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Sajani Shakya – Child Goddess – Reinstated!

Posted by shadmia on August 3, 2007


Sajani Shakya, one of the three most revered Kumaris, has been given a second chance. In what appears to be a change of heart by the religious leaders in her home town of Baktapur, they made the decision not to dethrone her. She will continue to be a Kumari until she reaches puberty.

Sajani Shayka was on a 39-day tour with the makers of a film about the Kumaris of Nepal when the religious leaders in her home town decided to strip her of her status. They thought that the visit had tainted her purity and violated the strict rules under which the Kumari must live. After personal pleas from film director Ishbel Whitaker, who apologized for any controversy they may have caused and attempted to point out how the visit to the US did much to foster positive cultural exchanges, the leaders relented. Sajani will however have to undergo a “cleansing process” to ensure her purity before resuming her duties.

“She is a normal child and a living goddess. She has both lives,” film director Ishbel Whitaker told the Reuters news agency. “It was a lovely opportunity for her,” said Ms Whitaker. “It was a great experience when American children told Sajani about their lives and she told them about her life.”

In an interview Sajani seemed oblivious to the controversy surrounding her:

“I want to become a photographer,” said the shy Sajani Shakya as she jumped from the couch and grabbed an envelope with photographs of her recent visit to the US. She showed off pictures of the White House where she was given a special tour. She lives a normal life with her parents: mother Rukumani, and father Nuchhe Ratna Shakya in a two-story brick-and-wood house in the old quarter of Bhaktapur, near Kathmandu.

“I have been fortunate to have her selected as the Kumari,” her 43-year-old father Nuchhe Ratna Shakya said, “It has brought good fortune and luck to the family. We feel great about her,” adding he managed to get a job in a biscuit factory after his daughter was selected.

“She lives like a normal child with us except for two weeks during Dasain,” said Sajani’s mother Rukumani, referring to the biggest Hindu festival which is normally celebrated in October. “She likes to eat instant noodles and biscuits and loves playing with toys and dolls.” At home she plays badminton with her siblings in the courtyard in front of her house.

Teachers at the Mount Valley Secondary School where Sajani is a grade four student said the “goddess” was an average student. “She never picks any quarrel with other children. She is shy but is not particularly brilliant,” science teacher Ratna Mallik said.

Learn more about Sajani’s visit to the US and the decision to fire her

PS: Check the latest…….Sajani has retired !!



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3 Responses to “Sajani Shakya – Child Goddess – Reinstated!”

  1. Jason said

    It’s funny that religious leaders can dethrone a ‘living god.’ That doesn’t make sense to me. Why doesn’t she just take over on these guys?

  2. […] unceremoniously disposed for traveling to America (forbidden, like education until recently), was reinstated, then retired and was married off to a fruit […]

  3. ang said

    I know her. She is currently studying in my old school.
    She is a great girl and I used to treat her like a little sister.

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