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.

The Politics of Encounter: Hindu Belonging in a Multi-Faith Pilgrimage Site in Nepal

The Politics of Encounter: Hindu Belonging in a Multi-Faith Pilgrimage Site in Nepal

The politics of encounter: Hindu belonging in a multi-faith pilgrimage site in Nepal

Pilgrimage sites are, in a basic sense, special places. They are social and spiritual foci: distilleries and places where unexpected permutations of social and cultural realities—or new emphases to old ones—are possible. The site exists as a dual reality or paradox, as that which is historical or ‘traditional’ and yet that which is constantly negotiated between its participants. Therefore, a site is a place that is both a projection of history and a present experience carried forward by an unusually diverse group of stakeholders, who, even as strangers to each other and the site, must create a mediated experience, that ...

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