Signs Of Tradition: Compiling a History of Development, Politics, and Tourism in Bhaktapur, Nepal

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Gregory Price Grieve, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: The quickest route from Kathmandu to Bhaktapur is via the express bus that turns off the Arniko Highway and heads uphill through the Silaghari Forest area. As one turns the corner, the first object that one sees is a large red Coca-Cola sign. Under the Coca-Cola advertisement is a smaller blue sign with a silhouette reproduction of Bhaktapur's temple skyline, over which is written in white block Roman letters: "Welcome to Bhaktapur." Just in front of these signs, in the roundabout in the middle of the road, is an even smaller sign that reads in Nepali: "Preserve our historic city." While placed here by different groups and for different reasons, all of these signs indicate that Bhaktapur is a traditional city. In fact, they are just a few of the many signs left by municipal, national, and international institutions that welcome the visitor to Bhaktapur, Nepal's "Hindu medieval city," the nation's "cultural capital." The idea that Bhaktapur is a traditional city is also shared by many of the city's inhabitants, who tend to perceive the valley's two other major cities, Patan and Kathmandu, as "modern." Yet, while all groups seem to agree that Bhaktapur is traditional, and all seem to agree that tradition is tied to local culture, there is only an agreement of silence on "tradition's" ultimate meaning.

Additional Information

Studies in Nepali History and Society 7 (2003): 281-307
Language: English
Date: 2003
Bhaktapur, Nepal, History

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