A long followed tradition of secluding girls at puberty (Photo feature)
December 4, 2021 04:15 PM NPT
By: Monika Malla
KATHMANDU, Dec 4: As per the tradition of ‘Gufa’, which has been passed on for generations in the Newa Community, a girl is isolated from public view for 12 days.
Girls undergo the process after an auspicious time is fixed after astrologers go through the palmistry of the girl. Confined in a dark room for 12 days, the girl is supplied with food by other female members of the family, while male members of the family are forbidden to meet the girl.
Upon the completion of the process on 12th day, the girl is taken out of the room and asked to look at the sun. It is believed that the girls from Newa: community are married again to the sun. Before “Gufa'' ritual, the girls before hitting puberty are married to the “Bel”, wooden Apple. On the 12th day the girl is donned in red robes with ornaments and taken to nearby Ganesh Temple to visit.
Here are some photos taken by Republica photojournalist Monika Malla to show this unique tradition practiced in the Newar community in Kathmandu Valley and beyond.