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Romantic dreams and practical lives

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Chapter Summary

This chapter makes sense of the two vignettes: mutual gazing and imagining practices, and teases out and analyses the underlying processes involved in these two seemingly unrelated phenomena. It focuses on the cultural encounters between tourists/trekkers and Langtang villagers, and relates such encounters to the shaping and re-working of the imagination of each other?s lives. It is also about the different modes of imagining a ?good life? within the geographical site of Langtang of two groups of differently positioned actors, and how the images each holds of the other shapes the dynamics of their interaction. These images are not immutable cognitive structures, but are amenable to interrogation and modification through the nuances of face-to-face encounters. In addition to describing and analysing the tourist gaze and imagination at Langtang, the chapter also provides details of concrete interactions between tourists and locals.

Keywords: cultural encounters; face-to-face encounters; good life; imagining practices; Langtang villagers; mutual gazing; tourists; trekkers



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