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