The Newars of Sikkim: Reinventing Language, Culture, and Identity in the Diaspora
Author: Bal Gopal Shrestha
This monograph presents not only an ethnographic description but also a detailed analysis of the processes and ritual activities through which the Newar population in the state of Sikkim (India) (re-)constructs its socio-cultural identity in a diaspora context. Dealing with the history and the present socio-economic position of the Newars in Sikkim, the author discusses the various transformations taking place when observing religious rituals, feasts and festivals, performing life cycle and death rituals. Dr. Bal Gopal Shrestha, a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford (UK), earned a PhD in anthropology at the University of Leiden (the Netherlands). An Affiliated Fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden, Shrestha has been Researcher and Assistant Professor at the University of Leiden (2006-08). Having conducted fieldwork in Nepal, India, the UK and Belgium, Dr. Shrestha has published widely on Nepalese religious rituals, Hinduism, Buddhism, ethnic nationalism, the Maoist movement, political developments in Nepal and on the Nepalese diaspora. He is the author of the monograph The Sacred Town of Sankhu: The Anthropology of Newar Ritual, Religion and Society in Nepal (Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2012, paperback 2013).