Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hillary and Norgay

In May 1953, two of the British expedition finally reached to the highest place in the world firstly ever.  The New Zealander Edmund Hillary took pictures of the magnificent views from the lofty spot, including the posture of his partner, Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, with an ice ax replaced for a flagstaff to which four flags -- The United Nations, England, Nepal, and India -- attached.  

Tenzing on the top of Mt. Everest in 1953.  

It was really a grandeur achievement for him, and for the public of British and New Zealand.  However, to the person masked on the mountain and to the public of his nation(s) it did not register the same.  To reach such an extreme place like the highest place, the South and North Poles was a "victory of mankind," as dubbed by Francis Younghusband, the president of the Everest Committee, yet only to the Western "adventure" minded people's mind.  Not universal idea.

Hillary and Norgay

In any case, it is true that the Sherpa porters and mountaineers began to be noticed as a "useful" group of people with whom Western mountaineers may climb more efficiently in the Himalayan mountains.  They have been known as not only strong but sociable, devoted, cheerful.  Hillary, in this regard, once said about Sherpa who are the people most frequently "blood-taken."  Their tasks have been changed from low-altitude porters to guiding foreign mountaineers, managing trekking agencies as well as hotels in the mountainous region.

Moreover, as the trend of world-mountaineering is changing throughout the 20th century, the composition of foreign people who visit the region has shown a significant transformation.  This has paralleled with an unseen variety of change in the Sherpa's societies.  What unseen is, most of all, is its speed.

The tales and pictures like Hillary-Norgay last long.  They would involve particular images and meanings.  But they pivot upon the turmoil of the society.  

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