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Brandeis University

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Program Name

Nepal: Tibetan and Himalayan Peoples

Abstract

The way people interact with smart phones and technology in their everyday life can reveal a whole lot about a culture, history and politics of a given place. In the Taplejung district in Northeastern Nepal, the Tamor valley has been a historical pathway for trans-Himalayan trade, business, and commerce (Saxer: 2015). However, it is also considered one of the most virtually and physically remote places in Nepal due to lack of physical and Internet infrastructure that enables all kinds of access. Nevertheless, smart phones have become an essential gadget in most people’s lives in this part of Nepal. In a place with such circumstances, I explore the way people interact with technology in their everyday life, what their relationship is to their phones, and how that reflects a broader aspect of history and culture in the area. It is an anthropological and humanistic account of technology and its interaction with people. Through the methodological approach of photography, studying the pathway and through personal accounts of the people that I encountered, I argue that physical infrastructure development has profound impact on mobility, culture and everyday life along the Tamor valley.

Disciplines

Asian Studies | Community-Based Research | Family, Life Course, and Society | Place and Environment

 

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