Many Tongues, One People: The Making of Tharu Identity in Nepal.(2002)
The Tharu of lowland Nepal are a group of culturally and linguistically diverse people who, only a few generations ago, would not have acknowledged each other as belonging to the same ethnic group. Today the Tharu are actively redefining themselves as a single ethnic group in Nepal's multiethnic polity. In Many Tongues, One People, Arjun Guneratne argues that shared cultural symbols—including religion, language, and common myths of descent—are not a necessary condition for the existence of a shared sense of peoplehood.
The many diverse and distinct socio-cultural groups sharing the name "Tharu" have been brought together, Guneratne asserts, by a common relationship to the state and a shared experience of dispossession and exploitation that transcends their cultural differences. Tharu identity, the author shows, has developed in opposition to the activities of a modernizing, centralizing state and through interaction with other ethnic groups that have immigrated to the Tarai region where the Tharu live.
PublisherCornell University Press
Citation InformationArjun Guneratne. Many Tongues, One People: The Making of Tharu Identity in Nepal.. Ithaca, New York(2002)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/arjun_guneratne/1/