Chapter

Introduction

Michael Hutt

in Unbecoming Citizens

Published in print August 2005 | ISBN: 9780195670608
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081806 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195670608.003.0001
Introduction

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The Introduction emphasizes that Bhutan’s origins and heritage are Buddhist and that its older languages are Tibeto-Burman. Bhutan is widely known as a place where a culture has been preserved that is elsewhere either threatened or destroyed. The author lists some important facts about Bhutan, emphasizing the multiethnic nature of Bhutanese society and how the division of Bhutan's population into ethnic categories is almost as challenging as its enumeration. The author explains the problematic nature of the terms ‘Lhotshampa’ which is used as shorthand for the ‘Bhutanese Nepali’, while Nepalis of or from Nepal itself are termed ‘Nepalese’. Early accounts of Bhutan are cited to explain the pattern of Nepali settlement in southern Bhutan during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Introduction concludes by indicating that the first half of the book will be concerned with history and the second half (Chapters 5-7) with the reconstruction of Lhotshampa society.

Keywords: Bhutanese ethnicity; Lhotshampa; Nepalese; Nepali settlement; Buddhist; Tibeto-Burman

Chapter.  5704 words. 

Subjects: Migration Studies

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