On the Way Up

From HIMAL, Volume 3, Issue 1 (JAN/FEB 1990)

This is a call to all you people who have read and perhaps even liked Himal: why don’t you consider writing for us? No, we have not run out of ideas or writers. There is enough happening in the Himalaya to report on, and we feel privileged to have a roster of com­mitted and talented journalists and writers. But we know there are more of you out there who Himal would like to invite to its pages.

Enlarging our circle of contributors will make Himal’s coverage more comprehensive and, we hope, relevant to the needs of our community. You do not have to be a jour­nalist, you do not have to write good English, in fact you do not even have to write in English. What Himal asks is that you have an idea to share which will contribute to a dialogue on improving the quality of life in the Himalaya. That might sound like a tall claim for a smati magazine, but we try.


Turning over the pages of Himal’s “project document” prepared when this magazine was just an idea back in 1987, we came across the following under the section entitled “Editorial Policy”: “About 25 percent of Himal’s readers will be from outside the region. While this in­ternational (primarily Western) readership is welcome, the editors will be cautious not to adjust the magazine’s emphasis so as to cater to that market.”

That was in  1987. We hope  that this issue’s cover story on Himalayan “image and reality” will contribute to the process of seeing the Himalaya for what it is. We were fortunate in being able to attract contributions on various aspects of the subject from writers with a love and commitment to the Himalayan region.

Having brought out this issue on the outsider’s myths about the Himalayan region, we feel duty-bound to publish an issue on the “native’s” visions and misconceptions about the West. In the minds of many Bhutanese, Garhwalis, Kashmiris, Kumaonis, Nepalis, Pathans, Sikldmese, Tibetans and other in­habitants of the Himalayan highlands, “Shangri-La” actually exists, and its name is America!


As the notice on page 2 makes clear, there will be no March/April issue of Himal as all our resources will be devoted to bringing out an annual issue in Nepali. Subscribers should not worry: they will receive the number of is­sues they are entitled to. In publishing the Nepali annual, we are trying fulfill another of our commitments: to serve a non-Engiish speaking (mostly non-elite) readership as well. In forthcoming years, we hope not to suspend our regular English issue in order to publish a vernacular number. We also hope in future to publish occasionally in some of the other lan­guages of the Himalaya, Stay tuned.

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