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74 girls Participate in group bel-bibaha
BHAKTAPIR, Feb 10: As many as 74 Newar girls got participated at a two-day long bel-bibaha (a Newar wedding custom), in Byasi, Bhaktapur on Wednesday.
Bel-bibaha is a Newar tradition where preadolescent girls between five to nine years of age get married to wood apples. The group ceremony was performed with the coordination of Astaman Basukala, a local of Byashi. According to Basukala, the ceremony was performed in a group with the aim to cut expenses.
The ceremony has a special value in the Newar community and an auspicious time is allocated for the occasion. According to cultural expert Om Dhaubhadel, it is believed that a Newar woman will never become a widow after she has performed bel-bibaha.
Anuska Baskula, a Grade II student at Community English School, Byashi, was spotted participating in the ceremony. She said it was a happy occasion for her, while her father Amar was also relieved that the whole thing cost him less money.