Gurkhas


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Gurkhas

 

the conventional name of the peoples inhabiting the central and southwestern regions of Nepal.

The Gurkhas include descendants of the peoples who began coming to the area from Rajasthan in India in the 13th century, such as the Khasi, as well as the indigenous peoples of Nepal, such as the Magars, Gurungs, Tamangs, Sunwars, and Rais (Kirats), who, together with the newcomers, formed a military confederation in the 18th century headed by the ruler of the principality of Gorkha (hence the name), Prithvi Narayan, who brought all of Nepal under his rule. The language of the newcomers, Nepali, became the official language of the country, and the Gurkhas call themselves Nepali. The estimated number of Gurkhas in 1970 was more than 5 million. For the most part their religion is Hinduism. They are divided into castes. Their main occupations are irrigated and dry farming (rice, wheat, barley, corn, and vegetables), cattle and goat herding, and trades, such as weaving and smithcraft. Migration to India for seasonal work is common.

REFERENCES

Narody Iuzhnoi Azii. Moscow, 1963. (Bibliography.)
Guseva, N. R. “Naselenie Nepala. Sovetskaia etnografiia, no. 5, 1958.
Sovremennyi Nepal. Moscow, 1967.

Gurkhas

Nepalese mercenaries, renowned for valor. [Nepalese Hist.: NCE, 1165]
References in periodicals archive ?
The POWs totaled 13,000 in number and in addition to the Gurkhas, there were POWs from India and Britain.
THE GURKHAS take their name from a town in what would now be Nepal called Gorkha where British troops fought in the 1750s.
Money raised from the event, which starts on July 29, will help some of the 11,500 surviving Gurkhas who do not get a pension, despite fighting for Britain in the Second World War.
Rifleman Rai, born in Nepal and the youngest of five, followed in the steps of his father and elder brother who both served as Indian Gurkhas.
The Gurkhas have fought valiantly and have made many sacrifices for this country but then so have British soldiers.
A NORTH East MP has clashed with television star Joanna Lumley in a verbal battle over a campaign to improve the rights of Gurkhas.
Immigration rules introduced in 2004 allowed serving Gurkhas with at least four years' service to settle in the UK.
It was 1814-18 the British first met the Gurkhas in the Nepalise War.
The sixth generation of a family with 150 years' service to the Crown, Maj Gurung joined the Gurkhas as an 18-year-old in 1974 and served in the Queen's Gurkha Signals.
She said: "Generations of Gurkhas have served the United Kingdom with great courage, sacrifice and distinction and they continue to make a vital and valued contribution to our operations around the world.
Joanna Lumley's father fought alongside the Gurkhas in World War Two, and standing beside Gurkha VC Tul Bahador Pun, she said the judge's decision had "wiped out a national shame that has stained us all".
Chitra himself spent 15 years serving with The Gurkhas, but has now turned his attention to serving top quality food to local people.