It is natural for a parent to want the best for their child. For Nepali father Pratap Man Shakya, that means sending his 3-year-old daughter away to the country's capital of Katmandu to be worshiped as the Hindu goddess Taleju. There she will be worshiped until she reaches puberty, at which point she will return to her normal life back home.
After performing various ancient ceremonies and testing the physical traits of numerous girls, a panel of judges chose Matani Shakya to be the next kumari, or living goddess. Picked for her perfect teeth, eyes, hair, and flawless skin, the youngster must also not be afraid of the dark. Once she met that criteria, she had to fearlessly spend one solo ritualistic night in a room full of slaughtered goats and buffalo heads. A pretty astonishing feat for such a tiny tot.
Would you be willing to give your child up for such a cause if it required her spending the remainder of her childhood away from you?