Friday, December 07, 2007

Seeing the Light

Girls get married three times in their life here. The first time with a bell (which I do not understand) the second time to the sun, and the third time to their husband. Today we went to a ceremony for a girl who was just getting ready to menstrate, so it was time for nuptuals number 2.

The lead up to the ceremony is interesting because for 12 days the young girl (she is 11) is kept in a room with no sun light. The girl can not see or hear any males. On the appointed day, the Hindu priest comes. The girl is lead outside with a towel over her head.

The towel was removed and she was blinded by the sun. Finally, the priest performed a ceremony. Friends and family members then gave her gifts. We are going to the party they are throwing for her tonight...a mere dinner party for 350 people. Every Newari girl (Newari is the most common caste here) has the ceremony but I think the dinner party might be a tad larger than usual.

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