Nepal's 'living goddess' retires | News | Al Jazeera

Nepal's 'living goddess' retires

Eleven-year-old 'living goddess' quits a year after her controversial visit abroad.

    Sajani Shakya, left, was regarded as the top
    of the three 'living goddesses' [AFP]

    Sajani was temporarily stripped of her revered status last July when she travelled to the United States to promote a documentary about Nepal's centuries-old tradition of living goddesses.

     

    Officials removed her title while she was overseas because of tradition that living goddesses do not leave the homeland. Popular support for Sajani apparently forced officials to reverse the decision and reinstate her.

     

    Triumphant return

     

    On return to Nepal, Sajani was met by hundreds of her supporters and followers who took her to the temple where she is worshipped and held a brief ceremony to welcome her back.

     

    Selected as toddlers, living goddesses usually keep their positions until they reach puberty, meaning that Sajani, at age 11, is retiring slightly early.

     

    Living goddesses are worshipped by both Hindus and Buddhists. The girls are selected between the ages of two and four after going through several tests.

     

    They are required to have perfect skin, hair, eyes and teeth, should not have scars and should not be afraid of the dark.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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