Three-year-old takes reign as new 'liv­ing god­dess' in Nepal

Swazi Observer - - NEWS -

KATH­MANDU – A three-year-old girl has been named the new Ku­mari of Nepal's cap­i­tal Kath­mandu after her pre­de­ces­sor re­tired when she reached pu­berty, con­tin­u­ing an an­cient tra­di­tion that sees young girls wor­shipped as "liv­ing god­desses".

Tr­ishna Shakya was anointed as the new Ku­mari in a cer­e­mony yes­ter­day, when she will be taken from her fam­ily home to live in a palace in Kath­mandu's an­cient Dur­bar Square where she will be cared for by spe­cially ap­pointed care­tak­ers. She was se­lected from among four can­di­dates, Ud­dhav Man Kar­ma­charya, a Hindu priest who at­tends to the Ku­mari, told AFP on Tues­day.

"She will take her place on the Ku­mari's throne after we per­form prayers and tantric rit­u­als," Kar­ma­charya said.

Once she is anointed a liv­ing god­dess, Shakya, who, like her pre­de­ces­sors, be­longs to the Ne­war com­mu­nity in­dige­nous to the Kath­mandu val­ley, will only be al­lowed to leave her new home 13 times a year on spe­cial feast days.

She will be pa­raded through Kath­mandu in cer­e­mo­nial dress and elab­o­rate makeup to be wor­shipped. AFP

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