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 -
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 -
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 -
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
, 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 -
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 -
“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 -
"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 -
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
posted by the young rope-rider
on Apr 19, 2011 -
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 -
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
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 -
'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 -
Nepal has been in the news lately (1
), 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 -
'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 -
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 -
"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 -