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Vol7 Not

Slave Wages in Trekking • No One's Indigenous Here


WWF World Wide Fund For Nature

(formerly Work! Wildlife Fu.nl) International Secretariat, 1156 Gland, Switzerland.

Outside the industrialised west, no-one has to be told to respect their elders. It's simply the way society is organised.

Which is why WWF - World Wide Fund for Nature tries to work with older people ill the villages of the rainforests. With WWF's help, tbey learn to teach the younger mem­bers of their communities about conservation.

In Kafue Flats, Zambia, it's Chief Hainusondc (93),

Chief Bakary (78), is our man in Anjavi-tnihavanana, northern Madagascar.

In Ban Klong Sai, Thailand, we invoke the Venerable Papasro Bhikklm, seventy-three year old chief Buddhist monk.

This isn't just expediency, it's how WWF believes conservation projects should be run-Before you teach someone, we believe you have to learn from them.

We spend years visiting village after village, talking to the people, listening to them, living with them, understanding how they live.their lives.

Only then are we able to gain the confi­dence of the village elders.

Once they realise we're on their side, our elderly converts promote conservation with a zeal that belies their years.

"Uncle" Prom (68), another of our Thai community leaders, tells us that he frequently gets scolded when he starts telling people in the market that they should leave the forests alone. But he gets results.

Uncle Prom and Ills fellow villagets recently managed to prevent a new logging concession, and set up a community forest where tree felling is now forbidden.

Ninety-three year old Chief Hamusondc also makes things happen.

Income from the Kafue Flats game reserve in Zambia is funding a school, a clinic and new water boceicjles for the local villages.

In Madagascar, seventy-eight year old Chief Bakary's village makes a profit by selling fruit grown in their new tree nursery.

More importantly. Chief Bakary's village now takes fewer trees from the rainforest because the nursery can provide firewood and poles for con strut" ti on .

Not that we don't believe in catching them while they're young. WWF also organises special training courses to help Ceachers incor­porate conservation into the curriculum.

20,000 primary teachers in Madagascar have already taken part.

And WWF produce teaching aids as well as teachers,
We commission educational factshcets, booklets, posters and videos in over twenty different languages. These arc distri­buted to schools and college all over the world.

help our work with a donation or a legacy please write to the membership officer ar the address opposite.

You only have to look around you to see that the world still has an awful lot to learn about conservation.





Appreciate sangeet-sadhana

Himal is appreciated for devoting a whole issue on music {An Ear for Music Nov/Dec 1993). The interview of gum Krishna Narayan Shrestha was singularly good.

I hope Himal continues to search out people like Shrestha — people that have spent long years in sangeet sadhana — and lets them speak through its pages. Snail a Subba Dhobighat, Lalitpur

Let the Pope Not Come to Nepal

Edgar Metzler, responding to Saubhagya Shah's article "The Gospel Comes to the Hindu Kingdom" (Mail, Nov/Dec 1993) talks about human rights for individuals. His church may have lofty ideals, but the real world where we live sees racial fights, ethnic cleansing and religious battle every day.

The Himalayan people are, and have always been, deeply religious. One sees it in the mountains, die valleys, along the trails and in the streets. A place so rich in religious diversity, and the missionaries want the Nepalis, the Tibetans, the Lepchas, the Bhutanese and the Ladakhis to worship a God from Jerusalem and his bada-pujari from Rome?

I, my children, my parents and my grandparents live in one house in Nepal. We have neither social security cards, nor health insurance. And words like neurosis and psychosis arc alien to us. We share our problems with our friends and relatives and ourdhami, jhakri, bijuwa, lama, shasthri and amchis take care of our spiritual and medical needs. We are hospitable to foreigners and they turn around and say our Himalayan souls need to be saved?

Why should a Western missionary ot a local converted Christian come to my village to save my soul'? The only things

that are endangered in Nepal (and need to be saved) are the wild animals. My Nepali soul is not at all endangered and even if it is, why should 1 give it to the Vatican or the Protestant church to save?

Don't tell me my belief in gods and goddesses, rimpoches and bodhisattva is wrong! Don't tell me that the 33 million gods, goddesses and reincarnations that my parents, their parents, and their parents' parents have believed in do not exist. Don't tell me worshipping idols other than a cross leads to hell when so many Christians aTc fleeing the Churches in Germany and elsewhere! We have our Pashupatinath, our Padmasambhava and our Allah; I do not need the Pope from the Vatican.

Unlike Oiristians, we have never tried shoving our religion down other people's throats. And unlike in Christianity, we have decentralisation in our Gotterhimmel. The Panchayat government might have failed, but in spiritual world, decentralisation functions well. Hindu gods and goddesses accept other gods because every god has his or her own area of discipline. When I want riches, 1 pray to Laxmi; if I want strength, I pray to Hanuman.

Metzler says Christian compassion expresses the love of god. So does Hinduism's. And Buddhist Lamas go far to pray day and night not only for their own souls, but also for the whole of mankind. Take my mother, for example. She has, in her prayer room, statuettes of Hindu gods and goddesses along with pictures of Saibaba, Rajneesh, Dalai Lama, Kumari, Padmasambhava, Jesus and St. Michael. And of course, the Nepali King, who is considered incarnation of Vishnu, and the Queen. It seems very strange that Jesus does not like other gods near him when he cannot tackle every thing himself, either. If Christianity really preaches religious


8 Axing Chipko by ManishaAryal

In Uttarakhand today, Chipko is spoken of in the past terse. For all thai it might have developed into, Chipko as a definable movement got wound up too quickly, its energies sapped by excessive adulation.


27 Kevin Bubriski's Portrait of Nepal


41 A Native by Any Other Name... by Rajendra Pradhan Are'tribals', 'natives', 'aborigines'and 'ethnic minorities' now to be called 'indigenous people'? And do they exist in Nepal?

49 Slave Wages on the Trails by Doug Scott

There should be more intervention in the trekking ma/ketplace to ensure that the Himalayan porters reap iheir share.


31 Briefs

37 Himalaya Mediafite

38 Voices
46 Abstracts

56 Abominably Yours

55 1993 Himal Index

Cover: It was also his Chipko.

A Garhwali in Joshimatti, Uttarakhand Picture by Bikas Rauniar, 1993.

Himal© 1994 is published every two months by

Himal Association PO Box 42, Sridarbar Marg, Lalitpur, Nepal.

Tel: 977 1 523845, Fax: 977 1 521013 ISSN 1012 98O4,Library of Congress Card

Catalogue No. 88 912882.

Subscription information overleaf. Printing: Jagadamba Offset Tel; 977 1 521393.

Jan/Feb 1994 HIMAL . 1

Spiegel, not even half of what J|£:■;■*■•"" .-£3,""*-$?

V6I..7.Nia.l Jan/Feb1994

The Abode of Gods, King of

Mountains, Himalaya You bound the oceans from

east to west

A northern yardstick

.. To measure thp Earth

Editor Kanak MariiDixlt

Associate Editor Manisha Arjai

Consulting Editor Sanjtev Prakash

Managing Edikir Pema Wahgehuk Dorjee

Photography liikas Kauniar

Administration II alar am Sharma

Prakriti Karmacharja Rania Singh Suwal

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