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The adventurous Sherpas

A new film `The Easterners' sheds new light on the Sherpa tribe, says ANANDA SEN.

ANANDA SEN

A Sherpa home

THERE have been numerous documentaries made on the Sherpas by Indian filmmakers. And here is one more, but with a difference. This new venture, called "The Easterners", deals with the sociological aspects of a tribe which has existed for years and of which hardly anything is known about. The Sherpas are fundamental for tourists and explorers alike, as without them, the latter would not be able to make the dangerous treks to the Himalayas and back.

The film deals with every aspect of the Sherpa tribe including the rituals surrounding the birth of a Sherpa child, to those surrounding the death of a Sherpa. Also included are shots of beautiful Buddhist monasteries and the interiors of a Sherpa house.

THE HINDU PHOTO LIBRARY

... at home in the Himalayas.

With more people making trips to the Himalayas, there has been a steady rise in the demand for Sherpas, which has led to many of them leaving their homes and settling down in Kathmandu, where they are more likely to find tourists and explorers.

Filming began in November 2002 and finished in March 2003 with the costs having been borne completely by the filmmakers. Direction and screenplay is by Indranil Banerjee, and production by Manas Das.

Splendid photography of the Himalayan ranges along with a very spiritual soundtrack enhance the viewing experience. The film is already being marketed in the United States. It is essential that we understand this tribe and its ways to help it to survive in whatever way we can. Remember, its members are the only ones who really know the Himalayas inside out.

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