Tuesday, September 30, 2008

On Gurkhas

The Gurkhas have history of bravery, loyalty and honor amount the British. They have served with distinction and honor since 1817. In short, these people who have nothing have fought with bravery and honor for the British.

I have meet and conversed with a few Gurkhas in my travels abroad. I have to say, they strike me as smallish, friendly people, very quick to smile and were proud of their service.

Gurkha soldiers have been awarded 13 Victoria Crosses, all but one (Rambahadur Limbu) were awarded when all Gurkha regiments were still part of the Indian Army. An additional 13 VCs have been awarded to British Officers in Gurkha regiments. Since Indian independence, Gurkhas have also been awarded 3 Param Vir Chakras.

Ethnically, Gurkhas who are presently serving in the British armed forces are Indo-Tibeto-Mongolians. Gurkhas serving in the Indian Armed Forces are of both groups, Indo-Tibeto-Mongolian and ethnic Rajput. Gurkhas of Indo-Tibeto-Mongolian origin mostly belong to the Gurung, Magar, Tamang, Khasa and Kiranti origin, many of whom are adherents of Tibetan Buddhism and Shamanism.[10]

All Gurkhas, regardless of ethnic origin, speak Nepali, an Indo-Aryan language. They are also famous for their large knife called the khukuri, which is featured in an X shaped congifuration on their emblem. Tradition has it that whenever a Gurkha draws their khukuri for any reason, the blade must taste blood.

Gurkha, also spelled as Gorkha, are people from Nepal , who take their name from the eighth century Hindu warrior-saint Guru Gorakhnath.[1] His disciple Bappa Rawal, born Prince Kalbhoj/Prince Shailadhish, founded the house of Mewar, Rajasthan (Rajputana). Later descendants of Bappa Rawal moved further east to found the house of Gorkha, which in turn founded the Kingdom of Nepal.[2]

Gurkhas are best known for their history of bravery and strength in the British Army's Brigade of Gurkhas and the Indian Army's Gorkha regiments.

Gorkha is one of the 75 districts of modern Nepal.

The Gurkhas were designated by British officials as a "Martial Race". "Martial Race" was a designation created by officials of British India to describe "races" (peoples) that were thought to be naturally warlike and aggressive in battle, and to possess qualities like courage, loyalty, self sufficiency, physical strength, resilience, orderliness, the ability to work hard for long periods of time, fighting tenacity and military strategy. The British recruited heavily from these Martial Races for service in the colonial army.
Gurkhas win right to stay in UK.

Gurkas belonging to the Hong Kong Regiminet who retired prior to the handover in 1997, living in the UK face not being aloud imigration. SOme with thier families had been living in the UK for decades. This was a wrong that looks like it is about to be corrected.

Here is the article.

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