This summer we are collaborating with Dr. Xiumei Pu in her Project, "Mountains and Stories: Building Community Among Asian and Pacific Islander Refugee and Immigrant Families in Salt Lake Valley," with the support of a Whiting Public Engagement Programs Seed Grant. Anchored in the theme of mountains, the project consists of a twelve-part podcast, a documentary, and a series of story tellling events, the next of which will be a group hike in the Wasatch Mountains (October 23, 2021). It is our hope that these efforts will amplify the environmental voices of Asian and Pacific Islander refugee and immigrant communities, and spark more public interest in thinking about the connection between culture, identity, and the natural environment. You can listen to previous episodes here on the IMR Podcast website.
At the heart of the project is a podcast series featuring the life and work of twelve storytellers who come from a range of age groups, occupations, and ethnic and racial backgrounds. Some of them are born in the United States; many of them are born in another Asian country or Pacific Island and immigrated to the US at a young age. Their stories show fascinating complexities of immigration routes and histories, incredible cultural richness and resilience, and long-lasting contributions of the Asian and Asian Pacific Islander communities to the social life and cultural landscapes of Salt Lake Valley and the broader Utah.
This week we're sharing Prashanti Limbu's story. Prashanti describes herself like this:
I am from Nepal and currently an international student at Westminster College. I like to learn more about people, cultures, and places to broaden my knowledge and understanding of the world we live in. I want to work towards protecting the environment and reversing climate change. In order to bring change, I believe that we can work both individually and collectively towards changing the world for the better. Being an international student and pursuing my undergraduate research, I believe in working with harmony and peace and being open to advice and different opinions. When working with others collectively, I want to make sure everyone is heard and respected. I think that education is important and like someone said no one can steal our education or knowledge from us I want to relearn and remember Indigenous knowledge and local knowledge that's spread and apply that outside of academia. Believing this I am studying abroad away from home and that is why I conducted the research “Mountain Time and Beyond” under the supervision of Dr Xiumei Pu . I want to advocate for clean energy use and recycling and was fortunate enough to conduct the first thrift store on campus in my freshman year. Fun fact: I have a twin sister.
Jeff Nichols and Brent Olson co-direct the Institute for Mountain Research and our 2018-2019 Mountain Fellows are Katie Saad and Naomi Shapiro. Our theme song is “Home” by Pixie and the Partygrass Boys.. As Naomi likes to say, “They are awesome and you should check them out.”
The Institute for Mountain Research is located on the ancestral and traditional lands of the Ute, Goshute, and Shoshone Peoples.