March 22, 2022

EP. 257 — How Ranging Is The Eastern Himalaya? with Dr. Mona Chettri

What comes to mind when you think of the Himalaya? For Jonathan, it’s a whole lot of questions! This week’s guest Dr. Mona Chettri gives us a glimpse at life in the eastern Himalaya, including how political borders have shaped the region; what’s changing amidst rapid development; and what the future might hold for young residents.

Mona Chettri is a Post-Doctoral Research fellow at the Australia-India Institute, University of Western Australia. She has worked extensively on urbanisation, ethnicity, environmental politics and development in the eastern Himalayan borderlands of Sikkim, Darjeeling and east Nepal.


She is the author of Constructing Democracy: Ethnicity and Democracy in the eastern Himalaya (Amsterdam University Press, 2017) and co-editor of Development Zones in Asian Borderlands (Amsterdam University Press, 2021). Her current research focuses on the intersections between gender, labour, urbanisation and infrastructure in the Sikkim-Darjeeling Himalaya, India and Himalayan immigrant labour in Australia.

You can follow Dr. Chettri on Instagram @monagtk, on Twitter at @mona_chettri, and on Facebook at mona.gtk.

For more information on the eastern Himalaya, check out The Confluence Collective and Sikkim Project.

Join the conversation, and find out what former guests are up to, by following us on Instagram and Twitter @CuriousWithJVN.


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Jonathan is on Instagram and Twitter @JVN and @Jonathan.Vanness on Facebook.


Our executive producer is Erica Getto. Our associate producer is Zahra Crim. Our editor is Andrew Carson.

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Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness & Dr. Mona Chettri JVN [00:00:00] Welcome to Getting Curious. I’m Jonathan Van Ness and every week I sit down for a gorgeous conversation with a brilliant expert to learn all about something that makes me curious. On today’s episode, I’m joined by Dr. Mona Chettri, where I ask her: what’s life like in the eastern Himalaya? Welcome to Getting Curious, this is Jonathan Van Ness, I am so excited for today’s episode and also, by the way, I’ve interviewed people in Australia when I was in Australia, but I don’t know that I’ve ever interviewed someone for Getting Curious while I was in the states and they were in Australia. So without any further ado, welcome Dr. Mona Chettri, who is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Western Australia. She researches the intersections of development, gender, politics, and environmental transformation in the eastern Himalayan borderlands of India and Nepal. OK, Dr. Chettri, do

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