Nepali Aama


Book Details

Author  Broughton Coburn
Publisher  Anchor
Publication Date   April 1, 1995
ISBN  0385474334
Pages  155

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An enchanting portrait of an inimitable  Himalayan woman in her seventies whose life and wisdom  illustrate the strength and resilience of the human  spirit. In 1973 Broughton Coburn lived and taught  school in a subsistence farming village on the edge  of Nepal's Himalayan mountains. It was there that  he met and developed a unique friendship with a  septuagenarian native widow named Vishnu Maya  Gurung, fondly known to her relatives and locals as Aama  (mother). When Coburn moved into the hay loft  above her water buffalo shed, Aama became his  landlady, but she also treated him like the son she never  had. Having lost his own mother shortly before he  met Aama, Coburn took an instant liking to the  sprightly Nepalese woman. Already a success in two  previous small press editions, Nepali  Aama is Coburn's enchanting account of his  experiences living, working, and traveling with Aama,  illustrated with his own photos and Aama's candid,  sometimes salty, often hilarious observations on  everyday life in the rural third world. By  combining Aama's deep-rooted wisdom with his striking  black-and-white photographs, Coburn places the reader  in a setting that few have ever experienced. He  also offers rare insight into a culture alive with  humor, folklore, and  religion.

"Aama and her people were poor and uneducated, but  they seemed to possess an uncanny strength  grounded in tradition, family, community, and  self-sufficiency," he writes. "The values and  philosophy that I have learned from Aama, her  relatives, and the villagers are life lessons that are  valuable in my own country, or wherever I go."

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