Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Feature Article

How China’s Approved Destination Status Policy Spurs and Hinders Chinese Travel Abroad

By the end of this decade, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) forecasts that the People’s Republic of China (hereafter referred to as China) will be sending 100 million tourists abroad each year. By then, China is expected to be the world’s largest tourist-generating country. How is that possible? Before 1978, China was pretty much closed to the outside world. Few Chinese citizens were allowed to travel to other countries. Those who did were either businessmen, government officials, or s...

Film Review Essay

Bhutan: Taking the Middle Path to Happiness

TOM VENDETTI AND JOHN WEHRHEIM VENDETTI PRODUCTIONS, LLC DVD, 57 MINUTES, 2007 From the opening photos of an idyllic remote setting to friendly young monks to prayer flags whipping in the morning breeze carrying peace prayers, you know where to find Shangri La. That is the strength and weakness of this beautifully filmed video portrayal of Bhutan. The Exotic Other is colorfully on display, providing a feast for the eye and ear that is fine as far as it goes but is thinner on real world perspe...

Feature Article

Fifty Years of Climate, Culture, and Landscape Change in the Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park, Nepal

Pema Temba Sherpa climbed steadily up the snow-covered accumulation of loose rock, or scree. His destination was a rock cairn—an arrangement of stones constituting a marker—constructed by some mountaineer or scientist long ago in a remote region of Nepal’s Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park in eastern Nepal. Even at nearly 19,685 feet, the world’s highest mountains rose majestically around him for thousands of feet more on all sides, and made him feel small and vulnerable. ...

Book Review, Columns

Illustrated Atlas of the Himalaya

UNIVERSITY PRESS OF KENTUCKY, 2006 228 PAGES, ISBN: 978-0813123882, HARDBACK Reviewed by Kelly McKee The Illustrated Atlas of the Himalaya brings an instant sense of connectedness to the remote land and peoples of the Himalaya. The photographs imply the rich cultural diversity of the population, as well as the geographic complexity of the land. The readers’ eyes follow a myriad of maps, charts, and calculated data dispersed throughout the book while gaining a deeper sense of app...

Columns, Resources

On the Road with the Red God Macchendranath

Filmmaker Kesang Testen, a citizen of Nepal, has created a magnificently choreographed depiction of a twelve-year Newari festival. The Newari are the indigenous group of the Kathmandu Valley. The festival is said to have been observed in the Kathmandu Valley for a millennium. During the festival, a chariot (ratha, a flat platform on four huge wheels) bearing the red god Macchendranath goes on the road between the towns of Bungamati (near Kathmandu) and Patan, with stops in between. This festival...

Essay, Resources

Bringing the Himalayas into Your Classroom: On-Line Resources and Materials for Teaching about the Abode of Snow

For most American teachers, getting to know the Himalayas necessitates a trip halfway around the globe. But in the summer of 2002, the Himalayas came to Massachusetts in the form of the NEH Institute’s Cultures and Religions of the Himalayan Region. Led by prominent scholars Todd Lewis and Leonard van der Kuijp, this month-long program brought leading researchers from around the world to Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts. While the reading list was mountainous and the lectures int...

Columns, Essay

Teaching Medical Anthropology in Nepal: Of Doctors, Journals, and Web Sites

For two consecutive years, in 1999 and 2000, undergraduate and graduate students from Auburn University in Alabama participated in a study abroad class that I designed entitled “Medical Anthropology in Nepal.” The course is a hybrid of in-class preparatory lectures and seventeen days of intensive study in Nepal. This article is intended to provide a review of the traditional and nontraditional forms of learning used in the course, a summary of the travel planning process, and some guidelines...

EAA Interview

EAA Interview: Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. on Asia in the Schools

Editor's Note: Former four-time North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt is extremely well known for his work in education reform. Not only did Governor Hunt provide leadership that resulted in dramatic improvements in North Carolina schools, but he also became a national figure in school change through serving as Founding Chair of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Founding Chair of the National Center for Public Policy and Education, and Chair of the National Commission on...

Essay, Resources

Experiencing and Teaching the Geography of Nepal

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION AND GOALS In summer 1997, thirteen elementary and secondary school teachers from Oregon participated in a month-long geography field program in Nepal. The “Teachers’ Workshop in Nepal” (TWIN Project), funded by the U.S. Department of Education, through Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad and by the Oregon Geographic Alliance (OGA), Portland State University (PSU), and the Himalayan Research Bulletin, was developed and implemented by faculty at PSU, Western Oregon Univ...

Essay, Resources

Using Material Culture to Impart a Sense of Place

INTRODUCTION The ongoing struggle to procure the latest technology in our classrooms and the globalization of our curricula are two omnipresent themes in American education today. Many believe they are interdependent in that our World Wide Web, CD ROM, and other electronic connections are prerequisite to linking multiculturalism across the curriculum. While few people, including this author, downplay the benefits of electronic learning, even the best interactive multimedia limit students to...

Feature Article

Losing Shangri-La? The Environmental Degradation of Kathmandu

By most accounts, Kathmandu is a medieval city nestled between two main rivers called Bagmati and Bishnumati. Also known as Kantipur, it is the largest of the three major cities in the Kathmandu valley, the other two being Patan (Lalitpur) and Bhadgaon (Bhaktapur). Kathmandu is the capital and cultural hearth of Nepal, a country invariably viewed by Westerners as a Shangri-La, an alluring piece of imaginative geography. Imaginative geography is more than a mental map with its own distorted lines...

Book Review, Resources

The Himalayas: A Syllabus of the Region’s History, Anthropology, and Religion

by Todd T. Lewis and Theodore Riccardi, Jr. Foreword by Gerald D. Berreman ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN: ASSOCIATION FOR ASIAN STUDIES, INC., 1995 240 PAGES “Syllabus” brings to mind an outline, a skeleton to be built upon by both learner and instructor. This occasional paper for the Association for Asian Studies provides such a skeleton, and gives us a great deal more at the same time. Lewis and Riccardi have synthesized a very large number of strands with skill and sophistication using the...


The Status of Women in South Asia

The term South Asia refers to the Indian subcontinent, which includes the contemporary nation-states of Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. This geographical spread has a corresponding range of cultural and linguistic diversity. Further, this region is home to over a billion persons. On any issue of global importance, be it social welfare, population growth, cultural and economic development, or the environment, what happens in South Asia, and to its peoples, is significant. Women...

Feature Article

Incorporating Asia in the General Education Curriculum

Washington State University is probably not very different from many mid-sized universities, rooted in mid-America and laboring in the midst of a curriculum reform. This article, the distillation of the experience and study of three of our general education faculty members, is submitted in the hope that it may prove useful to the hundreds of faculty in scores of similar institutions struggling with the problem of how to integrate Asia in the general education curriculum. Specifically, we have be...

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