Accepted paper:

Who improved Chepangs' life? Involvement of nation building and changes of social categories among the Chepangs in Nepal

Authors:

Kenichi Tachibana (Ritsumeikan University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper describes the changes of the subjectivities among the Chepangs in Nepal as consequences of their active involvements of the new nation building and democratic discourses. It shows the involvement has led the changes of the basis and the concept of the social categories in the Chepangs.

Paper long abstract:

The Chepangs, an indigenous people who have been a target of development in Nepal, often speak in recent years that they have improved their life. In the mean time, such a narrative of "Chepang society has drastically changed by influences of the development aids and the Christianity" becomes widely prevalent in Nepal. Though the external influences on Chepang society is undeniable, putting too much regard on the influences result obscuring their subjectivities for improving or changing. This paper tries to describe the changes of their subjectivities, the qualities of subject's perspective and desires, as a consequence of their active involvement of the new nation building and democratic discourses after the Panchayat system, "a democracy under the king's control," introduced. It shows the involvement has led the changes of the basis and the concept of the social categories such as the young or the old among the Chepangs. This paper also discusses the ground that allowed people of the Chepangs to change their society or to convert so drastically and remarkably compared with the surrounding ethnic groups.

panel P042
Politics, culture, and cultural politics in the Himalayas