Maoists Appoint 'Living Goddess'

September 29, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: BBC News

Nepal's new Maoist-led government has authorised the appointment of a six-year-old girl to be a "living goddess" in the temple town of Bhaktapur.

For centuries "Kumaris" in several towns in the Kathmandu valley were appointed by the head priest of the monarchy.

This is the first time the appointment has been carried out by anyone else.

The monarchy was abolished after the Maoists, who are atheists, won elections earlier this year.

'Eyelashes like a cow'

Deepak Bahadur Pandey, a senior official of the state-run Trust Corporation that selected Shreeya Bajracharya, told Reuters news agency: "The government authorised us to appoint the Kumari and we have done that for the first time."

Kumaris must pass ritual tests and have 32 beautiful physical attributes.