This volume is an exploration of the various forms of bonds and attachments by which individuals in the Himalayan regions of India and Nepal are bound to their groups. To grasp these phenomena adequately, the book proposes a new analytical approach through the concept of belonging.
The book is based on several case studies carried out by anthropologists, historians, and geographers who help bring together rich ethnographical data from different regions of the Himalayas. Organized in three parts, it describes the interactions between local forms of belonging and new forms of classification imposed through national integration or modes of politics.
The book analyzes different societal formations in various historical periods and captures the ongoing change in them. Fundamentally, this collaborative publication is an attempt to go beyond (and beneath) identity constructions and to call into question the idea of permanence implied by the term.
Chapter 1: Hamro Gaon: Practices of Belonging in Rural Nepal
Hamro Gaon: Practices of Belonging in Rural Nepal
In the hills of Nepal, where walking still remains the only means of transport in most parts of the country, encounters on the trail involve a conventional set of activities and dialogues through which travellers greet one another. Resting their backpacks on purpose-built platforms by the side of the road, they will invariably ask: “Where are you coming from? What brings you here?” A traveller who is not ready to engage in the conversation may keep his or her answer to a minimum and simply give the name of the last halt. While the reason for the journey remains vague, the traveller may add the information that he ...