How I Found Myself Staying with Kashmiris in Pokhara

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23 Responses

  1. This is a really beautiful story about Pokhara. There seems to be so much going on there, it’s a pity that many trekkers (myself included) only saw the surface of the city! Thank you for sharing this story – I can’t wait to go back to Nepal!

    • Teja says:

      Oh there is much more! There’s jewelry making classes, and Buddhist thanka painting classes, and crafts from yak and cashmere, singing bowl performance, … I even saw a sign pointing to a local skate park somewhere. Absolutely absolutely schedule acclimatisation and restoration days on either side of a trek! I’m so glad I did even when I didn’t know upfront what I was going to fill those days with.

  2. Tania says:

    Wow what a beautiful experience! I can’t imagine how impactful seeing such a different culture must be. Thanks for sharing and the relationships looked so profound!

  3. Beautiful read, great post! All the fabrics and textiles are so beautiful, I would have spent all my money on fabric lol

    • Teja says:

      Oh man, the amount of willpower required… I think the only thing that really stopped me, was the fact that I still had to backpack through north India and can’t afford to run out of money already!! I did buy a yak poncho and one cashmere scarf tho! No regrets!!

  4. Laagan Kaayo says:

    i love encounters like this! it certainly adds spice to the travel experience :)

  5. Dawn says:

    What a lovely story to read! It is these relationships that are the best part of travel. We are headed to nepal next year so it made me very excited?

    • Teja says:

      To be honest, this was my first time actually seriously trying solo, slower travel. I was pretty floored by how differently it turned out compared to all previous travel I’ve done! I’m averaging something like a story per day, which is unprecedented! How can there be so many significant experiences in that amount of time??

  6. Madhu says:

    Loved reading your post and interesting stories. It’s great that you enjoyed your Nepal trip and got to know cashmere community there ?

  7. Pujarini says:

    I enjoyed your tales of traveling through Nepal and discovering the Kashmiri community. It’s fascinating to realize that different cultures are more closely connected than we actually know. Kudos on setting up the online store for the Cashmere shop.

    • Teja says:

      You know, when I was young, I was fascinated by histories of warfare and conquests. History books emphasise these events. But now that I’m older, I’m a lot more interested in the connections that happen in between and around the war bits. There’s a lot more of it than I ever imagined.

    • Teja says:

      We hope the online shop does well. It’s quite experimental, since we want to keep the traditional way – consultative, lenient to weavers. We also want to double weaver’s wages through it, basically turning it from just a retailing business to a social enterprise. It’s quite challenging, but it does make me understand the pressures of business a lot more, and rounds me up well as a sustainability advocate and environmentalist.

  8. sam says:

    Wow great stories- especially the last one with setting up etsy- thats so sweet of you! Keep it up!

  9. Mijia Eggers says:

    a nice article. I know it is a silly question but I would like to know in which country it is about.

    • Teja says:

      LOL Not silly! The country name is pretty small at the top. It happened in Nepal, but the family are migrants from Kashmir, which is in India (but disputed by Pakistan).

  10. Bidisha says:

    That indeed was serendipity. I had no clue that there is a Kashmiri minority living in Nepal. I am glad you found such a wonderful host who made your Nepal adventure all the more worthwhile. Also, so completely agree with the fact that when we are travelling all the barriers and rivalry among nations, cultures and religions seem so minuscule.

    • Teja says:

      Me neither! I was like, why is there so much cashmere in Pokhara? Is it some kind of luxury destination? I love those times when I discover these evidences that in fact people have got along since way, way back.

  11. Ricarda Christina Hollweg says:

    What a heartwarming story…Our stay in Pokhara was rather anonymous staying in a dull hotel and not really getting in touch with people. By the way: My husband and me like Malaysia very much. :-)

    • Teja says:

      It was my first time trying out just not… booking a portion of the trip in advance. Luckily it panned out in such an amazing way!
      P.S. Hope you come back to Malaysia one day!

  12. Jackie says:

    Loved reading about your cashmere story and how you helped Sumi with setting up an online shop. Sumi’s cashmere scarves are stunning and I’m glad that the world can buy her ethical scarves now.

  13. Gemma says:

    In Hanoi, I couldn’t believe what people could fit on a bike – families of five, electrical equipment, rubber swimming rings! I stuck to a small backpack!