KUMARI: A Cultural Belief

Posted: July 3, 2013 in Articles, Pic
Smrita- The Living Goddess

Smrita- The Living Goddess

Suman reporting for GCC, Global Platform, Nepal.

“It’s because of culture and tradition and it’s a good thing to have a young girl child as KUMARI” says Babu Kaji Byanjankar.  Babu Kaji is a 58 yrs old man, residing in Patan, who belongs to a Newar community. He believes KUMARI, the girl child< will have more benefits as she is incarnated as GOD.

“I would like my daughter to be a KUMARI.” says 50 yrs old Gauri Lama who was at Patan with her friends, A buddhist by religion, she would have been more than happy to see her daughter as a living GODDESS. When asked why, she says “It’s a matter of privilege “. According to her, if the girl was a normal child, nobody would have noticed her but after being the LIVING GODDESS, KUMARI, everybody would worship her and she would be famous all over the world.

KUMARI, considered as a living goddess is chosen from young girls from Shakya or Bajracharyas who belongs to  Newar community in Nepal. She is left alone in a junction in dark room and if she isn’t scared then she is chosen as Kumari, reincarnation of the Living Goddess, wife of lord Bhairav.

There were three little girls playing at Patan who also wanted to be Kumari (though some of them were Christians). They said, they wanted to have power in order to make life of people more easy living

Grouped in three, one of my fellow participants asked a tourist, Elizabeth, from Holland how she felt about Kumari and she said it was culture that matters a lot here in Nepal and it was a good thing but she also felt pity for the young child as she was unable to distinguish between what’s right and what is wrong and what’s happening in her life at such a young age.

This is what Elizabeth told us but it’s different for Ashish Maharjan, a 21 yrs old youngster who was with his friend Prekshya at Patan. He said, “Culture is important and one should preserve it”. He liked the culture and it should go on. 18 yrs old Prekshya also said it’s good for a girl to be Kumari but she felt a bit sad as she was inbounded in between walls of Kumari Ghar (House where Kumari is supposed to live after being appointed)

Kumari, after being appointed, isn’t allowed to live freely as she used to. She is bounded inside the Kumari House where she’s not allowed to talk with strangers and she also cannot go out of the KUMARI GHAR. She sees her family members very less and even receives study at the same house.

We reached the house of Kumari and fortunately were able to see her but not talk with her. But, we interviewed her brother Sabin Bajracharya who is 18yrs old now. He said, Smrita was 11yrs old and its been three years she was appointed as KUMARI. He was happy that Smrita was appointed as Kumari. She liked the way people noticed her and worshipped her. She felt special. Her behavior though hasn’t changed at all.

Smrita who was supposed to live in Kumari House is living at her own family’s house with family. Kumari House at Patan is small and Smrita finds difficulty in accommodation so, the living Goddess is lives with her family in her own house. The difference between her lifestyle now and then is, she isn’t allowed to go out from the house like she used to. She walks out of the house only in some important festivals like Dasain, Machedndranath Jatra, etc.  Another Kumari will be appointed after Smrita will shed her 1st blood.

“I see Goddess in my sister and our family is very happy” says Sabin.

Sabin- Smrita's Brother

Sabin- Smrita’s Brother


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