Yale Himalaya Initiative

environment | livelihood | culture

Yale Himalaya Initiative shares grant to record, preserve ancient culture of Bhutan

August 21, 2013

The Yale Himalaya Initiative and the University of Virginia were awarded a five-year, $1.42 million grant to preserve the kingdom of Bhutan’s increasingly endangered oral heritage.

Mark Turin, program director at the Himalaya Initiative and research scientist in South Asian studies, is the co-principal investigator on the project with Professor David Germano at the University of Virginia and Karma Phuntsho of the Shejun Agency for Bhutan’s Cultural Documentation and Research.

The project, funded by the Arcadia Fund, will collaborate with scholarly institutions in Bhutan – in particular the National Library of Bhutan – and aims to complete an expansive survey of Bhutan’s various languages, oral histories, family genealogies, folk stories and songs, vernacular idioms, and other genres. Researchers also will collect and record local cultural practices related to food and architecture, ecological beliefs and practices, and a spectrum of traditional skills.

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