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Listen to Excess Baggage for

26 JULY 2008

Nagaland is a hilly area between the tea growing area of Assam in North East India and the Burmese border.  Historically the Naga people were isolated from the countries on either side, partly because of the terrain and partly because of their headhunting activities.  Nagaland became a semiautonomous state in the sixties, but only since the beginning of this decade has it become more open to travellers.

Explorer Benedict Allen talks to German author and producer Peter van Ham who has journeyed deep into the heart of Nagaland witnessing their customs and rituals and to travel writer Richard Madden, one of the first tourists to the area.  They offer their thoughts on how tourism will affect the traditional life of the people.

British GP Jane Wilson Howarth travelled with her family to go and live in Nepal to give her severely ill little boy a chance of a better quality of life, leaving behind in the UK the traumatic treatments that were being suggested.  Jane explains how the Himalayas benefited her child and reflects on the contrast between eastern and western healthcare.

Presented by Benedict Allen

Kohima, Capital of Nagaland

Photo: Kohima, Capital of Nagaland

This week’s guests: 

Peter van Ham is a German author and producer who with the late British architect Jamie Saul has produced a book and DVD called Expedition Naga in which they juxtapose their diaries with those of British administrators from the 1920s and 30s. Peter talks about Nagaland and its people who were head hunters.

Expedition Naga: Diaries from the Hills of Northeast India 1921 – 1937 and 2002- 2006
Peter van Ham - Jamie Saul
Publisher: Antique Collectors' Club Ltd
ISBN-10: 1851495606
ISBN-13: 978-1851495603

Richard Madden is a freelance Travel Writer, co-author of The Daily Telegraph Adventurous Traveller. Richard was one of the first visitors to Nagaland when it was first opened to tourism a few years ago.

Himalayan Kingdoms

Jane Wilson Howarth has been a GP in Cambridge since 1999, her husband is an irrigation engineer and they have travelled widely especially in Asia since they married.  After qualifying as a doctor, Jane spent 11 years travelling all over Asia advising on diarrhoea prevention and children’s health education.  She first went to Nepal in 1976 to do eco research. In 1993 when she was pregnant with her second child, Jane and her family returned to Nepal.  They lived in the lowlands, in an area called Karnali on an island in the river near a tiger reserve.  When her baby was born in the UK with severe health problems they decided to go back to stay in Nepal and not take up the healthcare offered here.

A Glimpse of Eternal Snows: A Family's Journey of Love and Loss in Nepal
Publisher: Pier 9, Murdoch Books
ISBN-10: 1921259264
ISBN-13: 978-1921259265

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