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Remoteness and ModernityTransformation and Continuity in Northern Pakistan$
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Shafqat Hussain

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300205558

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300205558.001.0001

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Strange Strangers in the Land of Paradise

Strange Strangers in the Land of Paradise

(p.160) Chapter 7 Strange Strangers in the Land of Paradise
Remoteness and Modernity

Shafqat Hussain

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the encounters between the Shimshali, the inhabitants of Shimshal, and the wave of tourists who visited the Hunza region during the last two decades of the twentieth century. It analyzes this encounter within the domain of global tourism and mediated by a discourse of cultural authenticity and hospitality. During this period, the remoteness of the region was framed as an explanation for the preservation of pristine agricultural practices. This serves as a stark contrast to the perceptions in the early 2000s, when remoteness was viewed as an explanation for the preservation of its culture of hospitality. One aspect of tourists' experience was that the Shimshalis“performed” the ideal host, welcoming tourists into their homes. This led to tourists believing that increasing accessibility to Shimshal threatened the village's remoteness and culture.

Keywords:   Shimshali, Shimshal, Hunza, global tourism, cultural authenticity, hospitality, remoteness, accessibility, culture

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