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Falling from grace... and walking on your own

Kumari in Kathmandu, Nepal: Living pre-pubescent girls are believed to be the earthly manifestations of divine female energy, incarnations of the goddess known as Taleju. There can be as many as 13 Kumari at any one time, and the practice can be dated as far back as the 17th century. At the onset of menses, the Kumari are retired and begin life as mere mortals, experiencing the world for the very first time. [more inside]
posted by St. Peepsburg on Sep 17, 2014 - 7 comments

The deadliest day on Everest

The Value of a Sherpa Life - Grayson Schaffer reports on Friday's Everest avalanche that claimed the lives of 16 Sherpas in an instant. "And, yes" he says, "there is something that needs to be done about it." In the wake of this devastating tragedy, many Sherpas are threatening a strike and the government is mulling total closure for the upcoming season, which has 335 permits in the queue. Footage of the avalanche. Previously, in The Disposable Man: A Western History of Sherpas on Everest, Scaheffer spoke of the high risks, low pay and shocking mortality rate: "... no service industry in the world so frequently kills and maims its workers for the benefit of paying clients." [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Apr 21, 2014 - 66 comments

Blood Speaks

What is life like when having your period puts your health at risk and means you are shunned by society? Rose George reports from Nepal and Bangladesh on menstrual taboos.: Blood speak [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Mar 18, 2014 - 42 comments

The cost of staging a modern World Cup

Qatar has proposed a bold vision of its future in 2022, but at what cost? In September 2013, the Guardian reported that up to 4,000 migrant workers would die during the construction process for Qatar's staging of the football World Cup in 2022. The Pravasi Nepali Coordination Committee, an advocacy group representing Nepalese and South Asian migrant workers, estimates that 400 Nepalese have died on Qatari construction sites since 2010. Nepalese make up around 20% of the migrant workforce. In the past two years 450 Indian workers have died on construction sites. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Feb 17, 2014 - 32 comments

Of Human Bondage

The Walk Free Foundation has released its latest report on the contemporary slave trade, the Global Slavery Index (interactive map). As summarized by Al Jazeera, over 29 million people are in some form of involuntary servitude, ranging from kidnapped fishermen to women forced into prostitution to child brides. The countries with the largest populations of enslaved people include Mauritania, Haiti, Pakistan, India, and Nepal. Back in 2012, J. J. Gould wrote on the difficulties in confronting slavery in today's society: In the West, and particularly in the United States, slavery has long settled in the public imagination as being categorically a thing of the past.... It can mean having a harder time recognizing slavery when it's right in front of us.
posted by Cash4Lead on Oct 17, 2013 - 12 comments

Capturing America

In 1971, the newly-created US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired a bunch of freelance photographers to collectively document environmental issues around the country. They were given free rein to shoot whatever they wanted, and the project, named Documerica, lasted through 1977. After 40 years, the EPA is now encouraging photographers to take current versions of the original Documerica photos and are showcasing them on flickr at State of the Environment. There are location challenges, and a set has been created with some of the submissions, making side-by-side comparisons. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 8, 2013 - 16 comments

Tigers shift to nights - no word on weekends.

Tigers in Nepal's Chitwan National Park have taken the 'night shift,' apparently to coexist with people.(Youtube)
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 1, 2012 - 8 comments

The elephant moves

“Sexual orientation does make you poor,” says Manohar Elavarthi, a community organizer with Sangama in Bangalore. “Poverty is not just economic – you miss access to so many things: ration cards, inheritance rights, voter ID cards.” In several South Asian countries, there are reports that LGBT people have even been denied access to disaster relief. And homophobia is intricately connected with other divisions in South Asian societies, particularly around gender but also religion and caste. Yet I saw many signs of hope and change in both India and Nepal. Those transgender sex workers in Chennai have organized a coalition, called V-CAN, of every single community-based organization in the state of Tamil Nadu that serves homosexual or transgender people. Working with the NGO Praxis, they have been able to gain access to some public benefits, such as pensions and registering as “third gender” on government ID cards. Activists in Nepal’s Blue Diamond Society have achieved similar results and more. ~ World Bank blog post
posted by infini on Jun 3, 2012 - 9 comments

Honey Hunters of Nepal

High in the Himalayan foothills, fearless Gurung men risk their lives to harvest the massive nests of the world's largest honeybee. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 3, 2012 - 38 comments

When you’re lost, ask someone who knows the way.

Parahawking in Nepal: beautiful footage of paragliders working with raptors to find thermals. [more inside]
posted by quin on Mar 17, 2012 - 11 comments

Let there be

Life Without Lights Energy Poverty Photography.
posted by infini on Feb 12, 2012 - 28 comments

"Sex selection defies culture, nationality and creed."

"Over the past few decades, 160 million women have vanished from East and South Asia — or, to be more accurate, they were never born at all. Throughout the region, the practice of sex selection — prenatal sex screening followed by selective termination of pregnancies — has yielded a generation packed with boys. From a normal level of 105 boys to 100 girls, the ratio has shifted to 120, 150, and, in some cases, nearly 200 boys born for every 100 girls. In some countries, like South Korea, ratios spiked and are now returning to normal. But sex selection is on the rise in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East." American journalist Mara Hvistendahl's new book: "Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men," examines and tries to predict the actual and potential effects of unequal sex ratios on men, women and the social economies of the affected regions, including the recent spike in sex trafficking and bride-buying across Asia. More. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 10, 2011 - 65 comments

Where Do Babies Come From, and Where Do They Go?

Interactive map of international adoptions, from the superlative Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. The site contains an amazing amount of information about corruption in international adoption in countries like Nepal and Vietnam.
posted by the young rope-rider on Apr 19, 2011 - 18 comments

Maggie Doyne — Why the human family can do better

Not a Dry Eye in the House. Maggie Doyne — Why the human family can do better. Maggie's story, and Maggie's blog: Life at Kopila Valley Children's Home. Instead of going home to the States to start her University education, Maggie decided there were more urgent things that needed doing right there and then in Nepal. More background and story from NJ.com..
posted by thisisdrew on Jan 13, 2011 - 9 comments

"Please try to respect the youth. They are the ones who are going to build the next generation."

Now in its fourth year, CNN Heroes highlights and rewards "Everyday People Changing the World." This year's Hero of the Year (chosen by public poll) is Anuradha Koirala, whose group Maiti Nepal has rescued more than 12,000 women and girls from sex slavery along the India / Nepal border since 1993. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 26, 2010 - 9 comments

We're cooking with gas - Gobar Gas

Conflict-blogger Michael Yon with a fascinating piece about Nepal, Afghanistan, the Gurkhas and the incredible technology of "Gobar Gas". [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave on Jun 12, 2010 - 19 comments

Arun Singhania, Nepalese media Baron, shot dead on 1 March

Arun Singhania, a controversial media baron operating a daily newspaper and chairman of a radio station in Janakpur, Nepal was shot dead 1 March by unidentified gunmen on two motorcycles. The Terai Janatantrik Mukti Morcha and the Terai Janatantrik Party-Madhes reportedly phoned news outlets in the area taking responsibility for orchestrated Singhania's murder.
posted by Tlery on Mar 3, 2010 - 4 comments

The Champawat Tiger and Other Man Eaters Of Kumaon

Jim Corbett's Man Eaters Of Kumaon (1944) is a collection of true stories about the hunt for man-eating tigers and leopards in India. One of Corbett's most notable kills, the Champawat Tiger, was alleged to have killed some 436 people in Nepal and India. Similarly, the Leopard of Panar possibly killed some 400 people in northern India before she was hunted down herself. [more inside]
posted by SpringAquifer on Feb 25, 2010 - 26 comments

The Night Shift

“I could not understand what was happening,” Mr. Sherpa said. “This man, my partner from my own country, he’s trying to kill me. He was a crazy man, like he didn’t know me. He said nothing — he just kept chopping me.”
posted by william_boot on Dec 13, 2009 - 50 comments

Parahawking

Hawkman of the Himalayas. British falconer Scott Mason and friends have combined paragliding and falconry into the art of parahawking. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jan 23, 2009 - 7 comments

handpainted signs from Nepal

Beware of Dog. Nepali artists paint signs on metal. Before and After. The story behind Danger Dogs. Click on the names of the different artists at the top of the page for various styles. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Sep 25, 2008 - 24 comments

Art of the Kathmandu Valley

From the Land of the Gods: Art of the Kathmandu Valley. [Via Plep - NY]
posted by homunculus on Jul 17, 2008 - 3 comments

Ethnographic materials from the Himalayan region

Apa Tani bleeding tubes filmed by Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf and Paro, Bhutan in 1936 from Frederick Williamson, are just two of the extraordinary offerings from the Digital Himalaya Project.
posted by tellurian on Apr 3, 2008 - 8 comments

Buddha Paintings Found in Nepal

Paintings of Buddha dating back at least to the 12th century have been discovered in a cave in Nepal. Tipped by a local shepherd, a team of international researchers climbed to some old caves where they found a mural with 55 panels depicting the life of Buddha, reminiscent of the artwork of the Ajanta Caves in India (possibly NSFW). There are probably many other forgotten caves in the Mustang area (previously discussed here,) but they may be threatened by a planned trans-Himalayan highway.
posted by homunculus on May 13, 2007 - 22 comments

Sustainabili-Tea

Quality from the Himalayas. Amid continuing civil violence, Nepal has just made a big push to escape poverty through your local Starbucks. Working with Winrock International, Nepal's tea growers are finalizing a Code of Conduct that would eliminate pesticides banned by the EU and commit tea growers to replenishing the soil, using organic fertilizers whenever and wherever possible, and using fair labor and wage practices -- making Nepal Orthodox Tea more environmentally- and worker-friendly than its better-known rival Darjeeling. In the process, they hope to create a gourmet niche product (pdf; go to p. 8) that appeals to the taste and sensibilities of socially-conscious Westerners through a partnership with Tazo (Starbucks' main tea supplier), as well as to modernize the local industry to create greater international awareness of its products.
posted by occhiblu on Aug 2, 2006 - 17 comments

10 Stories

Ten Stories the World Should Hear More About.
posted by ND¢ on Jun 2, 2006 - 28 comments

Breathing room...

For those following the situation in Nepal (previously mentioned here, here, and here), the King has relented and reinstated parliament, though it's not clear whether the new Prime Minister has long for this world. The Maoists have declared a ceasefire, though they aren't happy about the development. Everything is still awaiting a constituent assembly...
posted by graymouser on Apr 27, 2006 - 3 comments

Chaos in Nepal

Nepal is known as the birthplace Buddha, however, it's also a place in which the ruling government has decided a "shoot to kill" policy is the best way to deal with anti-monarchy protesters.
posted by Guerilla on Apr 19, 2006 - 20 comments

Is Nepal the Next Cambodia?

Is Nepal the Next Cambodia? Many experts fear the worst. Despite its tourist-friendly, pacific image, Nepal is teetering on the brink of collapse as a little-noticed but brutal Maoist insurgency tries to take down an equally vicious government. The story was reported by Matthew McAllester and photographed by Moises Saman, both of whom know something about surviving terror and violence. An Amnesty International report condemns the violence of both sides. This Royal Nepalese Army page describes its mission; take a look at His Majesty King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev.
posted by etaoin on Aug 14, 2005 - 12 comments

Mountain Voices

Mountain Voices. 'This website presents interviews with over 300 people who live in mountain and highland regions round the world. Their testimonies offer a personal perspective on change and development.'
posted by plep on Apr 10, 2005 - 2 comments

Free Nepal, from the ground

Nepal has been in the news lately (1, 2, 3), as the king ousted the prime minister and replaced the cabinet under protests and a mounting civil war. Airports are closing, newspapers are shutting down, and radio stations are going silent. How'd I find this all out? By reading a blog from someone in Nepal, posting updates of what day-to-day life is like amid the strife.
posted by mathowie on Feb 15, 2005 - 8 comments

Coup in Nepal

Nepal is shut off from the world as King seizes power in 'coup'. Just as Iraq finishes voting, Nepal has taken a step in the opposite direction. India is concerned.
posted by homunculus on Feb 1, 2005 - 15 comments

Nepal Current Events and Historical Background

What's it like to live in a war zone in Nepal? 'What happened to us happens to the people of Bajura every day, and they get it from both sides ' Some stories of the disappeared. From the consistently high quality Nepali Times, along with articles about Maoist radio and the human rights of the Kumari 'living goddess'.
Some background : Who are the Nepalese Maoists? (Q & A); the royal massacre of 2001; historical background to Nepal's democracy - the democratic revolution of 1989-91 and subsequent events; the kings of Nepal (note that dates are given using the local calendar); a potted history of Nepal referring to the role of the Rana family of hereditary ministers, who acted as a conservative 'shadow monarchy' over successive weak kings, from the Kot Massacre of 1846 which eliminated all rival claimants, until about 1950 (when King Tribhuvan famously famously took refuge in the Indian embassy - by a twist of fate, his infant grandson briefly crowned king by the Ranas - Gyanendra was again crowned king after his brother was killed in the 2001 royal massacre); a Nepal timeline; how ethnicity and caste fit into Nepalese society (discrimination in Nepal); Bhutanese refugees in Nepal; the Indian Naxalites and the Maoists.
posted by plep on Oct 9, 2004 - 10 comments

Sleeping Katmandu

Sleeping Katmandu. A brief account by a friend of mine of how he was caught up in the recent unrest in Nepal*.
posted by ed\26h on Sep 3, 2004 - 4 comments

War in Nepal

Nepal: A traumatised nation. 'Besides the physical cost of the conflict, many Nepalis are suffering hidden psychological trauma.' Looking at the war in Nepal. This as Maoists blockade Kathmandu.
posted by plep on Aug 18, 2004 - 4 comments

Asia: Full of Grace

Asia Grace
posted by euphorb on Jul 21, 2004 - 6 comments

Virtual Tour of a Nepalese Village

'I am Mahabir Pun. I would like to take you on a tour of my village (Nangi), and my country (Nepal and the Himalayas). I would like you to learn about our High School in Nangi Village, Nepal. Some people from abroad have visited and worked in Nangi and have interesting stories to tell you of their time here. '
posted by plep on Jul 1, 2004 - 11 comments

WiFi in Nepal

Yak farmers in the mountains of Nepal are using WiFi to keep in touch with their families thanks to the Nepal Wireless Networking project. [Via /.]
posted by homunculus on May 27, 2004 - 14 comments

Monasteries of Mustang

A restoration project has been underway since 1998 to restore the 15th-century Tibetan Buddhist monastery wall paintings of Lo Monthang, a city in the kingdom of Mustang in northwest Nepal. The results have been very impressive. Mustang is also home to some amazing cave temples.
posted by homunculus on Dec 27, 2003 - 12 comments

Kyoto

A Year in the Life of a Kyoto Neighbourhood. Actually, more like about six months, but still a worthwhile project.
Related :- the Play of Light, Kyoto and Nepal at night.
Also :- seasons in the Natural History Museum garden, London.
posted by plep on Jul 1, 2003 - 4 comments

Journey to Nepal

Nepal: A Travel Journal
posted by monju_bosatsu on Jul 1, 2003 - 4 comments

Adult Siamese twins plead for separation

Adult Siamese twins plead for separation Doctors in Singapore are considering whether to separate a pair of 28-year-old twin sisters who are joined at the head - an unprecedented operation for adults. Neurosurgeon Keith Goh says he and his team will decide by the end of the year if an operation can be successful. They went to Singapore after hearing about the successful surgery led by Dr Goh on baby twins from Nepal who were also joined at the head. The operation - if it goes ahead - involves separating two brains encased within a single bony structure in the head, Dr Goh said. The twins say they want to be separated because of deep differences between them. "We are two completely separate individuals who are stuck to each other," Ladan, the more extrovert of the sisters, told reporters. "We have different lifestyles," she said. "We think very differently about issues." The twins said that if their situation continues for much longer, they will not "stand it any more".
posted by Coop on Dec 4, 2002 - 11 comments

Nepal's Crown Prince Dipendra kills family, self over arranged marriage dispute.

Nepal's Crown Prince Dipendra kills family, self over arranged marriage dispute. Proving the astrologers wrong, who had predicted that the king would die if the Crown Prince was allowed to marry before the age of 35; the 30 year old Eton educated prince disputing over his choice of bride, killed his parents, brother, sister, and other relatives in what is labeled as the worst mass killing of royalty since the Romanovs. more.
posted by tamim on Jun 1, 2001 - 53 comments

Goddess needed:

Goddess needed: "Palatial accommodations, round-the-clock personal service, public adoration guaranteed, school and homework optional. Must be five years old or under and willing to serve until puberty."
posted by todd on Mar 13, 2001 - 15 comments

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