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  • » 01/12/2008, 00.00


    Buddhists in prayer for Sir Edmund Hillary, the "father of the Sherpas"

    Kalpit Parajuli

    The mountaineer, the first to reach the summit of Everest, is remembered by the Sherpas as a father. Candles shine in the windows of homes and in the monasteries, in tribute to the memory of Nepal's only honorary citizen.

    Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - As soon as news came of the death of Sir Edmund Hillary, the hero of the Himalayas, Nepal's Buddhists lit candles in their homes and monasteries, to remember the man who more than any other helped the population and the Buddhist religion in the northern part of the country.

    Hillary, the only honorary citizen of Nepal, died yesterday at the age of 88. In 1953, together with the Sherpa Tenzin Norgay, climbed to the summit of the world for the first time. Since then, his efforts on behalf of the Nepalese, and in a particular way for the Sherpas [editor's note: the "climbers"], never ceased: he created an international fund for the construction of schools and hospitals in the country, and he always remained close to the population.

    The lama Ringboche Namang Tenzing Norgay, abbot of the Longbuche Stupa monastery, has asked all the faithful of the country to honour their "father" by placing a lit candle in their windows. According to Nun Lama, Hillary "was like a godfather for us, as he helped to establish monasteries and schools for the monks, which paved the way to Buddhism for many people".

    Kami Temba Sherpa, the director of the hospital of Kumbu (founded by Hillary in 1976), says "The fund that he directed opened 27 schools, 2 hospitals, 9 health clinics, and a few monasteries. For the Nepalese, and in a special way for the Sherpas, he was a godfather of rare generosity".

    Thongboche Sherpa, a resident of Khumbu, adds "The minority Sherpa groups living in the Khumbu area [the area nearby Mt. Everest], were deprived of basic needs, and Hillary tried his best for the people of here in terms of education, health, transportation and even Buddhism and local culture. So, we regard him as godlike figure".

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    See also

    19/01/2008 NEPAL
    National festival dedicated to Sir Hillary and to Mount Everest
    The government will proclaim the holiday on May 29, the date on which Hillary and Tenzing climbed Everest. An airport will also be dedicated to them. Celebrations continue in commemoration not only of the climbing feat, but also and above all of Hillary's work on behalf of the local people.

    06/05/2014 NEPAL
    Strikes and bad weather, thousands of climbers stranded at the foot of Everest
    Heavy rains prevent climbers from tackle mountain hikes, and the massacre of the Sherpas shas halted all activities. Many still trying to find tickets to return to the capital. The Lukla Tara Airport manager confirms: "We are not been able to issue tickets".

    03/06/2010 NEPAL
    Nepalese Sherpa wins “highest marathon in the world” on Mount Everest
    In just three hours, 41 minutes and 20 seconds Phurba Tamang finished the eighth edition of the Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon in the same week in which, for the first time, five cameras are installed on Everest to monitor the melting of glaciers.

    03/06/2011 NEPAL
    Everest, 8 tons of garbage cleaned up by sherpas
    Also found helicopter’s parts, bottles and cans that have been trapped in ice for over 50 years. Organized by the Everest Summiteers Association, the initiative has involved nearly 100 people, including climbers and sherpas. On the roof of the world there are still more than 50 tons of waste.

    30/05/2013 NEPAL
    60 years after its conquest, Everest "has become a dumping ground"
    May 29 marked the 60th anniversary of the conquest of the summit. Many veterans hikers denounce increasing pollution. The Nepalese government has been accused of avoiding the issue.

    Editor's choices

    Pope in Egypt: Egypt called to condemn violence and poverty in the Middle East

    In his address to Egyptian authorities, Francis stressed Egypt’s role and responsibility in the future of the region. "In the fragile and complex situation of today’s world, which I have described as ‘a world war being fought piecemeal’, it needs to be clearly stated that no civilized society can be built without repudiating every ideology of evil, violence and extremism that presumes to suppress others and to annihilate diversity by manipulating and profaning the Sacred Name of God.”

    A Muslim writes to the pope: Dear Pope Francis . . .

    Kamel Abderrahmani

    He admires the charity shown by the pontiff towards Syrian Muslim refugees, and his push in favour of love and against hatred. Islamic scholars are not like this, he says, they do not denounce Daesh’s hatred and do nothing for Christians. He calls on the pontiff to press President to Sisi and Al Azhar to reform Islam. Without this Al Azhar risks being the academy of world fundamentalism. Here is the letter from our friend and collaborator Kamel Abderrahmani.


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