From the Sydney Morning Herald, a story about ancient traditions in Nepal being replaced with modern ones:
IT IS spring and the monkeys of Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu have bright-eyed newborns on their backs, calves perch like mountain goats on stone walls and the trees are covered in buds and the promise of new growth.
This is Nepal's oldest Hindu site and one of the most sacred shrines to Lord Shiva in the world. Votive, pagoda-shaped shrines seem to tumble down the hillside and holy statues and carvings line the walkways to the Bagmati River below.But here on the banks of this slow-moving, oleaginous brown ribbon, it is death that permeates the air. Clouds of pungent smoke rise from the stone funeral platforms and the sound of raw grief breaks the silence.
Every day, scores of bamboo or metal gurneys carrying corpses are brought to the waterside by grieving relatives.