Teaching Students About Gurkhas

The Gurkhas, a brave and resilient group of soldiers from the small nation of Nepal, have a storied history and a unique cultural heritage. Incorporating lessons about the Gurkhas into your curriculum can offer students an opportunity to learn about their history, bravery, and the essential values they embody. This article will guide you through various aspects of teaching students about Gurkhas by presenting historical context, cultural insights, and practical activities that can be employed in the classroom.

Historical Context:

1. Origin and Early History

Begin your lesson by providing students with an overview of the Gurkhas’ origins. Enlighten them about their roots in the Nepali hills and how they established their reputation as skilled fighters during the Anglo-Nepalese War.

2. The British Army

Explain how the Gurkhas became part of the British Army after signing the Treaty of Sugauli in 1815. Discuss their role in different battles, such as World War I, World War II, and the Falklands War, emphasizing their courage and skills.

3. Present-Day Gurkhas

Discuss the current roles and contributions of Gurkhas in modern warfare, humanitarian efforts, and security companies across the globe.

Cultural Insights:

1. Embrace Core Values

Highlight the core values attributed to Gurkhas, such as loyalty, bravery, integrity, and respect. Narrate stories that exemplify these traits.

2. The Kukri

Introduce students to the Kukri – a curved knife that is synonymous with the identity of a Gurkha soldier. Illustrate its uses in battle and its symbolic significance.

3. Nepalese Culture

Provide students with insights into Nepali customs, traditions, and lifestyles to create a broader understanding of the people behind this legendary fighting force.

Classroom Activities:

1. Role Plays

Organize role-play activities that enable students to adopt the role of a Gurkha soldier carrying out a mission, allowing them to appreciate the dedication and courage needed.

2. Guest Speakers

Invite a former Gurkha soldier or a historian to give a talk on their experiences or knowledge about Gurkhas, offering first-hand perspectives for students.

3. Creative Projects

Encourage students to explore various mediums such as art, poetry, or documentaries to express their understanding of and appreciation for the Gurkhas’ history and culture.


Teaching students about Gurkhas can provide them with enriching historical and cultural insights, an opportunity to appreciate the values Gurkhas embody, and an exposure to Nepalese customs and traditions. By incorporating these aspects into your curriculum through engaging activities, you can foster an enduring respect for this legendary group of soldiers among your students.

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