BEYUL: THE SACRED HIDDEN VALLEYS (2007)

  • Documentary
  • 30min

This documentary is filmed in the Khumbu valley located at the foot of Mt. Everest. The area is now declared as Sagarmatha National Park and a World Heritage Site. Locals believe that Khumbu is one of the many Beyuls – the sacred valleys of the Himalaya, hidden by the 8th century Buddhist saint Padmasambhava as refuges for people suffering from the impacts of war, conflicts, famine, or religious persecution. The Khumbu Beyul was discovered by the ancestors of the Sherpa people escaping religious conflict in Tibet.

The film introduces traditional Sherpa views of the Beyul as a sacred space, co-habited by many other natural and supernatural beings, where negative thoughts and actions such as quarreling, polluting, and taking life are discouraged because the place is considered spiritually powerful. It is these positive attitudes and self-restraint on part of the people that made Khumbu not only a peaceful place for people to live and visit but also a safe refuge for wild animals and plants. The sympathetic attitudes of Beyul believers supported most Beyuls to become national parks and protected areas. The role of the ancient belief system in conservation however has received little recognition. The lack of recognition, outside cultural domination and the influence of modern education that do not take into account the value of the indigenous knowledge have eroded knowledge about Beyul values. This film reveals both the strength of the Beyul concept in maintaining the environmental and cultural integrity of a place as well as the vulnerability of concepts to change. This film is produced to raise awareness among viewers of the role of sacred natural sites such as Beyul in protecting the environment and maintaining harmonious relationships between the land and people throughout the world.

Country

Nepal

Languages

Sherpa, Nepali, English

Subtitles

English