Here is the news report of this 3-year-old kumari on NBC
Like all Kumari’s, Matina Shakya has been moved away from her family and is now living in a “palace”. She can leave her palace only on ceremonial occasions. Her playmates will be drawn from a narrow pool of Newari childred from her caste; and she has to dress and put on make-up in a specific way (e.g. dress in red, with a “third eye” painted on her forehead as a symbol of her special power of perception).
Matina Shakya with her mother
While her life is now free of material troubles, she has ceremonial duties to carry out. Although she is not ordered about, she is expected to behave as befits a goddess.
I feel sorry for the girl. This is the beginning of her abnormal life. She will be deprived of a normal childhood. She won’t have the same freedom, schooling, social activities as everyone else her age. She can’t make friends with whomever she wants or dress as how she wishes. In short, she can’t do many things, even basic things like running on a grassland and enjoying the sun.
And it is said that the girls often struggle to re-adjust to normal lives after they return home. So, to Preeti Shakya, the former Royal Kumari, I wish you the very best! It might be tough, but it’s the beginning to a normal, yet always-exciting life 8)
Photo taken when Preeti Shakya was carried throught the streets in a chariot during the Ghode Jatra festival in March 2007
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