Gurkhas


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Gurkhas

Nepalese mercenaries, renowned for valor. [Nepalese Hist.: NCE, 1165]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
It comes as part of a partnership between the 248 Gurkha Signal Squadron, at MOD Stafford, and the clubs.
The Gurkhas, recruited by the Singapore police from the hills of faraway Nepal, were kitted out in body armour, Belgianmade FN SCAR combat assault rifles and pistols in leg holsters at the conference, in what some security experts believed was a dry run for the US-North Korea summit.
The former Parade pub in Coton Road is now known as Nuneaton Gurkha Corner and is the first of its kind in the UK.
Project director Captain Hikmat Gurung said: "Gurkhas' strong historical and cultural ties in their home villages have helped build trust with the locals."
Since then, over 200,000 Gurkhas have fought on behalf of the British in both world wars while many, in the past 50 years alone, have served in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Borneo, Cyprus, the Falklands, Kosovo and, most recently, Iraq and Afghanistan.
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In the senior league, there are two unbeaten teams - Gurkhas in first place and British Knights third.
The soldiers, from the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, were shot dead at a checkpoint in Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand Province.
Writing in The People today, former Shadow Homeland Security minister and retired colonel Patrick Mercer says: "Everyone admires the Gurkhas but why in difficult financial times should British jobs be filled by Nepalis?
London, Nov 14(ANI): The UK Government is set to provide a 1.5 million pound fund to ease immigration pressure in a Hampshire town following influx of former Gurkha soldiers.