Mar 30, 2007

Going to the Field, No Internet

There will be no new posts for the month of April. I am headed up to Ladakh on March 31 for a few weeks of fieldwork and will be off the internet. Not that there aren't cyber cafes in Leh but I'll be too busy to use them. I won't be able to get into Zangskar as the passes are deep under the snow and the avalanche danger is too great this time of year. Then we pack up and move back to the US, along with several hundred kilos of stuff we seem to have mysteriously acquired during our year in India. Skalzang is coming with us to the US.

This is her first visit outside India and Nepal. I can't wait to see what she thinks of the US. Not only that, but she is the first Zangskari person to visit the States as far as I know. Not just the first woman, the first Zangskari period. A nice step for Zangskari feminism.

Why toddlers cry, a Zangskari analysis

Just the other day I had a chat with Skalzang about why toddlers cry. Skalzang, who is one of my oldest friends from Zangskar, is spending the year with us here in India, and has had much opportunity to see Tashi and Krishan have tantrums.

It was interesting to learn that there are two Zangskari words for the crying of toddlers and infants. One, nyid shrin, literally translates as 'sleepy crying', while the other, stod shrin, translates as 'hungry crying'. So there you have it---a simple theory about why babes/toddlers cry---they are either hungry or they are sleepy. Or both. Not sure what word is used in that context. Sure put things into perspective for me; I think I'll try and forget the hundreds of reasons that cause me endless worry and aggravation. It is not that those reasons aren't at fault----but they are more than likely to be in combination with 'sleepy crying' or 'hungry crying'.

I have to hand it to Skalzang, a nun, for clarifying this parenting issue for me!