History of Sherwi Khangba
The Sherwi Khangba Center was built in August 1990. The entire center was built with the generous support of our dear Swiss friends through the Verien fur die Sherpa Culture Von Lhakpa Sonam Sherpa. In 1986 when Lhakpa was undergoing medical treatment in Switzerland he had to stay extra 7 month for the rehabilitation after the surgery. When he lost his hearing capabilities, Lhakpa undertook research work on Sherpa culture and the Sherpa mountaineers, initially intended for a book. For the prolonged stay in Switzerland he took all the paperwork so that he could write better for the English speaking readers back in Europe. After going through all the papers and listening to his oral talks the Swiss friends found it significant to conserve the idea into a museum along with a hotel so that the museum could sustain in the long run. Thus, a committee was formed to raise the required fund.
For this project our dear friends Ruedi and Vreni Homberger from Arosa, Prof. Dr. Georges Hartman and Frau, Dr. Serena Hartmann the then chief at the Kanton Hospital in Chur, Dr. Martin Brauen the then director of Volkerkunde Museum in Zurich, Gisela Treichler from Travel Book Shop in Zurich, Christian Jaggi from Basel, Jurg and Maria Schmid from Arosa, Dr. Thomas Spillmann and Prof. Dr. Fisch from University hospital in Zurich, Urshi and Marcel Mayers, Col. Jon Fleming from UK, and many other friends came onboard to help support the project.
Until the end of 1997 the committee continued their support but raising fund was still a difficult task. Lhakpa Sonam held many slideshows and lecture programs in Europe. After 1997 the whole center came to be a sole responsibility of Lhakpa Sonam Sherpa. With much hardship the center reached to what it is today. The Sherpa traditional house for the Museum was already there but the Everest Documentation Center needed to be upgraded into international standard for which Lhakpa had a solid plan. Finding donor was a daunting task and Lhakpa obviously did not have much connection around the world. In 2014 Lhakpa unexpectedly happened to meet the legendary climber Reinhold Messner at the premise of his own hotel and instantly recognized him. Sometime later, Messner returned with his TV crew to his museum and after thoroughly scanning through the Everest Documentation Center, Messner offered to help the center. Lhakpa was highly elated about Messner’s commitment and handed him the detailed proposal about his upgrading project.
In 2015 Lhakpa met another gentleman named Oriol Rebas from Andorra who was also happy to help and offered to work on the whole upgrading project together. Oriol later invited Lhakpa and his wife to Spain and Andorra. Together they travelled to meet Reinhold Messner in Bolzano to figure out how they can all work together. Things started to progress well with a modern museum design. However, apart from the help from Messner, Oriol was not successful in raising the much needed fund resulting in his quitting the project. Lhakpa on the other hand continued with his own traditional way with the help of Reinhold Messner. Thus, the new building was build with the support from Messner’s Mountain Museum foundation and through a generous donation from Dr. Klaus Zumwinkle channeled through the Messner’s Mountain Museum foundation in Germany.
The museum is now equipped with world class solar powered sustainable energy sponsored by Messner’s Mountain Museum Foundation through a project coordinated by Dr. Susanne Nies from Berlin Germany and Lhakpa Sonam Sherpa, Namche. Hearty thanks to all the donors for their generous contribution that made this most important light for the museum available.
Since the museum has been extended we look forward to expanding the installation later to meet the power requirements.