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Nepal Searching For New Girl to Serve as Goddess Incarnated

Nepal is on the hunt for a new Kumari, a prepubescent girl worshiped as a virginal living goddess by Nepali Hindus and Buddhists who consider her an embodiment of the goddess of strength. Nepal's astrologists are analyzing horoscopes of girls belonging to the Buddhist Shakya clan, looking for the next Kumari.

The religious authorities want to make their selection before the annual Dasain Hindu festival in October, because if they wait too long, the current Kumari (who is 11) may begin menstruating before next year's festival. The goddess inhabits the girl's body until she menstruates, and it is considered unlucky if the virgin starts menstruating while serving as Kumari.

The Kumari job requirements include: perfect eyes, teeth, hair, and flawless skin free of even a small scratch. The girl, who can be as young as three-years-old, leaves her family and receives an allowance from the government. During religious festivals she wears red and gold costumes and is carried on a wooden chariot through the capital city. Some in Nepal say the tradition must be abolished to protect the children.


Join The Conversation
stephley stephley 8 years
I can't really get my head around this story - from my personal pov, it sounds like an awful thing to do to a child and to her family, and the whole 'get her out before she menstruates' thing is just infuriating and when are women going to put a stop to that crap - but it's their culture and I'm sure ours can sound pretty nuts to them. The Dalai Lama was recognized when he was two years old and seems to have lived a relatively happy life; he has conscientiously played his role and tried to help not only the Tibetan Buddhists he leads but the world.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i always love to hear things about different cultures - and although i'm not sure i agree with taking a young child from her family - i can understand the significance of doing so. it's something that's embedded in their culture - and the family would probably have a lot of honor.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
Or she could lip sync a song for billions of people...
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
"perfect eyes, teeth, hair, and flawless skin free of even a small scratch" Hey, as soon as her stint as Kumari is done, she can get straight into beauty pageants! true, Torg.
Auntie-Coosa Auntie-Coosa 8 years
Sounds like child abduction and a form of child abuse to me. But then I worked in Family and Children Services for over 25 years.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Ooo Ooo pick me..pick me.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
How incredibly embarrassing to have getting your period be national news.
bransugar79 bransugar79 8 years
I thought I vaguely remeber something about their being more than one girl at a time doing this? Maybe not but I think there was a stink about a film maker coming in and filming the girl that made evryone quite upset
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
I heard about this a couple years ago, and I felt a little bad for the girls since they're taken from their family and don't usually lead normal lives once their finished being the Kumari. But I like traditions.
SomethingWicked SomethingWicked 8 years
I don't see how this is diffrent then being a child star in America(growing up and not having much of a childhood)...but then again look how alot of them turned...(Drugs,jail, dead) It looks like a beautiful tradition though...
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