Published on 22nd June 2018 by

Film starts at 0:56. Pema’s parents want him to marry a girl from home, a Nepali Himalayan village at 13,000 feet. Pema (19) lives in Holland, having grown up in a Kathmandu orphanage as his parents were forced to give most of their six children away. Today, the unusual family is scattered around the globe. It would be the only son’s duty to tend to the family home in the mountains. But Pema wants to study abroad, and live a modern life.

Original Title: The Only Son
A Film by Simonka de Jong

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Two of Pema’s sisters were adopted: Dorje (now 26), by Americans, and Sumchog (now 20), by a Dutch couple. Two younger sisters (12 and 10) are still living at the orphanage. Sister Yonzom (now 24) is the only one who stayed with the parents. She is married now and is the only one who carries on the local traditions.

Family relations, already stretched by the realities of distance and cultural differences, become seriously jeopardized when the parents decide the time has come to marry Pema off to a village girl. According to Tibetan tradition, a daughter-in-law will help them on their land. But Pema wants to choose a girl himself and hopes his sisters will support him. Though he has remained in Nepal, Kathmandu is a bustling city compared to his parents’ traditional village, and Pema himself has become modernized. He wants to be a photographer.

© 2012, Licensed by First Hand Films


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