Rather than sit back and let tradition dictate how their lives should play out, these independently-minded Nepali women are building businesses, supporting one another and championing financial freedom.
It’s my first day in the Newari town of Panauti, Nepal, and I’m gatecrashing a wedding.
The bedazzled young bride looks demure under a veil of gold and red lace while her sister prims and prepares her for the groom who is standing nervously outside the door. In the dusty courtyard, I find a group of women decked out in vibrantly colored saris milling around, dancing, and serving trays of fried water buffalo meat, chapatis, and other snacks. The men seem to be relegated to background, as the women scurry around in a frenzy of non-stop activity.
As these vivid blurs of yellows and reds move closer, one of the women, Shila, dances up to me with a wide smile and a garland of flowers which she places over my head, settling it around my neck.
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