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Being in the world and the rituals of life

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Chapter Summary

Because of the immediacy of dugpu and the prominent place it occupies in local social memory, the Langtangpa are very preoccupied in their efforts to avoid it while constantly striving to attain its opposite? kipu. The word connotes happiness, well-being, goodness, material prosperity and comfort. Not surprisingly, then, it also means ?good life? in Langtang. It is important then to minimise dugpu and maximise kipu. This chapter shows that the preponderance of life-enhancing rituals in Langtang?s daily and monthly ritual cycles can be seen as resulting from the Langtangpa?s experience of life as inherently difficult and precarious. In this context, tshe is in constant need of succour and enhancement to defend it against the multitude of harmful spiritual and physical forces. In a place where regular, adequate medical provision is almost non-existent, the tshe-sgrub rituals take on an even greater significance in maintaining the villagers? mental and physical well-being.

Keywords: dugpu; good life; happiness; kipu; Langtang?s ritual cycle; life-enhancing rituals; tshe-sgrub rituals; well-being



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