Dec 13, 2011, By Teresa Rehman, Alertnet
KATHMANDU, Nepal (AlertNet) – On the fourth day of her menstrual cycle, Belkumari Paudiyal hikes for more than 20 minutes to the river below her village. She ties a petticoat round her chest and takes a cleansing bath, which signals that her life will resume as normal.
When Paudiyal, 37, is menstruating, custom demands that she be isolated from her family, and refrain from entering the kitchen, touching food or offering prayers.
“I prefer to walk down to the river as it provides some privacy to clean myself,” says Paudiyal, a resident of Paudiyalthok in Nepal’s picturesque Panchkhal Valley. “Otherwise there is the common tap which has no enclosed space. Trekking all the way to the river is the only solution.”