The Sherpas and Their Original Identity
This book offers a cultural and historical perspective on the Sherpa people, exploring how their traditional way of life has been impacted by such factors as urbanisation, modernisation, globalisation, and tourism. Though Nepal is a small country, it is rich in ethnic, religious, linguistic, and cultural resources. Various communities living in Nepal, including the Sherpas, have their own original cultures, traditions, and practices. Despite outside influence, the Sherpa people have preserved their distinct lifestyle, which encompasses a unique history, culture, religion, language, cuisine, and set of traditions.
It was only after the summit of Everest in 1953 that domestic and foreign scholars began to take an interest in documenting the Sherpa people’s way of life. The Sherpa’s language is an oral one, and with this comes difficulties. Various translations into other languages have caused mistranslations and a loss of meaning. Written by a Sherpa, this book seeks to overcome these linguistic barriers and bring Sherpa culture to the reader. Serving as a collection of knowledge from distinguished scholars of the Sherpa community, religious leaders, intellectuals, social workers, and community organisations, this book is a unique (auto)ethnographic work which bridges the gap between researchers speaking other languages and Sherpa people.
Serku Sherpa holds a MA in Social Science in Rural Development from the Tribhuvan University of Nepal. He is also an ethnographic researcher of Sherpa culture, and travels across Nepal to collect information about the cultural relics, customs, traditions, and history of Sherpas. His research has culminated in several books and a documentary: Sherpa Samudayako Maulik Pahichan [The Sherpas Identity] (2019), Maulik Sherpa Geet Sangraha [Sherpa Folk Songs] (2021), and The Last Nomads of Everest (2020). He is a Trekking and Tour Guide license holder, an active community member and a humanitarian.
Dr Yana Wengel is an Associate Professor at the Hainan University – Arizona State University Joint International Tourism College in Haikou (China). She applies a human geography lens to social sustainability and international development in tourism studies. Her interests include tourism in developing economies, volunteer tourism, nature based and adventure tourism. She has an interest in creative qualitative tools for data collection and stakeholder engagement and has contributed to the development of creative research methodologies in her field.
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