Chhapte Sherpa shared this story with the Tenement Museum as part of the Russ + Daughter’s Story Session.
Sherpa reflected on how people don’t often remember to look back on where they came from. “I was looking back at where I had come from, thinking back to my parent’s dreams and where they had come from. My great-grandparents came from Eastern Nepal, my parents were farmers. I was born in a place where there was no heating, no bathroom, no cars, no electricity. The village itself has a beautiful background, but obviously we weren’t born in a big house.” He remembers his dad hoping for a better place to live, and Sherpa left his parents at age fifteen to start working as a guide in the Himalayan Mountains. He wanted to “fulfill the gap that my parents weren’t able to fill,” and now that he has children of his own, he has been “in the journey of travelling to give a good living to my kids.” Soon enough he was able to build beautiful house in Kathmandu for his kids and he said his parents would have been so proud of him if they where still alive.
Now a counter man at Russ + Daughters, he never pictured himself being in the Lower East Side, and remembered worrying about how he was going to make a living day by day, and how he was going to get used to people from around the world. He’s found it an interesting journey, that while he often wasn’t able to reconnect with friends or family from Nepal, he found new family at Russ + Daughters. “We all have to work together, to be able to say ‘I had a good day today.’”
– Chhapte Sherpa