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The HIMALAYA in central Asia, span 300km from north to south, and 2400km from east to west. The vast mountain range cut through China, Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, India and Pakistan. The Himalayas is called "the roof of the world" and "the home of snows" in Sanskrit. Some of the world's highest peaks, including Mt. Everest are there. Sagarmatha National Park with Mt. Everest in Nepal is designated as a World Heritage Site. The Himalayas was formed as the result of the Indian subcontinent colliding with the Eurasian plate. The Indian plate is still moving north, and increasing the Himalaya's altitude. A Japanese expedition was the world's first ot climb Mt. Manasulu in 1956 and reached the top of Mt. Everest in 1970 led by Mr. Naomi Uemura, an internationally renowned mountaineer. In 1975, Mrs. Junko Tabei successfully reached the top of Mt. Everest, becoming the first woman to scale the highest peak.


The charm of the Himalayas extends far beyond it's glaciers and vertical rockfaces. The various climate zones in the region each possess native fauna and flora. The many different ethnic groups that inhabit the region have developed unique cultures and traditions. Hinduism and Buddhism trace their origins to Himalaya. The Indus and Ganges, two great rivers originate there and the region is a major source of spirituality.

On the other hand, the Himalayan region is a mirror of world issues: Bhutan and Nepal are one of the world's economically poorest countries. The 10-year "civil war" in Nepal was due to poverty and discrimination. Tibet has been under control of the Chinese government. "Tibet issue" is the one of the longest ethnic problems in the world.

The region is affected by global environmental problems. Global warming has melted glaciers forming many glacier lakes that have overflowed causing extensive damage and great distress for local communities. Himala-yan forests have been destroyed by illegal logging and some experts worry that the region may become a desert.  Natural destruction in the region will affect the world environment sooner or later.

We can surely deepen our understanding of the earth, gazing at the Himalayas.

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