The Other Side of the Mountain

The Sherpas of the Khumbu region look affluent, but they might not all be rolling in money.

Almost everyone has heard of the Sherpas through the literature of mountaineering and adventure. Foreigner visitors to Sherpa country are impressed by the size of the homes, the tourist facilities, as well as the well-maintained religious monuments and gumbas. If the Himalayan valleys are generally poverty-stricken, is this "the other side of the mountain"?

While it is true that Sherpas have managed to more than survive in the forbidding environment of the Khumbu (which was uninhabited before they arrived), the image of affluence one observes along the trekking routes, such as at Namche Bazaar, is not entirely real.

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Himal Southasian