Recently I’ve been working my way through creating Primers – short PDFs containing collections of annotated links – for the countries of South Asia. These are being offered through Gumroad. The newest release is a primer on Nepal.
What’s the purpose?
If you just scan Twitter, Facebook, or Google News headlines for these countries, you’ll only get what’s current at the moment. That only tells you what’s happening now: it gives you no clue as to why it has happened, what the context is (a common event or a rare outlier), where it fits into the stream of things, and what’s likely to happen next.
To understand countries and the events that happen in them, you need to go deeper than the headlines. The Primers are designed to help you do just that.
What’s in the primers?
I’ve taken an ethnographic template and filled it out with links to resources. Think of this as a kind of ‘museum’: a curated collection of material that will educate you about the country and its peoples.
Some of the links are large data sets, some are studies, some are photoessays, some are books. Some are free, some you’ll have to buy (I’ve tried for about a 60/40 mix of free/buy).
What do I hope you do?
I hope you get the Primer for the country you’re interested in, and read the material it links to! I hope you widen your view of the world.
At the same time, I’ve tried to limit the number of links, to help you avoid “paralysis of analysis.” You don’t need to know everything before you get started trying to do something to bless the country, and the Primer is (an admittedly imperfect) boundary on what you need to know.
The one thing the Primer won’t do is give you specific links to people who are doing work. To get introduced, you’ll need to get in touch with agencies and churches that have a vested interest in the country. To find them, you can start with prayer networks – or simply by emailing me.
Where do I get the Primers?
Visit the Resources page.
Why do I have to pay for them?
We need your help to offset the cost of creating them (information isn’t free to produce), and to create more. (And if you’re a Patron, you’ll find them all in the Patron Dropbox Folder).