Wednesday, 1 August 2012

A Rose by Any Other Name

Thousands of emails have been pouring in, telling me that Namgyal Wangdi wasn't the man who first climbed Everest along with Ed Hillary in 1953. Well, I exaggerate: I have received comparatively few emails on the subject. But the concensus seems to be that it was someone called Sherpa Tenzing.

Well, you see, I set a trap for you, my noble readers, because Namgyal Wangdi was Sherpa Tenzing. Actually, referring to the man as "Sherpa Tenzing" is rather like referring to Ed Hillary as "New Zealander Ed", because Sherpa Tenzing's actual name was Tenzing Norgay. (Norgay means "lucky".)

So, who's this Namgyal Wangdi feller?

Ah, well, the name Tenzing Norgay was a name given to Namgyal Wangdi when he was a child by the prior of Rongbuk monastery. It means something like "lucky pilgrim." Isn't that fascinating.

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