Home Institution

University of Virginia

Publication Date

Spring 2022

Program Name

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


Throughout this research period I lived in the Gurung Village of Sikles in the Lower Annapurna Region of the Himalayan Mountain Range. Here, I grew in my understanding and learnings behind the village people’s relationship with nature, what shapes it, how it is changing, and general attitudes towards it. The Gurung community is traditionally of the Bon religion, but with the impacts of our ever-connecting world, many have also incorporated Buddhism and Hinduism into their beliefs and practices as well. Therefore, many of their traditions include pockets of animism and traditional worship of nature, but many villagers have slowly converted to non-animistic religions and beliefs as well. Sikles is situated in the hills just below Annapurna II where conditions are mild enough to interact with the land heavily as a means of life and survival.

Oftentimes scholars who focus on the human-environment relationship can write about it in a very academic, inaccessible way that I find to take away from the importance and root of the topic at hand and drive distance between the reader and the subject. I find this approach to be very counterintuitive when sharing teachings of something so vital, natural, and core to our human existence. In an attempt to negate and challenge this outcome, I have chosen to write my findings, experiences, and the knowledge kindly shared with me in the form of poetry.


Asian Studies | Human Ecology | Place and Environment | Poetry | South and Southeast Asian Languages and Societies


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