Class of 2018 Anthropology graduate Bhavana Tuladhar Douglas has won the Royal Anthropological Institute's Student Essay Prize, the top award for undergraduate anthropologists in the UK.
Bhavana achieved the success with her dissertation that was submitted for her Honours degree in Anthropology.
Entitled 'Bahra from the inside', the study looks at ritual practices in Nepal. Bahra is an important coming of age rite for girls in Newar society, and Bhavana's work highlights the importance of both the female and indigenous perspective on understanding the lived experience of the ritual. As a female Newari anthropologist, Bhavana was able to bring new insights into the meaning and choices made by ritual participants, and to the significance of the rite to Newari women’s understanding of marriage.
Bhavana was able to undertake her own original fieldwork in Nepal with the support of her supervisor Dr Martin Mills and other Department of Anthropology staff in the Single Honours degree. The dissertation had already been awarded Best Dissertation in Anthropology for 2018 by the Department, and staff are delighted that Bhavana has been able to extend her success at a national level.