The country of Nepal can be divided into three parts, the Himalayan mountains, the mid dle hills and the lowland Tarai. The Tarai belt (most places only 10 kilometres north-south) is also the border area to India. Many of the ethnic groups in the Tarai are also settled on the Indian side; ethnic borders crossing state lines. The Tarai is thus important to Nepal, both for defence purposes and for the richness of its resource base. Today this is where the Nepa lese think their economic future will lie. At the same time, most Nepalese as well as foreign ers have only scant knowledge of the region, an area known for malaria up until recently, and traditionally also for its fierce indigenous ethnic groups. This book aims at giving a general introduction to the main ethnic questions in the Tarai, and its main focus is the largest Tarai ethnic group; the Tharu. In publishing this book the contributors hope to widen the recent emerging debate on the future of the Nepalese Tarai.
In 1993, Hari Bansh Jha published the book The Terai Community and National Integra tion in Nepal, and in 1994 Ram Dayal Rakesh published the book Cultural heritage of Nepal Terai. Both books were later severely criticised by Kurt W. Mayer in an article in the prestigious magazine Himal.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Art & Culture (745)
Emperor & Queen (484)
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