Cultures and Religions of the Himalayan Region

Summer 2004

Kathleen Young
Bancroft School
Faculty - 7th Grade World Geography







"The highest of the world's mountains, it seems, has to make but a single gesture of magnificence to be the lord of all, vast in unchallenged and isolated supremacy."
George Mallory, 1924


This website is an ongoing project devoted to the study and teaching of the Himalayas. It reflects my learning and experiences during a five-week institute sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Himalayas is a region of the world which is often overlooked in school curriculums. It is a vast frontier of converging languages, faiths, political movements and geological patterns. Reasons to study and teach this immensely rich and important area are not limited to the following:

The Himalyan region is the birthplace of major world religions, the core of peoples' beliefs and culture;

• Due to its latitudinal and longitudinal scope, as well as vast altitude, the Himalayas hosts many niches of biological diversity;

• The Himalayas, a relatively young mountain range, provides wonderful opportunities for geological exploration and teaching;

• Due to increased communication with both its neighbors and outsiders, this region is undergoing political changes that are increasingly affecting world politics. The relationship between China and the people of Tibet and the current Maoist rebellions in Nepal are two examples;

Circular migration, the movement of people in search for better jobs and survival is becoming more common. Himalayan cultures are transforming and spreading to all parts of the world.

A special thanks to Professor Todd Lewis (Holy Cross College), Leonard van der Kuijp (Harvard University) and Mimi Stephens (Teachers' Center for Global Studies, Clark University) for their guidance and support.




This site was created by Kathleen Young at the NEH Summer Institute "Cultures and Religions of the Himalayan Region," held at the College of the Holy Cross, Summer 2004