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  Subjects -> ANTHROPOLOGY (Total: 398 journals)
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European Bulletin of Himalayan Research
Number of Followers: 10  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 0943-8254 - ISSN (Online) 2823-6114
Published by OpenEdition Journals Homepage  [455 journals]
  • Pokhari in the Nepalese plain: from multi-purpose ponds to exclusive fish
           farming in the tense context of territorial transformations in the eastern

    • Authors: Caroline Sarrazin
      Abstract: Resource management is one of the major contemporary challenges for rural societies. In the eastern Tarai plain (southern-east region of Nepal), with its high population densities (over 500 inhabitants/km²), territorial restructuring has forced local populations to cope with strong pressure on land and water. This has led to profound changes in the way these people use pokhari. These water bodies, which vary in size (from 0.01 to 6 hectares or more), are defined as multi-use ecosystems. Whether publicly or privately owned, pokhari are managed either collectively by Tharu or Madhesi village communities who are originally from the plain, or individually by independent Pahari farmers who favour personal initiatives. Though pokhari are omnipresent in the districts of Saptari and Sunsari, where fieldwork was conduc...
      PubDate: 2022-07-20
  • Gendered consequences of social changes in Nepal: rich possibilities

    • Authors: Radha Adhikari, Jeevan R Sharma
      Abstract: In this commentary, we reflect on changing gender dynamics within a broader political-economic shift currently taking place in Nepal. We critique how Nepali women are stereotypically represented as vulnerable, uneducated or less educated Third-World women, who lack agency and are dependent on their male kin, in development and popular media discourses. Our key proposition is that the major political and economic changes over recent decades, beyond the obvious political changes witnessed in Nepal in 1950, 1990 or 2005, are having a significant impact on the lives of both women and men, across different social classes, castes, regions, religions and ethnic backgrounds. After outlining some of the stereotypical representations of Nepali women, followed by a brief discussion on the broader political-economic shifts, we conclude this paper by making four key propositions. These are: 1) current political-economic shifts have profound gender consequences, which need to be examined and unde...
      PubDate: 2022-07-20
  • Reimagining spaces, species and societies in the Himalayas

    • Authors: Erik de Maaker
      Abstract: Himalayan environments have changed, and are changing, due to the ways in which people have interpreted, sourced, and utilised them. Scholarly analysis of the transformations induced, be it in deforestation, dam building or glacial melt, foreground how man is shaping the world in the Anthropocene. Alternatively, multispecies studies have shown how people invariably depend on, and are being shaped, by the dedicated environments in which they find themselves. Rather than people existing independent of these, their lives are the product of ‘co-becoming’ (Country et al 2016: 1) or ‘becoming-with’ (Haraway 2008: 12) a variety of spaces and species. In relation to the Himalayas, the two angles of enquiry outlined above have so far seldom been combined. In an attempt to engage with this lacuna, the contributions to this special issue scrutinise the changing framing and interpretation of human and non-human relationships, and the way these find expression in everyday life. At the same time,...
      PubDate: 2022-07-20
  • What we Indologists owe to anthropologists

    • Authors: Axel Michaels
      Abstract: The following text is a reaction and an objection to Gérard Toffin’s contribution titled ‘Merging perspectives on classical Hinduism and popular Hindu religion’, which was published in the previous issue of EBHR (No 57) as a foreword to the translation of ‘Festivals, time and space: the structure of the Indo-Nepalese version of the Hindu calendar’ by Marc Gaborieau. Toffin references my article ‘“At the point of confluence of Sociology and Indology” – Louis Dumont’s postulate reconsidered’ (Michaels 2020), notably where I take up the topic of the context and conditions of cooperation between these two disciplinary approaches. The point of departure of my analysis was Louis Dumont’s and David Pocock’s programmatic introduction that inaugurated the first issue of Contributions to Indian Sociology in 1957, where they declared cooperation between sociology (to be understood as social anthropology) and Indology as a prerequisite for understanding Indian (or Hindu) society: In our opinion,...
      PubDate: 2022-07-20
  • The ranking place in the Sharwa home (ancient Amdo)

    • Authors: Samten Karmay, Philippe Sagant
      Abstract: In the 1950s, prior to the arrival of the Chinese in Tibet, Sharwa country—inhabited by Tibetan-culture sedentary farmers, and located not far from the Chinese town of Songpan at the edge of Sichuan—counted among what Carrasco called ‘the tribal communities of Amdo’. It was made up of a half-dozen small political federations (tsho), each of which assembled several villages around the worship of a sacred mountain, a country god (yul-lha). These federations were not dependent on any large monastery or prince, and central Tibet did not intervene in their affairs in any way. Before 1911, they were under the nominal authority of Manchu China, or more specifically the viceroy of Sichuan. Hereditary headmen (‘go-ba) were in place, maintaining links with Chinese officials. However, they were far from wielding power over Tibetan communities everywhere. The federations paid no taxes to anyone. They were lords of the earth (sa-bdag). They administered with full sovereignty. These were like wha...
      PubDate: 2022-07-20
  • Competing perceptions of landscape in the Limi Valley: politics, ecology
           and pastoralism

    • Authors: Tara Bate
      Abstract: A common response to the current global ecological crisis is the conservation of areas still somewhat spared from anthropogenic damage, in spite of an abundant literature evidencing the social and ecological shortcomings of top-down approaches to nature conservation. As part of the Kailash Sacred Landscape Initiative, the Limi Valley of north-western Nepal is currently under consideration for the establishment of one such area. This paper warns about an understanding of conservation as a segregation of humans and nature, which is at odds with local perceptions of landscape as relational. Through the perspective of pastoral practices in the Limi Valley, I show how the Limey – the people of this Valley – conceive of humans as enmeshed within a network of interacting beings under the guiding principles of ecological ethics of care. This conception is framed by religion (a syncretic mixture of Mahayana Buddhism, Bön religion and Animism), as well as by skills of ecological and spiritual...
      PubDate: 2022-07-20
  • Simultaneous Identities: Language, education and the Nepali nation, by Uma

    • Authors: Pramod K Sah
      Abstract: As a multilingual and multi-ethnic country undergoing a series of political, social and cultural overhauls over the last decades, Nepal is faced with issues regarding language in education that has always been an area of contention for educators, policymakers, politicians, activists and many other key figures. Because of the symbolic power of language that operates in relation to the politics of identity (individual, ethnic and national) and to capital accumulation in/for the local-global market (Bourdieu 1993), language-in-education policies, practices and discourses have historically played a crucial role in shaping and reshaping the identity and dispositions of ethnolinguistic groups in Nepal. To this end, Uma Pradhan’s seminal book Simultaneous Identity: Language, education and the Nepali nation examines the ‘complex dynamics between education, national identity and ethnic identity in the changing sociopolitical context of Nepal’ (p3). In this book, Pradhan presents an ethnograp...
      PubDate: 2022-07-20
  • Merging perspectives on classical hinduism and popular hindu religion

    • Authors: Gérard Toffin
      Abstract: In his work on the popular Hinduism of Nepalese castes, Marc Gaborieau has always given great prominence to the classical tradition of India. One recalls how he drew a parallel between the jāgar possession cults of far-western Nepal and the notion of avatār (ie incarnation, descent of the god into the earthly world) (Gaborieau 1975), as well as that of meditation, dhyāna, both associated with religious doctrines of ancient Hinduism. His article on the annual Hindu calendar and on the Nepalese festival calendar, published some forty years ago in 1982 in the journal L’Homme and whose English translation is made available in this issue for the first time, is representative of this approach. The festivals of the Indo-Nepalese (ie the Parbatiyā, Hindu populations of the hills divided into castes and speaking Nepali as their mother tongue) are related to astrological and religious conceptions which go back to the old Indian Sanskrit civilisation, such as the division of the annual calenda...
      PubDate: 2022-07-20
  • Satyahangma rituals: commemorating Phalgunanda in eastern Nepal

    • Authors: Martin Gaenszle
      Abstract: The new Kirati religion founded by the spiritual leader and ‘national luminary’ Mahaguru Phalgunanda Lingden (1885–1949) is a unique blend of an ethnic tradition marked by shamanic practice and elements of Hinduism. Little is known about the ritual practice performed by the Mahaguru himself and his disciples. However, today, the principal successor, Atmananda Lingden, is propagating his version of the Satyahangma religion and building a large community of followers. Rituals are based on the Sāmjik Mundhum, a red book containing the canonical text. My contribution here will take a look at the making of this ritual tradition and the controversies that have resulted from different interpretations of Phalgunanda’s heritage. The biggest event in the year is the celebration of Phalgunanda’s birthday on Kartik 25 (ca 11 November). In eastern Nepal in particular, this is an event of great spiritual as well as political importance, as could be observed in 2018.
      PubDate: 2022-07-20
  • A Promise of Unconditional Acceptance: Conversion to Christianity and the
           struggle for being in Sinja, Nepal

    • Authors: Samuele Poletti
      Abstract: Over the last few decades, Nepal’s Christian population has flourished even in quite remote contexts such as the Sinja Valley, in the north-western district of Jumla. The reasons why people are drawn towards Evangelical Christianity in particular are primarily existential and are intimately related to the problematic situations they are confronted with in their lives, which are rooted in turn in a very specific understanding of personhood. Among local Hindus, the lack of a unitary principle comparable to the Christian soul has important consequences. Far from being a permanent achievement, personhood needs to be constantly actualised in relational interaction with other people, through appropriate actions that match one’s social persona. This can cause a lot of tension, particularly when what happens in someone’s life hinders the fulfilment of social expectations. What seems to make Christianity appealing in Sinja is that, in this religion, one’s self is given a priori by God, there...
      PubDate: 2022-07-20
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