2. The village

For those not familiar with rural Nepal, the diversity of its people can be somewhat confusing. This chapter gives a short description of Suri, and then outlines the history of settlement – in the process, introducing the different castes and ethnic groups to which the villagers belong.

I first perceived Suri rather naively, seeing it as exemplifying a pattern of rural existence that had changed little over succeeding generations. The truth is more complicated; like many villages in rural Nepal, Suri has undergone huge changes over the previous century. Rather than a timeless collection of people and hamlets, the village has been in a state of constant flux and evolution