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Tigers Of The Mountain Essay

1348 words - 5 pages

Together with the brave Gurkha soldiers of Nepal, the Sherpas are among the most world -famous of Nepalese people. The world's highest-living population, the Sherpas are born mountaineers. Consequently, the Sherpas' world seems mysterious to lots of Western people. What's Sherpas' history? What are their lives like? Are the Sherpas and other highland people physiologically different from the rest of us? What kind of roles they are playing in the Western expeditions? Though the western people don't understand Sherpas' culture very well, Sherpas' strength against nature, honesty and dedication have developed a reputation among the resident colonialists. They are considered as the tigers of the mountains. Sherpas live in the Solu Khumbu region of glacial villages at the southern approaches to Everest. Their mane tells of the origin (Sher-east, pa-people) and has come to be almost synonymous with great peak that dominates their country. About five centuries ago, they settled in Khumbu region, the gateway to Mount Everest from the South side. They speak Shepali, the official language of Nepal. Until 2000, the population of Sherpa is 36,900. Their largest religion is Buddhist, which covers 99.8% of the population. Before coming into contact with Western expedition, the Sherpas were simply farmers, yak herders and traders. They used to carry grains, cotton clothes, irons, paper from the South, and barter these for salt, wool, sheep and Tibetan artifacts in Tibet. Working as middlemen has enabled the Sherpa to attain higher standards of living than those of other hill people.Sherpa villages range anywhere from a few households to more than one hundred houses. A Sherpa family unit consists of the nuclear family living in a single household and sharing a joint economy. Houses are at least two stories, the upper story being a one-room living quarter and the lower story serving as an animal shed and storage area. When the youngest son marries, he inherits the farmhouse and half of the fields. He also must take care of his parents, which is the same culture on lots of Asian countries. The older sons receive the remaining fields as their inheritance. A middle son will often bring honor to his family by attending a monastery in order to become a lama, or "holy man." Therefore, lots of Sherpas are Buddhists and it adds more mystical shade to this highest nation in the world.There are few government schools in the Solu-Khumbu region, making it necessary for children to walk long distances to school. For this reason, children do not attend school regularly, although the government requires three years of education. It may take a child six years to complete this requirement. The lack of education among the Sherpa has resulted in a literacy rate of only 29%.Trading is an important economic activity for the Sherpa. The men make long trading expeditions and are often gone for many months, leaving the remaining duties to the women....

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