Witness the challenges facing Nepal as it works to balance tradition and progress and negotiate economic, political, and social change. Renowned for its scenery, from the peaks of the Himalayas to the remnants of tropical jungles in the tarai, Nepal is a land of complex ethnic and cultural diversity. Many Nepalese communities—shaped by their physical environments and pressured by scarce resources—have found innovative solutions that have helped them move forward in a challenging environment. Today, international development, internal political conflict, an emerging civil society, and the global market are all working to redefine Nepal in the twenty-first century.
The SIT Nepal: Tibetan and Himalayan Peoples study abroad program examines the diversity of Himalayan societies across the South Asian sub-continent, with special emphasis on the Tibetan experience and identity. Through thematic lectures and field work, students explore issues of cultural preservation, religious revival, and sub-regional geopolitics and are challenged to consider the contemporary and historic linkages connecting different Himalayan communities. Questions of self-identification and recognition, as well as issues of diaspora, exile, and migration, are important topics for analysis in this program.