Many Tongues, One People (the Making of Tharu Identity in Nepal)

Product Details

Title:Many Tongues, One People (the Making of Tharu Identity in Nepal)


Author:Arjun Guneratne

Publisher:Cornell University Press

Publish Year:2002

Edition:First Edition

Cover:Paper Back

Subject:Language | History | Anthropology/ Sociology | Hinduism | Nepal History | Nepal Anthropology | Nepal Non-Fiction | Folk tales/ Folk songs | Non Fiction | Nepal Story | Social Science | Nepal Culture and Custom


Remarks:contains B&W photo, bibliography and index


Size:153 x 229 mm


Price:USD 13.65

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  • The Tharu of lowland Nepal are a group of culturally and linguistically diverse people who, only a few generations ago, would not have acknowledged each other as belonging to the same ethnic group. Today the Tharu are actively redefining themselves as a single ethnic group in Nepal's multiethnic polity. In Many Tongues, One People, Arjun Guneratne argues that shared cultural symbols—including religion, language, and common myths of descent—are not a necessary condition for the existence of a shared sense of peoplehood. The many diverse and distinct socio-cultural groups sharing the name "Tharu" have been brought together, Guneratne asserts, by a common relationship to the state and a shared experience of dispossession and exploitation that transcends their cultural differences. Tharu identity, the author shows, has developed in opposition to the activities of a modernizing, centralizing state and through interaction with other ethnic groups that have immigrated to the Tarai region where the Tharu live.This book"s claims have wide implications for the study of ethnic identity and are applicable far beyond Nepal. The emergence of the category of Native American, for example, may be considered an analogous case because that ethnic identity, like the Tharu, subsumes people of different cultural origin, and has been defined both through the state and against it.

    Arjun Guneratne

    Arjun Guneratne is Professor of Anthropology at Macalester College, Minnesota, USA, and the editor of Himalaya, the journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies. He has carried out research in the Nepal Tarai since 1989 and is the author of Many Tongues, One People: The Making of Tharu iden-tity in Nepal (Cornell, 2002) and the Editor of Culture and the Environment in the Himalaya (Routledge, 2010). In addition to his work on ethnicity formation and the state in Nepal, he has published on the development of an environmental movement in his native Sri Lanka.
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