Kumari of Patan taking SLC this year

School Leaving Certificate (SLC) exam starts on March 25, 2010. This year, about 450,000 students are taking the exam and among them is Kumari, a girl worshipped as a Goddess in Nepali society.

kumari_taking _exam

The Kumari of Patan, Chanira Bajracharya, is only allowed to leave her room 19 times a year on certain festivals. That was the reason why the teachers from the local Vashara School have been visiting her to teach in her room for the last ten years. The SLC exam is also arranged such that she doesn’t need to go out of her house for the exam. The SLC exam controllers will go to her house to conduct exam of the single student.

Chanira’s teachers say that she is good in her studies. She scored 78% marks in the sent-up exam, conducted before the SLC exam. She is taught by a teacher, Purnima Bajracharya, in the morning from 7 to 9 AM. From 9 to 12 Chanira has to participate in Kumari puja. After lunch she meets general public. Another teacher from the school comes to teach her in the evening.

Chanira, the eldest daughter of Netraraj Bajracharya and Champa Bajracharya, wants to study management and pursue career in Banking sector.

Living Goddesses in Kathmandu Valley

There are three living goddess in Kathmandu Valley. Kumari of Kathmandu lives in Kumari House in Bashantapur, Kumari of Lalitpur and Bhaktapur live in her own house. The Kumari of Bhaktapur is the only Kumari free to go out of her residence at her will. Kumari of Kathmandu is treated as special and are the ones who get wider publicity. Matina Shakya is the current Kumari living in the Kumari House.

It was in 2007 when Kumari of Bhaktapur, Sajani Shakya, went to the US to do a documentary by taking advantage of her relative freedom; she was stripped-off her title. The event made headlines and she was reinstalled as Kumari later.

A Kumari is stripped-off her Kumarihood when she reaches puberty and she loses her divine status.

Many have protested the tradition of keeping young girls as Kumari. They argue that the culture crushes the childhood of innocent girls. They argue that the tradition violates the international child rights. When the issue was brought into the court, Nepal’s Supreme Court ordered the government in the August of 2008 to safeguard the Kumaris’ human rights.

The debate can go on but, nobody can deny the uniqueness of the tradition. The shortcomings should be corrected and the girls should be given their childhood back while Kumari tradition can go on in a much liberal manner!

One thought on “Kumari of Patan taking SLC this year

  1. i am really happy to read this news as our traditional & supertious socity is changing with some new values.thanks for the people of kumari family to appreciate the importance of education for THE LIVING GODDESS OF NEPAL “KUMARI”.

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