Rituals, respect and sacrifice

In good Nepali fashion, the line is blurred between Hinduism and Buddhism. Swayambunath is a stupa, therefore it’s a Buddhist monument. And we heard earlier that 80% of the population in Nepal is Hindu. Officially 12% out of the remaining 20% are Buddhist but most Nepalese will admit to being “both”. The ritual being shown here is not Buddhist in nature, but Hindu, although it takes place at Swayambunath. There is a representative of a priest (not shown) who is doing all kinds of things with the elements laid out on the carpet here: rice, candles, marigold, coins, and more. The ritual is probably to pay respect to the gods after a particular period of time (one year?) has elapsed after the death of a close relative. The hand stretched out here is one a woman’s, hence the daughter’s, which means there would be no sons.

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