Fear is Good: Research Photo Feature


This is a photo post to share my recent experience of working in a research project titled ‘Children and Transgenerational Suffering in Nepal’ with Carola Titze, Medical Anthropology student from University of Amsterdam. The fieldwork was carried out over a period of 6 weeks in the hills near the Lubhu Valley.

Fresh in field. This picture was taken after few days we started to visit families for family history. The goat had been just born, it was 5 days old at that time. FRESH!

Child Perspectives was the major focus of the research project. We wanted to explore children’s worldviews and how they navigated the processes the transgenerational suffering.  But unfortunately, we could spend very little time with them because throughout the week they had to go to schools and on weekends, it was only day they had a holiday and free time.

Splendid views of the Kathmandu valley from the top. It was interesting to listen their stories of how they have witnessed the transformed of the whole valley over the years.

Going on an excursion was a good way of communicating with them. The children took us to the beautiful spot. I even crawled inside cave with some of the boys.

In addition to interview method, we also employed projective technique and alternative methods like past, present and future & social navigation charts. A lot of information was gathered through casual conversations and participant observation.

Interviewing children was one of the major challenges we faced. Big notebooks make them nervous and recorders are better turned off. They were never found to be alone, always with friends or relatives so, instead of doing individual interviews, we had to conduct focus groups in the school. We ended up with families with many daughters so, we focused upon the girls. The families were chosen on consensus of group of teachers in the school.

Planting rice. Fun time, a break from work!

Hiking everyday to the top was good for health and fitness.

People are becoming increasingly aware about the importance of education for their children.

During the field work, we did family histories with 8 families, 4 focus groups (also using vignettes), and 3 key informant interviews besides past, present and future charts, social navigation charts, family drawings, participant observation and casual conversations. Eating a lot of aalu bakhara (plums) and drinking many cups of tea (sometimes upto 8 ) was our daily routine.

Carola doing research presentation based upon preliminary findings in Department of Psychology, Tribhuvan University for the faculty and students. Thanks to Prof. Shishir Subba and the participantss for their feedback.

Many Thanks to Mr. Nawaraj Upadhaya, former TPO colleague and  Medical Anthropology student in University of Amsterdam for putting me in touch with Carola for this work. He also did his field work in the same location but focused on the children in the school.

It was great experience working with Carola. She was really dedicated and hard working student. I was impressed by how much she could think, write and talk. We got along very well and got done a lot of work in such a short period of time. By the time, we finished the fieldwork we became good friends. I enjoyed talking with her on various topics and liked her sense of humor. She was totally informal which put me at ease while working with her. Thank you Carola!! All the Best for your future.

I was amazed how swiftly the time passed by. Everything went well and as we planned. We would discuss and make our game plans clear every day before we headed to the field.

We would like to thank Acharya family for their hospitality at their home which supported our fieldwork to a large extent. We are also indebted to all the research participants and village residents for welcoming us and sharing their personal stories with us. We appreciate their trust and their kindness. Thank you Abindra Raj Dangol, Shyam Sundar Shrestha, Binay Maharjan, Raj Kaji Prajapati, Sanjay Maharjan, Ashutosh Dhungel, and Juliana Shrestha for helping out with transcriptions. We hope this research will contribute the knowledge on transgenerational suffering. We are committed to writing papers to share the findings and knowledge.

Photo courtesy: Carola Titze

Some photos were taken by myself.

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