Tibetan Trade, Global Transactions
Publication Year: 2013
How might we make connections between seemingly mundane daily life and more abstract levels of global change? Geographical Diversions focuses on two generations of traders who exchange goods such as sheep wool, pang gdan aprons, and more recently, household appliances. Exploring how traders "make places," Harris examines the creation of geographies of trade that work against state ideas of what trade routes should look like. She argues that the tensions between the apparent fixity of national boundaries and the mobility of local individuals around such restrictions are precisely how routes and histories of trade are produced.
The economic rise of China and India has received attention from the international media, but the effects of major new infrastructure at the intersecting borderlands of these nationstates—in places like Tibet, northern India, and Nepal—have rarely been covered. Geographical Diversions challenges globalization theories based on bounded conceptions of nation-states and offers a smaller-scale perspective that differs from many theories of macroscale economic change.
Published by: University of Georgia Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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List of Figures
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It seems unfair that single- authored books like this are considered by default the product of one individual. In this case, nothing could be farther from the truth. I doubt I would have been able to complete this project without the support, cooperation, camaraderie, and expertise of numerous friends and colleagues. But before I begin to name specifi c names, the most gratitude goes out to ...
A Note on Transliteration
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Tibetan, English, Nepali, and Chinese (Mandarin) were the main languages used in this project. Newari (also called Newah or Nepalbhasa), Hindi, and Marwari terms were also spoken by several individuals but are not quoted in this text. For Chinese words, I have used the standardized pinyin system for terms such as hukou (household registration system), but I use English pho-...
INTRODUCTION: Tibet, Trade, and Territory
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You do not come to Euphemia only to buy and sell, but also because at night, by the fi res all around the market, seated on sacks or barrels or stretched out on piles of carpets, at each word that one man saysâsuch as âwolf,â âsister,â âhidden treasure,â âbattle,â âscabies,â âloversââthe others tell, each one, his tale of wolves, sisters, treasures, scabies, lovers, battles. And you know that in the ...
CHAPTER ONE: Middlemen, Marketplaces, and Maps
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...âThis is the only Tibetan News Paper published in India, it is read by all the high Lamas, Offi cials, and leading traders in Tibet, Sikkim, Bhutan, Darjeeling, Northeast Assam, Kashmir Ladakh, Almora, Kulu Himachal Pradesh, Gharwal The Tibet Mirror (yul phyogs so soâi gsar âgyur me long), a twentieth- century Ti-betan-language newspaper published in Kalimpong, had commodity listings in ...
CHAPTER TWO: From Loom to Machine
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The world of commodities would have no reality without moorings.In a book based on the memoirs of Newar merchants who conducted business between Lhasa, Kathmandu, and Kalimpong in the fi rst half of the twentieth century, Kamal Tuladhar writes of his familyâs shop in Lhasa: âEnglish woolens, Japanese velvet, Chinese silk, Nepalese cottons, and Indian brocadeÂ . . . fi lled the ...
CHAPTER THREE: Silk Roads and Wool Routes
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It is a clear weekend aft ernoon in Kalimpong, a town of about 43,000 mostly Nepali- speaking inhabitants in the mountainous, northernmost tip of West Bengal.ï The rhododendrons are glaringly bright against the green foliage and the Himalayas hover on the horizon; it is especially pleasant aft er months of heavy monsoon rain, moldy clothes, and the sporadic landslides that prevented ...
CHAPTER FOUR: Reopenings and Restrictions
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I begin this chapter with two scenes that take place at border crossings.1. Nathu-la. For decades, the hills of North Bengal and Sikkim have provided a cool escape for many middle- class tourists (and formerly, British colonists) during the stifl ing Indian summers. Although currently restricted to Indian citizens with special one- day permits, one common scenic destination is the ...
CHAPTER FIVE: New Economic Geographies
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The age in which Asia was penetrated and developed from its fringes towards the center is drawing to an end. A new age is opening out in which the focus of development will lie near or at the center, and the eff ect of this development will Written more than a half century ago, Owen Lattimoreâs statement seems re-markably prescient. During my fi eldwork in 2006, in addition to the reopening ...
CHAPTER SIX: Mobility and Fixity
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Susan Stewart, âThe Map of the World Confused with Its TerritoryâI heard the phrase âDelhi doesnât understandâ yet again from a Sikkimese ex- trader- turned- teacher toward the end of my stay in India. Aft er a long conver-sation that focused mostly on teaching and education in the region, we moved on to discuss a story he had heard in 2002 about a refugee mother and two ...
A Further Note on Research Methods
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My research methodology warrants a bit more explanation than has been given in the body of this book. Here, I briefl y touch on some issues regarding sur-veillance, research permits and visas, interview languages, and the specter of illicitness and smuggling. Anthropologists tend to spend a signifi cant amount of time living with local families in order to gain cultural insights that might ...
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Page Count: 184
Illustrations: 17 b&w photos, 1 table, 5 maps
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation