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Nepal

Kathmandu:
The Holy Temple of
the Living Goddess

Kathmandu: The Living Goddess.

 Visiting Nepal:
Gunnar Christensen

She's a little girl called Kumari Ghar living isolated in a beautiful old Hindu Temple Palace at the famous Hanuman Dhoka in Kathmandu. All the people worship her. Even the king and the prime minister in Nepal do so. This because she's the holy, living Goddess.

If you even try to take a photo of her it means arrest and you'll be thrown out of the country without your camera. It's however possible to buy a photo of her with all her cosmetics and best ceremony clothes on in the souvenir shop near by her temple palace.

5 years old
She is chosen to be Goddess only 5 years old. Selected from the upper class daughters in Nepal and it's a status to have a daughter in the family chosen for this position in the temple. She's chosen in a hard competition - with many hard tests - together with other children at the same age.

She stays in the position as living goddess until she's sexually mature. Then she retires and her life will change dramatically. She's thrown out on the street without any support from the temple or her family. And a new living Goddess will be chosen in her place.

Retired living Goddess
What happens to a retired living Goddess I asked the local town guide chosen to show me around inside the Palace.

- We better talk about that outside afterwards, he says looking up on the Living Goddess studying me carefully a floor above. Like a kid studying a foreign animal in the zoo. The little kid locked inside this Palace couldn't go out and play like other kids. A few kids were there to play with her. But she didn't care about them. She was focused on me and my camera ecvipment. May be she dreamed about going away to distant countries?

Spoiled
Outside the guide continues:
- None wants to marry a retired living Goddess.
- But why - she looks like a very nice girl? I asked.
- Because she's a very spoiled girl after the years of temple life. Everybody serving her all the time you see? And she hasn't learnt anything except been served: She can't do housework or anything needed for the family life. Even her family don't want her back. So most of the retired living Goddess thrown out on the street earlier work as prostitutes in India.

 

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