Britain began recruiting Nepalis 200 years. Gurkhas, famous for wielding a curved khukuri knife, have seen numerous wars. 200,000 fought in two world wars; 50,000 were killed.
Gurkha income and pension, though meager, has helped prop Nepal’s economy. Today, paid manifold times better, Nepalis continue to be lured to the British Army, undergoing grueling tests to win the very few positions available.
Recruitment, carried out with meticulous British planning in the lush lakeside town of Pokhara, presents an elaborate modern-day ritual born in the days of Empire, offering a fascinating view of institutions and societies, officers and applicants, British and Nepali.
Nepal, Finland, Norway