Choosing Shoes—and a Groom—in Kathmandu

Sujata Thapa-Bhattarai


These bright-red velvet shoes with gold embroidery are traditional Nepali wedding shoes. In Nepal, most girls are married before eighteen and without their consent. But I chose my husband, against the wishes of his family and my own. Even so, I wanted traditional, handmade shoes with woven soles.  When I look at my wedding shoes, I feel a mixture of sadness and happiness—sadness that I lost my family’s support, and happiness that I decided to marry and come to Canada to further my education and assert myself.

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