Bal Gopal Shrestha
cultural anthropology, politics
1959 born in Sankhu Kathmandu, Nepal
1990 visiting scholar at the Department of Languages and Cultures of South and Central Asia, Leiden University
1992-1994 research associate with the late Bert van den Hoek to conduct a research on ‘The Ritual Structure of Kathmandu City’
1993 MA political science, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu
1993-2009 assistant professor at the Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu
1996-2002 PhD fellow at the Research School CNWS, Leiden University
2001-2002 Jan Gonda fellow at the International Institute of Asian Studies, Leiden University
2002 PhD in cultural anthropology under the supervision of D.H.A. Kolff, Leiden University
2004-2006 postdoctoral research fellow at the Centro Incontri Umani, Ascona, Switzerland
2006-2007 assistant professor and researcher at the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Leiden University
2007-2008 visiting fellow at the Department of History, Leiden University (NWO grant)
2009-present research fellow and research associate at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford, UK
Special activities and positions
- Elaboration of the agreement of cooperation signed between the University of Leiden and Tribhuvan University, Nepal, on 10 January 1997
- Maker of anthropological films and videos, see under 1997, 2000 and 2004
- Member of the organizing committee of the panel ‘Film South Asia,’ at the ‘International Convention of Asian Scholars (ICAS-I),’ Noordwijkerhout, the Netherlands, 25-28 June 1998
- Co-founder of the Nepal Samaj Nederland (1999), a Nepalese Dutch Association, the Netherlands (president 2007-2009 and patron 2012-present)
- Active role in negotiating Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies, Nepal, and the International Institute for Asian Studies, the Netherlands (signed by Prof. Dr. W.A.L. Stokhof, director IIAS and Prof. Dr. Tirtha Prasad Mishra, director CNAS in 2001)
- Consultant at the Seva Network Foundation, the Netherlands, 2007-2010
- Member of the European Association of South Asian Studies (EASAS) 1994-2008
- Life member of the Linguistic Society of Nepal, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal
- President of the World Newah Organisation, UK, 2011-present
- Programme advisor to the Friends of Sankhu (FoS), a Non-Governmental Organization, active in carrying out community development and heritage conservation programmes in the town of Sankhu and surrounding villages in Nepal
Publications from 1990 to 2009
1990 “Khanda kavya Mantraya vaicarika dharatala” (The ideological ground of the short epic ‘Mantra’). Situ 21,72: 56-63. – In Newar language.
– “Janandolana va andolanakaritay bhumika” (People’s movement and role of the agitators). Inaap 8,12: 2. – In Newar language.
– “Bama-Kamgres sarakaraya bhasa nitiya sambhandhay” (On the language policy of the united government of left and Nepali Congress). Inaap 8,28: 3. – In Newar language.
– “Luti Ajima ra unka dharmik parampara” (Luti Ajima and her religious traditions). In: Shiva Manandhar (ed.) Smarika, Kathmandu: Simrik Yuva Club, pp 41-45. – In Khas-Nepali.
1991 “Nhu sambidhanay sarvabhaumiktaya nhyasah” (The question of sovereignty in the constitution of Nepal 1990). Malah 12,19: 13-16. – In Newar language.
– “Jati darma bhasaya khamy nhu sambidhan” (New Constitution  on ethnicity, religions and languages). Nepal 39,57: 25-27. – In Newar language.
– “Thi thi artiya ghosanapatra chagu duvala” (Analyzing manifestos of the Nepalese political parties). Inaap Weekly 9,11: 3, March 20. – In Newar language.
1992 & Bert Van den Hoek, “Guardians of the royal goddess: Daitya and Kumar as the protectors of Taleju Bhavani of Kathmandu.” Contributions to Nepalese Studies 19,2: 193-222. pdf
– & Bert Van den Hoek, “The sacrifice of serpents: exchange and non-exchange in the Sarpabali of Indrayani Kathmandu.” BEFEO 79,1: 57-75. pdf
– “Nepah Bharat svapu” (Nepal-India relation). Viswobhumi Daily 4(322-29): from 2-9 December. – In Newar language.
– “Samyak mahadanaya samskritika mahatva” (Significance of the Samyak festival). Viswobhumi Daily 5,24: 3-6. – In Newar language.
1993 “Bhutani saranarthi samasya: Bharatyata vartay mahaykam samadhan madu” (There is no solution to Bhutanese refugees without involving India). Inaap Weekly 11,17: 5, May 12. – In Newar language.
– “Nhyasah rajanaitik naitiktaya” (The question of political morality). Inaap Weekly 11,33: 5, September 15. – In Newar language.
1994 Sri Lankaya Nyamkam bakham (Folk stories of Sri Lanka, translated from English to Newar Language), Kathmandu: Sahitya Guthi (Foundation for Literature).
1995 Sakva deya Devi pyakham (The dances of Devi in Sankhu), Kathmandu: Rambhakta Bhomi. – In Newar language.
– Kulamay Thvayacvamgu Sah, Kathmandu: Bhavana Publication. – Echoes in the horizon, a collection of poems, in Newar language.
– & Bert Van den Hoek, “Education in the mother tongue: the case of Nepal Bhasa (Newari).” Contributions to Nepalese Studies 22,1: 73-86. pdf
– “Nepal bhasaya patrakarita: mhigah, thaum va kanhay” (Newar journalism: past, present and future). In: Phanindra Ratna Vajracarya (ed.), In memory of Maniharsha Jyoti, Kathmandu: Nepal Bhasa Parisad, pp. 448-456.
1996 “Santavir pravritiya bhandaphod yaye” (Expose the Santavir trend). Sandhya Times 1,39: 2. – In Newar language.
1997 “Poems of Bal Gopal Shrestha.” In: Krishanchandra Singh Pradhan (ed.), A representative collection of Nepal Bhasa poems, Kathmandu: Genesh ‘Apar’ Sanubabu Vaidya Smriti Prakashan Samiti, (Trans: Tirtha Raj Tuladhar), pp. 121-129.
– Film with D.J. Nijland and Bert van den Hoek, Sacrifice of serpents: the festival of Indrayani, Kathmandu, Nepal 1992/94. (108 minutes, English version, Pal SVHS/Betacam SP). Leiden: Institute of Cultural and Social Studies, Leiden University.
– “Nepalese historian Dhanavajra Vajracarya.” MARE Leids Universitair Weekblad, 13 February 20(23): 16.
1998 Co-author, “Film South Asia 1997.” IIAS Newsletter 16: 9.
1999 “Visible and invisible aspects of Devi dances in Sankhu, Nepal.” In: Harald Tambs-Lyche (ed.), The feminine sacred in South Asia, New Delhi: Manohar with the assistance of Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), pp. 100-113.
– “The Newars: the indigenous population of the Kathmandu Valley in the modern state of Nepal.” Contributions to Nepalese Studies 26,1: 83-117. pdf
– “Rastriya janagananay Khay Bhay lhaipinigu mithyamka: Chagu Namuna Sakvaya Suntol GaViSa” (The deceptive numbers of Nepali speakers in the CBS Census: an example – the Suntol VDC in Sankhu). Sandhya Times 4(138): 2. – In Newar language.
2000 Compiler of: Kamal P. Malla (ed.), A dictionary of classical Newari compiled from manuscript sources, Kathmandu: Nepal Bhasa Dictionary Committee Cwasa Pasa.
– “Svanti: the celebration of victory over death.” Dabuu 6,9: 20-26.
– “The innocent.” In: Bhushan Prashad Shrestha and Prem Shanti Tuladhar (eds), Contemporary writing in Nepal Bhasa, Kathmandu: The Foundation for Literature, (Trans.: Tirtha Raj Tuladhar), pp. 13-14.
– “Svanti of Tihar: de overgang van het religieuze jaar” (Svanti or Tihar: the turn of the religious year). Chautari 2: 5-6.
– “Newah: eka adhyayan” (The Newars: a study). In: Smarika in Honour of Jay Shankarlal Shrestha, Gangtok: Karunadevi Smaraka Dharmartha Guthi, pp. 5-21. – In Khas-Nepali.
– Video registration of “The month-long fast of Madhavanarayana and the concluding fire sacrifice ‘Ashvamedhayajña’ in Sankhu, Nepal.”
2001 & Han F. Vermeulen, “In memoriam Bert van den Hoek (1951-2001).” European Bulletin of Himalayan Research 20,1: 151-163. pdf
– “Waarom Nepal drie kalenders heeft” (Why there are three calendars in Nepal). Chautari 4: 6-10. – In Dutch and in Khas-Nepali “Nepalma kina tin kyalender pracalanama chan.”
– “Madhavanarayana festival en de legende van Svasthani” (The festival of Madhavanarayana and the legend of Svasthani). Chautari 3: 3-7. – In Dutch and in Khas-Nepali “Madhavanarayanako vrata ra Svasthaniko Katha.”
2002 The ritual composition of Sankhu: the socio-religious anthropology of a Newar town in Nepal, Leiden, the Netherlands: University of Leiden.
– “Lokaal initiatief voor het behoud van de culturele erfenis” (Local initiatives for the preservation of cultural heritage). Chautari 10: 4-9.
– “Portret van een Nepalese NGO: friends of Sankhu” (Portrait of a Nepalese NGO: Friends of Sankhu). Chautari 10: 10-11. – In Dutch and in Khas-Nepali “Samgathan Parichaya: Friends of Sankhu.”
2003 “Ethnic nationalism in Nepal.” IIAS Newsletter 30: 22. pdf
– “Significance and use of the Nepal Samvat, the era of Nepal.” Guthi UK NS 1123: 4-20.
– “Nepalko vartaman samkatko samadhan varta” (Dialogue is the only solution to the present crisis in Nepal). Chautari 14: 18. – In Khas-Nepali.
– “Samskritik sampada jogaune sthaniya prayas” (A local initiative for the preservation of cultural heritage). Samkhapur, Annual Souvenir of the Nepal Jaycees, Sankhu Chapter 18: 22. – In Khas-Nepali.
– “Chori Buhari” (Daughter and daughter-in-law). Chautari 11: 18. – In Khas-Nepali.
2004 “The legend of Manisaila Mahavadana.” In: Corneille Jest, Tej Ratna Kansakar and Mark Turin (eds), Keshar Lall: a homage on the occasion of His Bura Janko. Kathmandu: Marina Paper, pp. 60-78. pdf
– Video registration of the annual Siva Ratri fire sacrifice performed at the Svayambhu Bhimakali temple in Gangtok, Sikkim, India.
– “Een logisch einde aan de crisis” (A logical end of the crisis in Nepal). Chautari 16: 17.
– “Heritage conservation in Nepal: the case of Sankhu.” Guthi UK NS 1125, pp. 4-10.
– “Svanti Nakhah” (The festival of Svanti). Sandhya Times November 20-24. – In Newar language.
– “Nepalma rajatantra ra ganatantra” (The question of monarchy and republic in Nepal). Chautari 16: 16. – In Khas-Nepali.
– Co-editor of: A.W. van den Hoek, Caturmāsa: celebrations of death in Kathmandu, Nepal, ed. by J.C. Heesterman, Bal Gopal Shrestha, Han F. Vermeulen and Sjoerd M. Zanen, Leiden (CNWS publications 133). – Reprint in 2014.
2005 “Ritual and identity in the diaspora: the Newars in Sikkim.” Bulletin of Tibetology 41,1: 25-54. pdf
– “Agnimatha: de Vedische vuur tempel in Patan, Nepal” (Agnimatha: the Vedic fire temple in Patan, Nepal). Chautari 19: 4-9.
– “Agnimatha: the Vedic Fire Temple in Patan, Nepal.” Lasakusa: the Official Newsletter of the Newah Organisation of America, Fourth Convention Issue, pp 10-12.
– “The festival of Gunhipunhi.” Guthi UK NS 1126, pp. 8–12.
2006 “The festival of Svanti: victory over death and the renewal of the ritual cycle in Nepal.” Contributions to Nepalese Studies 33,2: 203-221. pdf
– & Bert van den Hoek and Dirk J. Nijland, “Sacrifice of serpents: ethnographic images and anthropological interpretation.” In: Metje Postma and Peter Ian Crawford (eds), Reflecting visual ethnography: using the camera in anthropological research, Leiden: CNWS; Hojbjerg: Intervention Press, pp. 212-244.
– & Wendy van Wilgenburg, “Filming fire rituals in Nepal.” IIAS Newsletter 42: 26. pdf
– “The historic deal: hope.” eKantipur (The Kathmandu Post), November 15.
– “Sikkimya Nevahtay itihas pvalebale” (Unfolding history of the Newars in Sikkim). Sandhya Times March 17. – In Newar language.
2007 “Castes among the Newars: the debate between Colin Rosser and Declan Quigley on the status of Shrestha.” European Bulletin of Himalayan Research 31: 10-29. pdf
– “Ethnic nationalism in Nepal and the Newars.” In: Mahendra Lawoti (ed.), Contentious politics and democratization in Nepal, Los Angeles-London-New Delhi-Singapore: Sage Publications, pp. 199-225.
– “Nepalse volk klaar voor republiek” (Nepalse people are ready for republic). Chautari 24: 10-12.
– “Water channel in the town of Sankhu.” Matina 1,2: 24.
– “Uncertainty of CA elections and the republic question.” eKantipur (The Kathmandu Post), May 16.
– “The interim constitution: the Madhesi Turmoil.” eKantipur (The Kathmandu Post), February 1.
– “Cyanacomgu Tarai va aantarim sambidhan” (The burning Tarai and the interim constitution). Sandhya Times February 1. – In Newar language.
2008 Thva bakham khah: thvah bakham makhu, Kathmandu: Elvaham Publications. – A collection of short stories in Newar language.
– “The end of monarchy in Nepal and its delicate journey towards a republic.” Contributions to Nepalese Studies 35,1: 63-82.
– “The temple of Svayambhu Bhimakali in Sikkim and its founder priest Suryavir Tuladhar.” Matina 7.
2009 “Akash Nugah khah Nugah Akash,” a poem. Guthi Magazine, pp. 10. – In Newar language.
2014 Co-editor of: A.W. van den Hoek, Caturmāsa: celebrations of death in Kathmandu, Nepal, Ed. by J.C. Heesterman, Bal Gopal Shrestha, Han F. Vermeulen and Sjoerd M. Zanen. Slightly revised and updated edition, Kathmandu: Vajra Publications. – First edition Leiden 2004.