“Bāhrā: [/bɑ’hrɑ:/] or Bāhrā Tayegu [/t3’ye’gú/]” in Newā: (Nepal Bhāsā) language literally means “to mark the age of puberty.” Sometimes it is referred to as “to make menstruation come out.” This custom is carried out after Ihi – a ritual follows through when a girl turns the odd age of 5, 7, 9, or 11. In Ihi, the girl is being married to a Bel (Aegle Marmelcs) which is considered as a sacred nut. The custom of this marriage of the girl with a nut symbolizes the girl’s marriage to Hindu god Vishnu. It has great significance in practice as well since it is believed that the girl can never be a widow as she has been married to god. Because of this belief, the practice of Sati – widows burn themselves on the funeral pyre of their earthly husbands – has no more existence in Newā: community. [read more…]

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