By Broughton Coburn
Vishnu Maya, known as Aama (Mother) through all people in her tiny Nepalese village, was once residing excessive within the Himalayas whilst she befriended American Peace Corps employee Broughton Coburn in 1974. In 1988, Aama came visiting him--on a visit prescribed via village clergymen as a manner for the eighty-four-year-old, four-foot-eight lady to earn benefit via creating a tough trip past due in lifestyles.
Aama in Americais a brilliant chronicle of what grew to become a twenty-five-state, coast-to-coast event. Guided through the perpetual interest and deeply non secular orientation in their inventive, unpredictable commute significant other, Coburn and his fiancée progressively started to view their state from a completely new point of view. "Beneath the uniform, advertisement, man-made dermis of our country," Coburn writes, "Aama chanced on a tradition and panorama that was once alive and sacred, and he or she recommended us towards it."
Aama in the United States is on one point an offbeat American travelogue. yet on one other it's a profound...
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Additional info for Aama in America. A Pilgrimage of the Heart
I gave one cow to my daughter and one to my brother-in-law, and presented gifts of cooking oil and incense and money to each of my grandchildren. ” On the day of the ritual, the priests had told her, she might view 1,008 full moons, the sacred number of lunar months she had been alive, and would then acquire the blessings that such a vision brings. After eighty-four, the elderly are considered to be elevated to the level of deities, and it is propitious for younger people to have a darshan, an appearance before them, to touch upon these blessings.
For me, it would be a summer’s trial run, to see if our relationship would weather the sea change of cultures. But there was someone else I wanted to see before we left Nepal. Another hour of hiking separated us from our destination, a village of twenty houses inhabited by subsistence farmers of the Gurung tribe. The Gurung migrated from Tibet several centuries ago and settled over a hundred villages across the southern flanks of the Annapurnas. They are Mongoloids by race and Hindu-Buddhists by birth, but live in symmetry with the Brahmins and untouchable castes, the thinner-profiled Hindu Caucasians who moved into adjacent villages centuries later.
Signifying the beginning of a new venture, thin blades of dubo grass, the hair of Vishnu, hung from the corners of her mouth, clamped in her teeth, which prevented her from speaking. Parting words could only be inadequate. Custom said that she must not prolong the farewell nor gaze homeward once she walked from the doors of her house for the last time. Sun Maya remained in the village to work and do chores, as I expected she would. In her place, Aama’s eldest grandson, Tagu, an introverted sixteen-year-old, accompanied Aama the several hours’ walk to the district center.