Geoff Childs (Ph.D. in Anthropology and Tibetan Studies, Indiana University) is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Studies at Washington University in St. Louis who specializes in studying the interconnections between demographic processes, global connections, economic changes, and family transformations in the highlands of Nepal and the Tibet Autonomous Region, China.
Alyssa A. Kaelin (M.A. in International Studies, University of Wyoming) is a recent graduate whose interests pertain to rural tourism development, mobility, and cultural changes in the Himalayan region. For her master's thesis, Alyssa conducted anthropological research focused on the model of homestay tourism as a means of poverty alleviation and shifting socioeconomic hierarchies in a village in the Rasuwa district of Nepal.
This article explores the role that Briddim, a small village in northern Rasuwa District, Nepal, played in the intellectual development of two students who visited nearly three decades apart. After a brief historical survey focusing on the village’s position on a trans-Himalayan trade route connecting Kathmandu with Kyirong, the authors use a personal and reflective lens to explore Briddim’s changing fortunes in relation to international exchange networks and geopolitical forces. In many ways Briddim encapsulates the socioeconomic and cultural changes sweeping contemporary highland Nepal as a result of rising educational opportunities, tourism, and migration. By comparing notes from 1984 and 2013, the authors bear witness to very different circumstances in the village’s changing relationship with the outside world.
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Childs, Geoff and Kaelin, Alyssa A.
"Where the Yak Became One with the Soil: Reflections on Life and Research in a Himalayan Village,"
HIMALAYA, the Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies: Vol. 35
, Article 15.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.macalester.edu/himalaya/vol35/iss2/15