Nawang Tsering Gurung is a consultant, translator, speaker, and tour specialist originally from the Himalayan region of Mustang in Nepal and now based in New York City.
Nawang is the founder and coordinator of the oral history project Voices of the Himalayas: Language, Culture and Belonging in Immigrant New York, which has been documenting the languages, cultures, social histories, folklore and community life of Himalayan New Yorkers. He is also founder and director of Yulha Fund, a non-profit dedicated to ensuring sustainable livelihoods and improving access to education and healthcare in the Himalayan communities of Nepal. He is currently the advisory council of Rubin Museum and also working on current project called New York COVID-19 with scholars and linguists which features daily recordings in many different languages describing what members of some of the city’s most affected but least known communities are experiencing. He is also an independent researcher and consultant of Mapping Linguistic Diversity in Globalizing World through Open Source Digital Tools. Currently he is also working on
Pandemic narratives of Tibet and the Himalayas (2022-2025).
Nawang served as a translator and assistant on the National Geographic documentaries “Himalayan Megaquake” and “Cave People of the Himalayas.” He also has extensive experiences as a research assistant for Sienna Craig, an anthropologist at Dartmouth College, working in both Mustang and New York. He is the co-author on several presentations and publications based on this work and co-author of the book “Dogyab: Rituel Tibetain de Conjuration du Mal” (in French), a study of Bön religion in Nepal.
Previously, Nawang worked as Development Director of New York Tibetan Service Center (NYTSC), a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan and Himalayan culture and to the provision of services necessary for immigrants to make a successful transition to life in America. In 2018, he worked as marketing director on a musical theater production of the life of Milarepa produced by NYTSC and guided by His Holiness the Karmapa.
Nawang is an experienced translator between English and a variety of Himalayan languages, including Nepali, Central (Ü-Tsang) Tibetan, Kham, Amdo, Ladakhi, Balti, Sikkimese, Dzongkha, Sherpa, Mustangi(Loke). Translation of audio recordings, books, movies, documents, websites etc. Oral interpretation provided only for Central Tibetan and Nepali. Interpretation services for religious teaching not provided.
Nawang has served as a consultant and researcher in the fields of education, health, environment, culture, career development, and non-profit development. He has consulted as an event organizer and planner, including the recruitment of Himalayan artists for concerts, live events, and film.
Himalayan Language and Cultural Program is designed to create an environment in which all children from the Himalayas can explore and become acquainted with their own languages and cultures together. We provide introductory Tibetan and Nepali language classes in a small-group setting with native speakers who have experience teaching these languages in the U.S. In addition, students learn traditional Himalayan songs, dances, and instrumental music. We are supported by the Endangered Language Alliance to do language documentation and archiving, and by the Center for Traditional Music and Dance for arts educational programming.
Classes every Saturday morning from 9am- 12pm, at 8302A 3rd Floor, Broadway, Elmhurst, NY 11373.
Nawang offers specialized, unique tours that offer unparalleled access to the Himalayan community and focus on its diversity.
In the recent decades, more than 20,000 people from various parts of the region have settled in Queens and Brooklyn, making New York into a new microcosm of Himalayan diversity, united by a connection to Tibetan culture, tradition, religion, with Central Tibetan or Nepaliserving as a lingua franca.
Over several years Nawang has crafted a unique tour of this community for student groups, visitors, and enthusiasts of Himalayan culture. Possibilities range from a 2-3 hour tour, including food, in "Himalayan Heights" (in the Jackson Heights area of Queens) to an intensive three-day tour package diving into all of Himalayan New York and including an experience of monastic life, workshops, presentations, film screenings, momo-making workshop etc.
Nawang offers unique tours of Nepal and Tibet through his extensive network in the region, including Himalayan regions of Nepal (Mustang, Everest region, Tsum. Dolpo, Humla and Jumla), and Tibet itself (August only, lasting two weeks: places limited). All tour guides are specialized in their own home area to give guests the ability to explore these beautiful regions from a localperspective. Full package tours can be arranged, including visa service, film permits, research permits, and recruitment for film and documentaries complete with release forms, consent forms and pay quotation.
Nawang is available to speak to groups, classes, workshops, and in other forums about Himalayan New York, Mustang, cultural development, linguistic diversity, health and education in the Himalaya, and a variety of other topics, based on his experiences and his work in these areas. He have given talk at The Rubin Museum, Walden, George Washington University, Columbia University, Charles University (Prague), Dartmouth College, NYU, Skidmore College, Stanford University etc.
2018 Orality and Mobility: Documenting Himalayan Voices in New York City. N.T. Gurung, R. Perlin, D. Kaufman, M. Turin, S.R. Craig. Verge:
Studies in Global Asia
2018. The Khora of Migration: Everyday Practices of (Well)-Being between Mustang, Nepal and New York City. S.R. Craig and N.T. Gurung, In D. Gellner and S. Hausner, eds. Global Nepalis: Religion and Culture in a New Diaspora. Oxford and New Delhi: Oxford University Press
[2017 and L’harmattan] Nepal – Mustang – LubrakDogyab: Rituel Tibetain de Conjuration du Mal (Michele Odeye-Finzi & Nawang Tsering Gurung)
Nepali Times Himalayan New Yorkers tell stories of COVID-19
Columbia University Himalayan New York: Stories of Migration, Language, Belonging, and Social Change
Public Radio International (PRI)There's a Tibetan dialect called 'Mustang,' and it's staying alive in the US
“Rescuing an Endangered Language in Our Own Backyard: The Case of Walden and Tibet.”
Voices of the Himalaya: Language, Culture, and Belonging in Immigrant New York explores the lived experiences of migration and social change among Himalayan New Yorkers.
On VOA Tibetan discussing the importance of new Tibetan classes at LaGuardia in Queens, right in the middle of America's largest Tibetan-speaking community.
ཨ་རིའི་གྲོང་ཁྱེར་ནེའི་ཡོག་གི་ Queens ས་ཁུལ་ནི་ཧི་མ་ལ་ཡའི་མི་རིགས་འདུས་སྡོད་བྱེད་ས་ཞིག་ཡིན་ཞིང་། ས་ཁུལ་དེར་ཆགས་པའི་ Laguardia ཞེས་པའི་མཐོ་སློབ་ནང་ད་ལོའི་ཟླ་ ༩ པ་ནས་བཟུང་བོད་ཡིག་གི་བསླབ་ཚན་གོ་སྒྲིག་བྱ་རྒྱུ་ཡིན་པ་རེད།