You’re only a goddess until you hit puberty …

kumari.jpg Every little girl is a goddess. Especially, if she’s Preeti Shakya, of Kathmandu.

“Preeti Shakya … [is] revered as the Kumari and incarnation of the Hindu mother goddess Durga. Each Kumari is chosen aged only three or four, always from the same Buddhist clan, and has to have 32 attributes, including thighs like those of a deer and a neck like a conch shell.”
“She lives a confined life, only coming out of her palace three or four times a year until she reaches puberty when another Kumari must be found.
This main outing coincides with a festival of thanks to the local rain god and as always, her feet must never touch the ground unless there is a red carpet beneath them. ”

Unfortunately for the Kumari, life isn’t all a bed of roses. She gives up her childhood for those around her, but when she returns to civilian life, it’s not easy:

Some former Kumaris have recently been speaking out about the difficulties of rejoining a family you hardly know.
One said it was a real shock being told what to do by teachers and difficult playing with other children.
Another, that she simply did not know how to face her freedom.

There’s so much I could say about this, but I think I will let it speak for itself and let you, dear readers, provide all the commentary you wish.

3 thoughts on “You’re only a goddess until you hit puberty …

  1. how can a little girl be revered as a goddess? If a little girl was a goddess would she have the wisdom to make herself known as a goddess? Would she have to be found or shouldn’t she be able to find us all?

  2. i am named after goddess kumari i think of my self as a goddess. but my name is spelled kamari (with an a) and my favorite color is red and i like to but red flowers in my head…i am 10 years old and i would love to live in bollywood india… i love the name kamari…