Kayatā-pujā (कयता पुजा)

Kayatā-pujā (Nepali: कयता-पुजा [/kə’je’tɑ/; /pυdzɑ/]; Nepal Bhāsā: कयता-पुजा) a compound noun literally means “worshiping loincloth.” It is a ritual ceremony to mark the acquisition of male puberty. Boys are considered to be reaching their puberty at the age of 12 in Newāh traditions. The ceremony is carried out by Guvāju, a Newā: priest. During ceremony, the one who is marked as reaching to puberty has to visit shrines in his vicinity to worship, pay homage to his clan’s god and offer sacrifice.

However, the ceremony might have slight variations in practice among Newā: of different caste groups. Among Jyāpu people group, the boy receives Kayatā (loincloth) from his parents after the priest performs ceremony. Then he worships it, and the priest hands it out to the boy for fastening. Receiving of Katayā now labels him officially an early adolescence. Now, he is bound to normative disciplines and must act in the parameters of socially accepted values. From this day, the idea that his private parts are very special and private is postulated in his heart. And the exposure of this special part of his body is sheer shame.

Among Bajracharya and Shakya people groups, they have little different traditions than other Newā people groups. They have rite of tonsure. They shave off their heads for the ceremony which reflects the practices of Eastern Orthodoxy1, mystics,Hinduism, and rites of Buddhist novices and monks – Prabbajaa (Pali-sanskrit. pravrajya)2.

Work Cited:

1In the Old Testament, there are many references where Israelites would shave off their head as cleansing ceremony (Leviticus 14:8). Acts 18:18. St. Paul shaves his head off when he sailed to Syria.

2ncyclopædia Britannica (2007a). “Pabbajja.” Retrieved 26 Sept 2007 from “Encyclopædia Britannica Online” athttp://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9057892

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