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Hamilton College

Publication Date

Spring 2022

Program Name

Nepal: Development, Gender, and Social Change in the Himalaya


Time and space are part of everyone’s daily life; however, these concepts are rarely explicitly discussed. Hegemonic interpretations of time and space are part of capitalist, colonialist structures, thus understanding alternative perceptions is important to resisting these structures. To understand perceptions of time in Nepal, I spent a month in Gre, a small village near Langtang National Park. I interviewed villagers and spent time observing how people spend their time, talk about time, and give directions to physical places. While there is not one perception of time and space, I learned how time and space influence each other. Geography and consistency of resources influences how people talk about time. The small space of the village changes how people interact with each other and integrate their social lives with work. I argue that people’s perception of time and space only exists in relation to other villagers. In addition, time is not fixed only based on a clock, and instead moves according to weather, meals, and sequences of tasks. People plan their days in relation to the current day and other people. Time and space can exist outside of rigid, standardized systems.


Asian Studies | Human Geography | Place and Environment | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Sociology of Culture | South and Southeast Asian Languages and Societies


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