I’m so glad to be a Christian. You know, worshiping a living God, following biblical tenets and not serving cows and dolled-up three-year old girls!
Meet Matani Shakya, newly “appointed” kumari, or living goddess.
Hey, at least she is creating some semblance of religious universalism because Hindu and Buddhists priests hooked up and determined she passed the “God” test and dubbed her a living goddess. (Granted it happened in October, but hey, news doesn’t travel fast from Nepal).
OK, I’m game. Let’s say my career doesn’t work out. What do I have to do to be considered a deity? [And I may have some ruminations in here as well].
A panel of judges conducted a series of ancient ceremonies to select the goddess from several 2- to 4-year-old girls who are all members of the impoverished Shakya goldsmith caste. [Ah, rich girls gone wild. Nice.]
The judges read the candidates’ horoscopes and check each one for physical imperfections. The living goddess must have perfect hair, eyes, teeth and skin with no scars, and should not be afraid of the dark. [Yeah, because when you are sitting alone on a mountaintop, you don’t want to be caught screaming out to yourself for protection. Folk may have to sedate a goddess.]
As a final test, the living goddess must spend a night alone in a room among the heads of ritually slaughtered goats and buffaloes without showing fear. [Because if the fear doesn’t kill you being thrown into a bad scene from “Pet Cemetery”, the rabies might.]
Having passed all the tests, the child will stay in almost complete isolation at the temple, and will be allowed to return to her family only at the onset of menstruation when a new goddess will be named to replace her. [No comment necessary, is there?]
But hey, after she goes through her Bugs Bunny, Toon Disney and Hannah Montana phases, she flies the coop and ready to filter through the line of eligible suitors. I mean, who wouldn’t want to hook up with a deified feminista?
Nepalese folklore holds that men who marry a former kumari will die young, and so many girls remain unmarried and face a life of hardship.
Ah well, she will always have a loka. And if not, reincarnate into a cow. Good times, unless of course you are slated for hamburger.