"Barha pikayegu" in Newar Language literally means "to make menstruation come out". This custom in Newars is done after Ihi
and before a teenager reaches puberty. The custom is carried out before she gets her first menstruation. This custom entails a confinement period of 12 days and nights. During Barha, the girl is confined within a room in absence of sunlight, where she is given sex education in absence of male members by her female relatives (sisters, cousins, aunts, mother) and friends.
During this period she is not allowed to see any males. The girl stays inside the room and before eating she offers her food to Khya
. This Khya is made with white cotton by Nau
. On the 13th day the girl dressed up like a bride and she has to see the sun before she sights any male.
During the time period, people do not know what is that meant for and just blindly follow the custom without realizing the importance.
In newar custom, it is forbidden to marry a girl who has not yet done Ihi or Bahra. Also it is important aspect of Newar girls is to let her know about "taking beetle nuts" ("Gwaye kayegu"), the freedom and power she possesses in society. The newar girl has freedom to choose bridegroom or left her at her will and not at the parents will. Accepting beetle nut (Gwaye kayegu) means she accept the bridegroom. Also she can simply leave the bride even after marriage by giving the beetle nuts back. In traditional way, the girl puts beetle nuts... Read More