As Strong as a Mountain
It was a fine evening when we went to interview Mingma Sherpa, and his brother Chhang Dawa Sherpa, Chairperson and Expedition Manager respectively of Seven Summit Treks. They hold the world record of “World’s First Two Brothers” to successfully summit fou
Mingma is a doting brother to not only his brothers but his sisters as well. The mountaineer is known for his strong support of his brothers. In a very young age the brothers lost their father, and from that time onwards Mingma has had to shoulder the burden of raising the siblings. The family originally did not have any connection with mountaineering as they were farmer. But all changed with time. It was heartening to see that they share a traditional sibling bond, where youngers respect their elders.
We were lucky as we got hold of not just Mingma and Dawa Sherpa but also their two other brothers Tashi Lakpa and Pasang Phurba. Here is a candid chit–chat after dinner with Mingma, Chhang Dawa, Tashi Lakpa and Pasang Phurba.
How would you define your relationship with your siblings?
Mingma – A sibling is someone who is born from the same womb, who can never be apart. There are various types of family. Since we were born from the same womb, we value that relation more than the relation that we share with our wives or kids. At times there might be ups and downs between us, but in the long run you will always find us together no matter what.
Dawa – Since we work together, we might argue verbally at times, but deep inside we know that we will never be apart. I think the relation that we share with each other is very important.
Tashi – Being siblings and having the same blood, we all have similar kind of nature. They say “One rotten potato can spoil a whole pack.” It is kind of same. But in our case we are blessed as we all are similar and have similar characteristics, there are no clashes. So we all stay happy and work happily. And we help each other in times of need. We really have such a wonderful family, and I wish it stays like this for ever.
Pasang – Maybe because I am the youngest in the family, I am very much loved by all my brothers. For me they are my gods. Whatever or whoever I am today, it is all because of my brothers. It is all because of their love and support that I stand here today and feel blessed to have them as my brothers. Actually we have six brothers in total but only four of us are active in our family business. We can never be apart from each other. We are known by each other’s name. No matter where on earth we live, we will always be together.
Who was the naughtiest amongst the four of you?
Mingma – Everyone is a little mischievous during his childhood. We might have fought with each other during our childhood, but that too is a form of love. But I do not remember any incident where I have hit or was hit by anyone of them. Instead what I feel is that we are a real family and hope to inspire other families to be like us.
Pasang – Being the youngest member of our family there is an age gap with my brothers. So I do not remember how their childhood was. When I was still quite young, they already were in Kathmandu and I did not get any chance to argue or have a little brotherly fights with them. But yes, being a youngest, I was a little mischievous. My mom used to sometimes hit me, but I do not remember being hit by my brothers.
What have you learnt from each other?
Mingma – We learnt from having siblings that success lies in learning, whether it be from your elder sibling or from your younger sibling. I learnt that success lies in learning to cooperate with brothers and in understanding that there is no force more powerful than common understanding and working together for a common goal.
Dawa, Tashi and Pasang – We learnt a lot of things from Mingma dai -- about mountaineering, emotion, behavior, people in general, or own selves, business, and many other things in life.