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Across Mountains and Valleys: Tales from the Himalayan Oral Tradition

October 2019

In this feature, originally featured in the October 2019 issue of Words Without Borders, we bring you writing from the Himalayas via oral tales on the theme of migration, committed to paper and translated into English by Noor Zaheer.

Across Mountains and Valleys: Stories of Migration from the Kinnaur and Spiti Valleys
By Arshia Sattar
Despite their specificity, these tales transcend the places that produced them and throb with a universal appeal.
The Story of Sunni and Bhunku
By Himalayan Oral Tradition
“Why, oh why, did you not come back immediately?”
Translated from Lahouli by Noor Zaheer
The Girl Who Turned into a Crocodile
By Himalayan Oral Tradition
She struggled and fought back and tried to save herself but could not overcome the great crocodile that had taken hold of her.
Translated from Lahouli by Noor Zaheer
When the Deer Moved Away
By Himalayan Oral Tradition
Deeku refused to understand the close bond between the humans and the deer and their dependence on each other.
Translated from Lahouli by Noor Zaheer