Nepal Names New Living Goddess

Three-year-old will leave family to live in temple
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Oct 7, 2008 12:16 PM CDT
Devotees try to catch a glimpse of a previous Kumari as she is taken around the city on a chariot during the second day of the Indra Jatra festival in Katmandu, Nepal, Sept. 15, 2008.    (AP Photo/Binod Joshi)
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(Newser) – A new 3-year-old “living goddess” has been named in Nepal, Reuters reports, and she took up her post today, clad in red and gold, in an ornate 15th century temple in Kathmandu. Matina Shakya has left her family to live as the Kumari, appearing in a window to be seen by foreign visitors and dispensing blessings to the president of the Maoist-led nation that was until this year a monarchy. 

“I am proud of her selection as the Kumari," said the girl’s father. "I'm also a bit sorry because she will not stay with the family. But that does not matter because she is going to become the goddess. We can visit her whenever we want." Some say the secret selection process involves tests of courage such as spending the night in the dark and walking through an obstacle course of chopped-off buffalo heads, but her father says the family simply gave her horoscope to a selection panel.