Wednesday, October 8, 2008

tradition or child abuse?

I do not have a problem with people performing different religious traditions. Traditions are part of culture which makes a group of people unique. I agree that we need to respect people who have different traditions and way of thinking. What I don't understand and do not agree with is when people oppress other people's rights to follow their traditions. Nepal is a multicultural multi-religious city. A city with numerous gods. There is one of their traditions that has been bothering me and has made me think "What in the world is wrong with people?" People who do this and also people who allow it. I'm talking about the Kumari tradition where they take little girls from 3 years old and keep them in a house (temple) away from the world until puberty. They are only allowed to come out to religious events. These people are talking away these girls' childhood. On top of that, as a test, these little girls are supposed to spend one night in a room by themselves with goats' heads and other animals' heads. I would have to be out of my mind to make my three year old girl be in a room by herself with animals' heads and be away from me.
They don't see their families until they reach puberty and sent back to their families, because they are no longer considered goddesses. This specific tradition is against the Nepalese and world laws, but yet nobody does anything to stop this abuse. When this girls start living a normal life, after they are sent home, some grils do not know how to socialize with other people (even their own families), some keep playing with little dolls at the age of 17, and some just suffer from metal retardation. I would suffer too if I have to stay for many years isolated without contact with the outside world. It is very sad that authorities would not protect the right of these little girls, but instead authorities are the ones who pick who the new goddess is going to be. I have seen pictures of these little girls and I can see how unhappy they look. I really hope that something is done to stop this child abuse they have in Nepal.

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