Sherpa are an ethnic group from the most mountainous region of Nepal, high in the Himalayas. Most Sherpa people live in Nepal's eastern regions; however, some live farther west in the Rolwaling valley and in the Helambu region north of Kathmandu. Pangboche is the Sherpas' oldest village in Nepal. The Sherpa language belongs to the south branch of the Tibeto-Burman languages. This language is however separate and not intelligible for Lhasa Tibetan speakers. Nepal estimated there were 150,000 Sherpas in 2001. The number of Sherpas immigrating to the West has also significantly increased in recent years, especially to the United States. With a population of about 2500 Sherpas, New York City has the largest Sherpa Community in the U.S.A. The 2001 Nepal Census recorded 154,622 Sherpas in that country, of which 92.83% were Buddhists, 6.26% were Hindus, 0.63% were Christians and 0.20% were Bon.
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