June 9, 2006

エベレスト山頂は誰のもの?:Who Owns the Peak of Mt. Everest?

(photo courtesy of NASA)

A Chinese student, Liang, linked to my entry "12am is noon in Japan", saying he had experienced the same confusion yesterday morning when his classmate told him he'd go to a department store 'at 12pm.' I know how you feel!!

In the same entry, he was telling another eye-opening event that happened to him that same day.;
This afternoon, I read a book in library and found that below a picture of “Mount Everest”, it shows “Kala Patthar, Nepal”. Then I asked my Indonesian, Malaysian and Korean friends, they all told me that it of course belongs to Nepal, China is too ambitious. But later I asked the friends from China and Taiwan, their answer is “definitely, absolutely and surely China”.
According to , the Chinese closed the door of Tibet to the West in the '50s, preventing any further attempts on Everest from the North Face, which eventually opened up the secluded land of Nepal. I asked my Indian neighbors from ITI, and they said, "Most people now climb from Nepal side, so people assume it's Nepal's land, but in fact it doesn't belong to any side." Same conclusion as Liang's.

Well, it's kind of like '12 midnight'; it can be both the beginnning and the ending instance of the day, or an altitude zero that can be East and West at the same time, or neither.

Actually the plate techtonics still continues to this day, lifting the entire Himalayan range 'by several millimeters each year.' (source)

BTW, what impressed me was the way Liang handled it. Instead of arguing, he asked the others how they feel and searched for the things he didn't know yet. Without that, we'll never see the other side of the mountain.




「エベレスト山頂は中国の領地」と学校で習ったLian君。昨日の午後図書館で本を開くと写真には「エベレスト山(Kala Patthar, Nepal)」とある。試しにインドネシア、マレーシア、韓国の友達に聞いてみると、みな口を揃えて「ネパールに決まってるだろ~。中国は欲張り過ぎなんだよ~」。中国と台湾の友達に聞いてみると「当然、絶対中国でしょ。間違いない」、まるで正反対の答えだ。



秘境ネパール側斜面に登山ルートが移ったのは'50年代。中国がチベットの国境を閉鎖してからである(Imaging Everest)。インド人の友達(ITI出身のインテリ夫妻)によれば「中国は歴史上何度も侵略してきたからね(エベレスト=「インドの万里の長城」)。みんなネパール側から登るから普通はネパールと思うようだけど、山頂自体は国境線だから本当はどちらの領土でもないんだよ」という。



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