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sherpas are people too

July 19, 2009
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I once thought that sherpas were a type of pack animal, due to their proximity to mountain goats and yaks in sentences like, “You’d need two sherpas and a yak.”

Then I found out that Sherpas are actually people, an ethnic group residing mostly in Nepal. The word “sherpa” has also grown to include anyone employed as a mountaineering guide in the Himalayas. 

So, if you think a sherpa could give you a piggy-back ride to the top of Mt. Everest, you’re wrong.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2009 10:09 pm

    Yeah, I was totally with you on that. I thought that, too. They’ve been totally misrepresented by context for a while now. Maybe they need a Sherpa Awareness Day or something.

  2. July 20, 2009 2:23 am

    I used to think “Abos” were a kind of Australian animal – I later found out that it is a racist term for aboriginal. It made we think about the song “tie me kangaroo down sport” in a different way. – It shows we learn words by context.

  3. Frank Martens permalink
    July 20, 2009 9:24 am

    “So, if you think a sherpa could give you a piggy-back ride to the top of Mt. Everest, you’re wrong.”

    Really? Even if there was a large sum of cash?

  4. July 20, 2009 1:19 pm

    And sherpa is such a fun word to say, spell, and I’m sure they’re fun to interact with–that is those who are both by occupation and ethnicity sherpa.

    • jessicamelling permalink*
      July 20, 2009 3:59 pm

      Maybe that’s why one of our friends uses sherpa as an affirmative answer.

      Could you pass the yak butter?


  5. July 20, 2009 2:24 pm

    Actually you would be suprised how much they can carry. So if you still need that piggy back ride I would re-consider a trip. After all nobody has to know you yourself did not climb Everest.

  6. Stephanie G. permalink
    July 20, 2009 9:10 pm

    I did a project on Sherpas in the 5th grade, so I DID know they were a people group, however, I can certainly see where the misconception comes from. Maybe I could find that project and do a presentation for Sherpa Awareness Day. I mean, it was on a tri-fold project board and everything…complete with pictures and perhaps even a graph &/or pie chart.

  7. michellehankins permalink
    July 30, 2009 8:36 am

    hhhmmm – Just Read Proverbs 30:26, same people group? I might have more understanding if so….


  1. sherpa secret « ten digit lumber

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