Tag Archives: Birganj







                                                                                              Me with a rather distracted-looking Kumari in Patan


I remember clearly a programme I was watching on TV in the 70s.  The living goddess Kumari was being paraded through the streets of Kathmandu.  Nepal in those days was still emerging from the cultural heritage of the 18th century; and to see a young, pre-pubescent girl deified as a virgin goddess and being worshiped was really, for me, beyond the wildest dreams of Kew… 

In the late seventies I had the chance to work as a volunteer in Birganj, a busy, bustling town on the border with India, unbearably hot in the summer months and sub-tropical in the winter.  Outside of the confines of the campus where I taught post-graduate students the art of teaching English, there was very little opportunity to communicate with the locals except in their own language, Nepali.  So I ventured out onto the streets and the bazaar and learned a kind of bastardised version of the language, a mixture really of Hindi, Bhojpuri and Nepali. 

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