Hindus in Nepal by Abbas

NEPAL. Bhaktapur. An older member of the family applies blood from a sacrificed goat's head to the forehead of young girls in colorful dress. They "marry" a mel tree fruit. Their second marriage will be to the sun at age 15, before a third and final one to a man. Photo by Abbas

NEPAL. Bhaktapur. An older member of the family applies blood from a sacrificed goat's head to the forehead of young girls in colorful dress. They "marry" a mel tree fruit. Their second marriage will be to the sun at age 15, before a third and final one to a man. Photo by Abbas

In the city of Bhaktapur where the Newari culture is still the predominant one, girls marry three times : the first time when they are five, to the fruit of a mel tree, the second time at puberty to the sun and the third time to a man. In the same town, an orgy of killing takes place once a year during the Dewali Puja, when each family sacrifices male goats to the family gods.

These are two of the original features of Hinduism in Nepal, where one feels the religion is much closer to its historical sources than in neighbouring India. The architecture of temples is another one. Inhabitants of a mountain country, long isolated from outside influences, Nepalis thrive, all year long, on Hindu rituals, pilgrimages and festivals which they mix with Buddhist ones.

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