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Website on the Sherpas of Nepal

updated: 15/07/2016
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Himalayan Paradise
Himalayan Paradise Trek & Expedition (P.) Ltd.
P.O. Box 23304, Kapan-8, Kathmandu, Nepal. Phone: +977-1-4823172, 
Cell: +977-1-9841212248
Website: http://www.himalayanparadisetreks.com, E-mail: info@himalayanparadisetreks.com
Panorama Trekking
Panorama Himalaya Trekking Pvt. Ltd.
P.O.Box: 25301, Kathmandu, Nepal. Phone: +977-1-2297661, 
Cell: +977-1-9841426784
Website: http://www.panoramatrekking.com, E-mail: pasang2001@hotmail.com , kusang_sherpa2008@yahoo.com
Annapurna Foothills Trek
Annapurna Foothills Treks & Expedition (P.) Ltd.
Nursery Road, Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal Phone: +977-1-4002200, Cell: +977-1-9841579429
Website: http://www.annapurnafoothills.com, E-mail: aftreks@gmail.com


Dictionaries:

Sherpa-English (pdf)

Sherpa-French (pdf)

Sherpa-German (pdf)

German-Sherpa (pdf)

Sherpa-Italian (pdf, temporaneamente)

Sherpa-English and English-Sherpa Dictionary, by Nicolas Tournadre, Lhakpa Norbu Sherpa, Gyurma Chodrak and Guilleaume Oisel, Kathmandu 2009

Sherpa-Gaelic


Nepali-English (pdf)

Nepali-German (pdf)

Schmidt's dictionary of modern Nepali

Samakalin Nepali Shabdakosh

Indonesian-German (pdf)

Italian-German (pdf)

French-German (pdf)

view of Shiteling

View of Shiteling, Takshindu VDC, Solukhumbu (March 2011). The picture has been taken from the small pass that leads to the neighbouring village of Yawa (nowadays misspelled by the Nepali authorities as Hewa).


Short introduction:

The Sherpas (originally Sherwa) are one of the numerous nationalities of the multiethnic state of Nepal. Their main living area is Solu-Khumbu in North-Eastern Nepal, Southwest of Mount Everest (sh.: Chomolungma, nep.: Sagarmatha). This traditional area has been divided several times by administrative measures of the Nepali state.

Solu-Khumbu comprises three regions: Khumbu, Pharak and Shorong (nep.: Solu). The ancestors of the Sherpas immigrated from the East Tibetan region of Kham about 500 years ago (see time table and map). During the next centuries, some other Tibetan families followed them to Khumbu where they were integrated into the Sherpa society. By far the most Sherpas live in Shorong.

Sherpa society is organized along exogamous clans. A hierarchical structure of society, as it is found among Nepal's Hindu castes, is totally strange to Sherpa society. According to the traditional kipat system, the whole Sherpa area was clan land of the Sherpas, i.e. the land belonged to the several clans and not to individuals. This clan land was expropriated with the abolition of the kipat system forced by the expanding Nepali state (final annulment in 1949).

The Sherpa culture is based on the old Nyingmapa Buddhism interspersed with animist and shamanistic practices und conceptions. The Sherpa language is related to modern Tibetan, but only to a lesser degree mutually comprehensible. Since the Sherpa language is not a written and standardized language, the current elites endeavour to introduce a script on the basis of the Tibetan script, even though this alienates the Sherpa language which has developed independently from Tibetan over the centuries (see also experiment with Latin script on this Sherpa web site).

Traditionally, the Sherpas live on agriculture and animal husbandry, supported by intra-regional trade. The trade with Tibet across the Nangpa La has almost been brought to a standstill by the politics of the Chinese occupying power in Tibet. A modern source of income is the tourism business. But only a few Sherpas have really made profits of this. Most of the Sherpas involved in the trekking business only find jobs as porters or guides. The access to these jobs is in Kathmandu. So today, many young Sherpas commute between village and capital. But the latter doesn't open broader perspectives for people from ethnic communities.

Subsites:

Evaluation of current information

Background information on the Sherpas

Institutions and organizations

Language

Maps and tables

Music

Pictures (updated 05/04/2016)

Videos (updated 13/01/2016)

Bibliography

Socio-Cultural project at Hewa (formerly Yawa)

Links:

Nepal Research, website on Nepal and Himalayan Studies

Rheinland-Lorraine-Nepal e.V., Koblenz: Hilfe für Kinder in den Bergdörfern Nepals

Lorraine Népal

Népal et Vous

CAP Chhulemo Taksindu

Nepalprojekt der  Helene-Lange-Schule, Wiesbaden

German-Nepal Friendship Association website


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