Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

4 - Governing City Dreams: Hope and Uncertainty in Translocal Tamangs Migration

Saturday, July 7
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Chinar, First Floor

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Tamangs, the largest ethnic and one of the most ‘marginalized’ communities in Nepal, in the recent times have made themselves increasingly visible in the lower economic strata of the capital. Lured by the promises of the ‘city life’ and its ‘development’, Tamangs predominately residing in the seven districts surrounding Kathmandu have been increasingly relying on the low wage works offered in the capital to uplift their lives. The research focuses on the labor migration of Tamangs of Sindhupalchok which sees a major outflow of labor towards Kathmandu mostly to work as construction workers, drivers and handy boys, domestic help and commercial sex workers and the effect of these labor migrations on the restructuring of the local Tamang community. Here, the income generated from the city becomes not only the means for the improvement in everyday living of the community but this mobility in itself has a significant impact on the subtle transformation in perceptions, choices, aspirations and behavior, thus making these migrants active agents of social and economic transformation of the local village. Using governmentality and habitus, the research tries to show how the labor migration of  locals to Kathmandu paints a picture of city life and how the local individual and community conceptualize it; how each individual rejects, deliberates as well as selectively incorporates it in his/her life and responds accordingly.

Isha Gharti

Chiang Mai University, Thailand

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4 - Governing City Dreams: Hope and Uncertainty in Translocal Tamangs Migration



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