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Ihi ceremony - Durbar square, Kathmandu — Fotopedia
The gods of Nepal do not represent a forgotten era of the past. The deities here are living, and participate in the ordinary existence of everyday life as much as we mere mortals do. Nowhere is this exemplified more charmingly than in the uniquely Nepalese custom of Bel-Marriage (Ihi ceremony). Traditionally the Newars (the predominant ethnic group of the valley), marry off their pre-pubescent girls to a fruit of the Bel tree which symbolizes Lord Vishnu himself. The marriage ceremony is elaborate, accompanied by a feast.

By this custom, if a Newari's future mortal husband should die, she is not considered a widow because she is still married to Vishnu. The Newar "widow" therefore undergoes none of the often disagreeable sanctions imposed on widows.

Hence is solved the enchanting mystery behind those smartly dressed adolescent girls, thronging the streets of Kathmandu, who in spite of not being married in the 'earthly' sense, nevertheless adorn their foreheads with thick swabs of vermilion associated in India solely with a married status.

Here such a ceremony taking place in Kathmandu Durbar Square.
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Nepal

Nepal (i/nɛˈpɔːl/ ne-PAWL Nepali: नेपाल [neˈpal] ( )), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. With an area of 147,181 square kilometres (56,827 sq mi) and a population of approximately 27 million (and nearly 2 million absentee workers living abroad), Nepal is the world's 93rd largest country by land mass and the 41st most populous country. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India. Specifically, the Indian states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, and Sikkim border Nepal, while across the Himalayas lies the Tibetan Autonomous Region. Nepal is separated from Bangladesh by the narrow Indian Siliguri corridor. Kathmandu is the nation's capital and largest metropolis.


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Durbar Square

Durbar Square is the generic name used to describe plazas and areas opposite the old royal palaces in Nepal. It consists of temples, idols, open courts, water fountains and more. Before the Unification of Nepal, Nepal consisted of small kingdoms, and Durbar Squares are most prominent remnants of those old kingdoms in Nepal. In particular, three Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley, belonging to the three Newar kingdoms situated there before unification, are most famous: Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. All three are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


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Hand

A hand (med./lat.: manus, pl. manūs) is a prehensile, multi-fingered extremity located at the end of an arm or forelimb of primates such as humans, chimpanzees, monkeys, and lemurs. A few other vertebrates such as the koala (which has two opposable thumbs on each "hand" and fingerprints remarkably similar to human fingerprints) are often described as having either "hands" or "paws" on their front limbs.

Fingers are some of the densest areas of nerve endings on the body, are the richest source of tactile feedback, and have the greatest positioning capability of the body; thus the sense of touch is intimately associated with hands. Like other paired organs (eyes, feet, legs), each hand is dominantly controlled by the opposing brain hemisphere, so that handedness, or the preferred hand choice for single-handed activities such as writing with a pencil, reflects individual brain functioning.

Some evolutionary anatomists use the term hand to refer to the appendage of digits on the forelimb more generally — for example, in the context of whether the three digits of the bird hand involved the same homologous loss of two digits as in the dinosaur hand.


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Kathmandu

Kathmandu (Nepali: काठमाडौं [kɑʈʰmɑɳɖu]; Nepal Bhasa: येँ देय्‌) is the capital and largest urban agglomerate of Nepal. It is one of the World's least expensive cities and its real estate is among the least expensive in the world. The agglomerate consists of Kathmandu Metropolitan City at its core, and its sister cities Patan, Kirtipur, Thimi, and Bhaktapur. It also includes the recently recognized urban areas of Shankhapur, Karyabinayak, and Champapur. Banepa, Dhulikhel, and Panauti are satellite urban areas of Kathmandu located just outside the Kathmandu valley. Kathmandu is also known informally as "KTM" or the "tri-city". According to a census conducted in 2011, Kathmandu metropolis alone has 975,453 inhabitants; and the agglomerate has a population of more than 2.5 million inhabitants. The metropolitan city area is 50.67 square kilometres (19.56 sq mi) and has a population density of 129,250 per km².

The city stands at an elevation of approximately 1,400 metres (4,600 ft) in the bowl-shaped Kathmandu Valley of central Nepal. It is surrounded by four major mountains: Shivapuri, Phulchoki, Nagarjun, and Chandragiri. Kathmandu Valley is part of three districts (Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur), has the highest population density in the country, and is home to about a twelfth of Nepal's population.


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Asia

Asia (i/ˈʒə/ or /ˈʃə/) is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and comprises 30% of its land area. With approximately 4.3 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population. Asia has a high growth rate in the modern era. For instance, during the 20th century, Asia's population nearly quadrupled.


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Demographics of Nepal

The population of Nepal is estimated at 26,494,504 people in census of 2011, with a population growth rate of 1.596% and a median age of 21.6 years. Female median age is estimated at 22.5 years, and male median age at 20.7 years. Only 4.4% of the population are estimated to be more than 65 years old, comprising 681,252 females and 597,628 males, whereas 61.1% of the population is between 15 and 64 years old, and 34.6% is estimated at younger than 14 years. Birth rate is estimated at 22.17 births/1,000 population with an infant mortality rate at 44.54 deaths per 1,000 live births. Life expectancy at birth is estimated at 67.44 years for females and 64.94 years for males. Death rate is estimated at 681 deaths per 100,000 people. Net migration rate is estimated at 61 migrants per 100,000 people. According to the 2001 census, only 48.6% of the total population is literate, of which 62.7% are male and 34.9% are female.


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Childhood

Childhood is the age span ranging from birth to adolescence. According to Piaget's theory of cognitive development, childhood consists of two stages: preoperational stage and concrete operational stage. In developmental psychology, childhood is divided up into the developmental stages of toddlerhood (learning to walk), early childhood (play age), middle childhood (school age), and adolescence (puberty through post-puberty). Various childhood factors could affect a person's attitude formation.


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Kanyadan

Kanyādān ("gift of a virgin" or "gift of a maiden") is the most highly valued Hindu wedding ritual. There are different interpretations regarding kanyādān across South Asia.