The binding life of virgin saints in Nepal

The girls who were chosen to become the incarnations of the Virgin Goddess mostly spent their youth just sitting and because they were not allowed to touch their feet, they seemed to forget the way.

Road to Nepal:

Nepal is a country located in South Asia, bordering Tibet of China and India. The peak season for tourists is autumn and spring. Air fares from international airports in Kathmandu depend on the time you travel during the year, the highest during the peak season.

There are direct flights from Bangkok to Kathmandu, with a one-way ticket price of about 600 USD. Singapore, Hong Kong also have flights to Nepal.

In Nepal, it is easy to rent a car, but you should bargain to get a reasonable price. If you rent a car in the summer, you should choose the air-conditioned car.

Many tourists also choose to come to Nepal by bicycle or motorbike, from India, but you have to pay extra for the car when crossing the border. In Nepal, you can easily find and sell a car because many other tourists always want to buy this vehicle.

Nepal is known as a mysterious land, where many traditional traditions still exist, strange to international visitors. One of them is the worship of the Virgin Goddess (Kimari Devi) of the Newar lineage. According to legend, the reincarnations of Durga - the supreme goddess in Hindu belief - are young girls working as goldsmiths. Until the girls reach puberty, they will be worshiped and protected as a goddess by thousands of Hindus and even Buddhists in Nepal.

The holy women (Kumari) will be revered and worshiped by the people. Photo: Beforeitsnews.

To become the chosen one, the future Kumari must undergo more than 30 rigorous tests of the elders. One of the initial factors to be chosen is that she must have a slender neck like a conch shell, the gentle eyes of a cow.

At the next test, the young girl will have to go through a dark room with scary animal heads and a hideous masked man dancing. Her reactions will be carefully observed and recorded. After that, she must also identify exactly the objects that the previous female saint used, similar to the ritual of selecting the Living Buddha (Dalai Lama) in Tibet.

The Saints spend most of their time sitting, and do not touch their feet on the ground. Photo: Beforeitsnews.

Having passed all the necessary and officially recognized tests, the new Kumari and her family will be moved to live in a separate place for the Holy Woman, called Kumari Bahal. Here, the Holy Woman will be carefully protected, only appearing in public when the occasion of the festival. She often sat on the throne and received the respectful worship of the people. Due to Nepalese customs, the Saints must not touch the soil - because people here think that the ground is dirty, unclean - so it will be moved by car, palanquin or in arms of loved ones anytime and anywhere.

A Kumari has a completely different life than children of the same age. She will not go to school and rarely leave the place where she lives, do not communicate with anyone except those around her until the first menstrual period appears. They spent most of their time sitting in one place, so almost every Holy Woman almost forgot how to go. When she reaches puberty, the Saintess will undergo a special 12-day ceremony called the Gufa ceremony - the official ceremony that marks the end of her "tenure".

During this ritual, the Kumari will bathe in the Bagmati River in Patan, Nepal. After that, she will wear a traditional wedding dress and veil to cover the face and then be taken out to perform sun rituals. At the end of the ritual, the girl begins the life of a commoner, and she communicates with the outside world.

The first days back to normal life, the female Saints are often very weak and timid. Especially their feet are not as healthy as their peers. Most of them have to learn to walk from the beginning, and that can last for years.

For many female Saints, being chosen to become Kumari is a beautiful long dream. Photo: Beforeitsnews.

Chanira Bajrachary - a 19-year-old former Holy Woman - recalls she had a difficult time. She couldn't even walk without everyone's help. The outside world was also completely foreign to her. Chanira was chosen to be a female saint at the age of five and ended her tenure ten years later, after she hit puberty at the age of 15. She also had difficulty communicating while attending school. However, everything with Chanira was resolved quite well. She quickly integrated into life and is now a student of university business administration in Kathmandu. The Holy Woman's dream would later become a bank employee. "Before, Kumari was not allowed to get married. But things have changed today," Chanira said.

Because women are always in homes or temples, activities are also influenced by strict traditional rituals, and some human rights organizations have condemned Nepal and considered it a form of child exploitation, leaving them without a perfect childhood. However, this view did not get the sympathy of the indigenous people. Chanira said becoming a Saint was a beautiful dream for many girls, even though they later struggled at the end of their terms. For her, this is one of the most beautiful memories in life, the pride of her and the whole family.

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