Author Biography

Mukta S. Tamang is an anthropologist and teaches at the Central Department of Sociology/Anthropology at Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu. He is also serving as Research Director for Research project on Social Inclusion Atlas and Ethnographic Profile undertaken by the Department. His research interest includes indigeneity, history, memory, identity, social inclusion, equality and human rights in Nepal and South Asian region. He received his PhD from Cornell University. He was also a Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths College, University of London and Jawaharlal Nehru University in conjunction with a joint research project on "Social Inequality and Affirmative Action in South Asia."


This case study aims to explore the relationship between ‘everyday religion’ and prospects for urban sustainability in the context of on-going changes -in Kathmandu. It argues that everyday religion plays a role in furnishing the incentive for urban residents to sustainably manage ‘culturalized nature’ in the city. In particular, I examine water, the practices surrounding its use, and how these practices connect various social realms. I suggest that water in Kathmandu valley plays an important role as a connector encompassing life and death, religion and environment, as well as politics and development.


I am grateful to participants in the Conference on Everyday Religion and Sustainable Environments at The New School in March 2013 where the draft version of paper was presented. Special thanks go to Ashok Gurung, Georgina Drew and Thomas Matthew for their valuable suggestions on earlier version of the paper. I am also grateful for helpful comments by anonymous reviewers from Himalaya. Any errors contained herein are my own. The field work was carried out in 2012 as a part of the research on Everyday Religion and Sustainable Environments in the Himalaya managed by the India China Institute (ICI) at the New School university in New York City with funding support from the Henry Luce Foundation.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.