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- Photo replaced on November 19, 2012
Chorten inside Mustang town
Efforts to develop Mustang since the end of the Khampa resistance have been sporadic and largely damaging to the Tibetan Buddhist culture of Mustang. The government of Nepal attempted to integrate Mustang by sending Hindu teachers, police, and aid workers who taught only Hindu and western beliefs, language, and culture. This was coupled with numerous ineffective attempts to bring electricity to Mustang. Only recently has Mustang become open to foreigners and now faces an additional set of challenges in the integration of western ideas. Tourism is a mixed blessing for Mustang. While it may be damaging by exposing Mustangis to the vastly differing lifestyles and values of the modern world, it also has spawned genuine interest in the unique people, temples, and landscape of Mustang. Recently, foreign aid groups have: Funded a school in the capitol city of Lo Manthang that teaches the traditional Mustangi culture, begun preservation efforts on very poorly cared for temples and monasteries, and built medical facilities. The people of Mustang (the Lo-pas) have always had to adapt to survive in the arid environments of Mustang and they will undoubtedly continue to meet these new stresses on their traditional culture with the religious fervor, tenacity, and keen business sense for which they have been recognized for centuries.