Trekking up the Everest Trail from Lukla to Tengboche and also during a visit to Kathmandu and Bungamati I had the opportunity to meet and photograph many of the local Nepalese people. I found the Nepali to be friendly, willing to talk and very open to being photographed. Many of the Nepali live a tough and simple life many working in the fields or working as porters and guides for the trekkers and climbers who make their way up the trail from Lukla to Namcha Bazaar, Tengboche and all the way up the the Everest Base Camp.
This collection of images captures some of the faces of the Nepalese people I met during this trip and hopefully brings out the character of both the people and the country of Nepal.
The citizens of Nepal are known as the Nepalese or Nepali people. The country is home to people of many different national origins. As a result, Nepalese do not equate their nationality with ethnicity, but with citizenship and allegiance. Although citizens make up the majority of Nepalese, non-citizen residents, dual citizeners, and expatriates may also claim an Nepalese identity.
Nepal is multicultural and multiethnic country because it became a country by occupying several small kingdoms such as Mustang, Videha (Mithila), Madhesh, and Limbuwan in 18th century. The oldest settlements in Mithila and Tharuhat are indigenous Maithil and aboriginal Tharu people.
Northern Nepal is historically inhabited by Kirants Mongoloid, Rai and Limbupeople. The mountainous region is sparsely populated above 3,000 m (9,800 ft), but in central and western Nepal ethnic Sherpa and Lamapeople inhabit even higher semi-arid valleys north of the Himalaya. Kathmandu Valley, in the middle hill region, constitutes a small fraction of the nation’s area but is the most densely populated, with almost 5 percent of the nation’s population.
The Nepali are descendants of three major migrations from India, Tibet, and North Burma and the Chinese province of Yunnan via Assam. Among the earliest inhabitants were the Kirat of east mid-region, Newars of the Kathmandu Valley, aboriginal Tharus of Tharuhat, Madhesis of Madhesh and Maithils of Mithila region. Ancient and Indigenous Madhesis are descendents of Nepalese origin tribes while Indian origin Madhesis are the descendents of Nepalese migrants to Madhesh from Indian state of Bihar and Uttar pradesh; the Brahmin (Bahun) and Kshatriya(Chettri) caste groups are descendents of migrants from India’s present Banaras, Kumaon, Garhwal and Kashmir regions, while other ethnic groups trace their origins to North Burma and Yunnan and Tibet, e.g., the Gurung and Magar in the west, Rai, Sunuwar and Limbu in the east (from Yunnan and north Burma via Assam), and Sherpa and Bhutia in the north (from Tibet).
Regardless of the rapid changes in lifestyle of the urban population and the globalized way of living, the Bungamati locals have remained untouched by modern waves and are living the simple, rural life that they know best.
Visiting Bungamati in the late afternoon when the light is soft and subdued is best for photography and the locals are generally very amenable for portraits to be taken as they work on their weaving or wood carvings. There is also the Temple of Macchindranath in the centre of the village which provides a central focus.
I usually don’t do much portrait photography but these fascinating faces of the Nepalese people I met were a good opportunity to dip into this genre of photography. The generally happy and friendly faces of the Nepalese people made an interesting subject and given their poor working and living conditions I felt their pleasant demeanour said something about the character of the Nepalese.
Passionate Photographer …. Lost in Asia
Stuart Taylor of HighlanderImages Photography has been making images for over 25 years and can offer a diverse range of photo imaging services with a focus on Asia and a documentary/photojournalistic style. These services include planning and executing a photo shoot on location but importantly all the post-processing and image preparation needed for the specific finished media format required by the customer. Stuart’s experience and knowledge in all of these aspects makes HighlanderImages Photography a one-stop-shop for a comprehensive and professional image production service.
Stuart can be available for a variety individual assignments or projects and he specialises in areas such as photojournalism, commercial, architectural, real estate, industrial, interior design, corporate, urbex, adventure, wilderness and travel photography. Stuart can also offer some innovative and advanced techniques such as HDR (High Dynamic Range) and Panoramic Photography.
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