Nepals new child goddess must have a voice like a duck

August 16th, 2008 - 5:29 pm ICT by ANI  

Kathmandu, Aug.16 (ANI): Nepal is advertising for a new living goddess, and the key criterion for selection is to have a voice of a duck.
Despite being revered as a powerful Hindu divinity, the Himalayan state’’s Royal Kumari has no option but to step down once she reaches puberty.
The current holder is Preeti Shakya, and she has reached her 11th birthday, the race is on to find a replacement before the end of the summer, The Times report.
Preeti, who has been visited by a ceaseless throng of pilgrims since she became a goddess at the age of four, should retire during the annual Hindu festival of Dasain in October, according to temple officials in Kathmandu.
If we don”t change her now we”ll have to wait until next year, which could be late, said Deepak Bahadur Pandey of the Trust Corporation.
Kumaris, who are typically selected as toddlers, must have a voice as soft and clear as a duck’’s, the body of a Banyan tree and the chest of a lion.
The 32 prerequisite physical perfections also include flawless skin, hair, eyes and teeth. A suitable horoscope is mandatory and being afraid of the dark is not allowed.
A Kumari can eat whatever she likes and act with impunity at least her parents, who receive a small cash stipend, are not allowed to tell her off.
For 240 years, before the abolition of Nepal’’s monarchy in May after a Maoist uprising, the Royal Kumari was asked to approve the rule of the king.
This year she was called to approve the Himalayan state’’s interim prime minister. But the change in Nepalese politics over the past year could make the current Kumari search the last.
Prachanda, who was appointed Prime Minister yesterday, is a former communist rebel - and not a fan of girl goddesses. (ANI)

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