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Three-year-old Girl Worshiped in Nepal as Living Goddess

Would You Wish Your Daughter Goddess Status?

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?

Join The Conversation
rgrl rgrl 8 years
That is child abuse.
roxtarchic roxtarchic 8 years
do the parents have any choice in the matter is what i'm wondering. it's probably a disgrace and relief if the child DOES freak out...
Gabriela14815884 Gabriela14815884 8 years
That little girl looks so unhappy! I would never be able to do this just for the fact that I couldn't be away from my child. Aside from that, I would want her to be touched and "worshiped" by all these strangers...its just too weird for me.
jessicaeden jessicaeden 8 years
I have lived in Nepal before and I have been told by Nepalis that its not easy living. If the girl gets any sort of cut or injury, she is no longer allowed to be the godess -- any blood and they are sent home. Its also really difficult for them to adjust after returning home and very difficult for their other siblings as well. Its an antiquated practice!
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
other cultures are interesting aren't they??? um, no. but then i'm not of that faith so it's not an honor to me. in fact it seems cruel and freakish. come on, it's a beauty pageant in the name of religion. does their "god" only recognize the beautiful? and then at puberty she comes home and is back to a typical life. the transition will be something for that kid. like a washed up pop star.
LiLRuck44 LiLRuck44 8 years
Why?! That is so bizarre to me. My daughter is 3 and I think she'd be traumatized if she even saw a PICTURE of a slaughtered lamb!!!
Greggie Greggie 8 years
Absolutely, she already is a goddess. Ok not really.
pinkprincess1101 pinkprincess1101 8 years
no way that is so traumatic
psterling psterling 8 years
It'd suck to "peak" that early in life. Besides, how could you not miss your child?
macgirl macgirl 8 years
Do the parents benefit in some way for doing this?
Sun_Sun Sun_Sun 8 years
no way
vmruby vmruby 8 years
Absolutely not......
gigimama gigimama 8 years
What is she going to be like when she returns? Worshiped as a goddess for the next seven or eight years, then she has to go back to her normal village life? How would a young girl make an adjustment like that? She'd return a complete stranger. No. I wouldn't allow it.
jessie jessie 8 years if that what makes them "happy" more power too them, the differences between our country and theirs..
luv2blazy luv2blazy 8 years
I saw this on MSNBC's website. I would never wish this on my child. Besides putting her in a room full of animal heads, it is said that the man that marries her will die young, so the goddess usually ends up not getting married and has a tough life. And I would miss her too much.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
No I would never subject my child to this, these girls usually after menstruating go back to thier families and have a hard time fitting in, and getting married becuase its bad luck to marry a former goddess. PLUS we are talking forcing young girls to spend the night in a room with beheaded cows and livestock to see if they freak out or not? thats abusive.
anniekim anniekim 8 years
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