu, where she will live until she reaches puberty and
loses her divine status.
She will be worshipped by Hindus and Buddhists as an incarnation of
the powerful Hindu deity Taleju.
A panel of judges conducted a series of ancient ceremonies to select
the goddess from several 2- to 4-year-old girls who are all members
of the impoverished Shakya goldsmith caste.
The judges read the candidates' horoscopes and check each one for
physical imperfections. The living goddess must have perfect hair,
eyes, teeth and skin with no scars, and should not be afraid of the
As a final test, the living goddess must spend a night alone in a
room among the heads of ritually slaughtered goats and buffaloes
without showing fear.
Having passed all the tests, the child will stay in almost complete
isolation at the temple, and will be allowed to return to her family
only at the onset of menstruation when a new goddess will be named to
"I feel a bit sad, but since my child has become a living goddess I
feel proud," said her father Pratap Man Shakya.
During her time as a goddess, she will always wear red, pin up her
hair in topknots, and have a "third eye" painted on her forehead.
Devotees touch the girls' feet with their foreheads, the highest sign
of respect among Hindus in Nepal. During religious festivals the
goddesses are wheeled around on a chariot pulled by devotees.
Critics say the tradition violates both international and Nepalese
laws on child rights. The girls often struggle to readjust to normal
lives after they return home.
Nepalese folklore holds that men who marry a former kumari will die
young, and so many girls remain unmarried and face a life of hardship.
hey, dont be too harsh on these people.
these are the same cultural ass hats who sacrifice goats to "bless" a
Airline sacrifices goats to appease sky god
Tue Sep 4, 2007
KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Officials at Nepal's state-run airline have
sacrificed two goats to appease Akash Bhairab, the Hindu sky god,
following technical problems with one of its Boeing 757 aircraft, the
carrier said Tuesday.
Nepal Airlines, which has two Boeing aircraft, has had to suspend
some services in recent weeks due the problem.
The goats were sacrificed in front of the troublesome aircraft Sunday
at Nepal's only international airport in Kathmandu in accordance with
Hindu traditions, an official said.
"The snag in the plane has now been fixed and the aircraft has
resumed its flights," said Raju K.C., a senior airline official,
without explaining what the problem had been.
Local media last week blamed the company's woes on an electrical
fault. The carrier runs international flights to five cities in Asia.
It is common in Nepal to sacrifice animals like goats and buffaloes
to appease different Hindu deities.