Tibetan Diary: From Birth to Death and Beyond in a Himalayan Valley of Nepal

Geoff Childs

Published by University of California Press, 2004
ISBN 10: 0520241096 / ISBN 13: 9780520241091
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Synopsis: In this rich and deeply personal account of life in the highlands of Nepal, Geoff Childs chronicles the daily existence of a range of people, from venerated lamas to humble householders. Offering insights into the complex dynamics of the ethnically Tibetan enclave of Nubri, Childs provides a vivid and compelling portrait of the ebb and flow of life and death, of communal harmony and discord, and of personal conflicts and social resolutions. Part ethnography, part travelogue, and part biography, Tibetan Diary is a one-of-a-kind book that conveys the tangled intricacies of a Tibetan society.

Childs's immensely readable and informative narrative incorporates contemporary observations as well as vignettes culled from first-person testaments including oral histories and autobiographies. Examining the tensions between cultural ideals and individual aspirations, he explores certain junctures in the course of life: how the desire to attain religious knowledge or to secure a caretaker in old age contrasts with social expectations and familial obligation, for example. The result is a vivid and unparalleled view of the quest for both spiritual meaning and mundane survival that typifies life in an unpredictable Himalayan environment.

From the Inside Flap: "An immensely engaging work that contributes much to our understanding of the social-religious culture of Tibetan village life at the local level, providing a rich and deeply personal account of the ebb and flow of life and death, of communal harmony and discord, of personal conflicts and social resolutions. The author shows that the Himalayan enclaves of Nubri and Kutang are genuinely human communities with their own complications and contradictions."―Bryan J. Cuevas, author of The Hidden History of the Tibetan Book of the Dead

"An immensely readable and genuinely moving account of Tibetan lives and religion. Childs provides mutually illuminating narratives of the present and past that reveal an intimate portrayal of a Tibetan community in the Nepalese highlands."―David Germano, University of Virginia

"A splendid book that displays a remarkable ability to combine a critical understanding of the difficulties of Tibetan life with a great sensitivity to its humane atmosphere and its cultural complexities. This rich anthropological study is also a good read that conveys valuable insights through an entertaining and at times moving narrative. In short, a must read for all those who love Tibetans and their culture, as well as a most welcome addition to the developing field of Tibetan anthropology."―Georges Dreyfus, Professor of Religion, Williams College, author of The Sound of Two Hands Clapping: The Education of a Tibetan Buddhist Monk

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Tibetan Diary: From Birth to Death and ...
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: 2004
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Good
Edition: 0.

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Childs, Geoff H.
Published by University of California Press, Berkeley (2004)
ISBN 10: 0520241096 ISBN 13: 9780520241091
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