Culture in Nepal

Want to know more about the culture in Nepal? The following article should provide you with some interesting information.

It is important when you visit Nepal that you are observant and respectful of the culture at all times.

Nepal has a rich cultural history, which is due in part to Nepal being sandwiched between both India and China.  Since Nepal is also a very mountainous country, people exist at different altitudes which also affects the way in which they live their lives and hence their culture.  The cultural diversity is also evident through the different ethnic and religious groups within Nepal.

The Nepalese people are generally fairly forgiving when people make a cultural hiccup, but they are extremely appreciative of visitors who are respectful to their culture and who make an effort to understand it and abide by it.

There are many behaviours in the Nepalese culture which put western cultures to shame, so it’s important that you do not visit Nepal with a ‘developed versus non-developed’ attitude.

When visiting a Nepalese home always remove your shoes.  You should also remove your shoes before entering a temple or Buddhist sanctuary.  You may find however that westerners are not allowed entrance to the Hindu temples.

If you visit a home in Nepal then you should also be extremely careful not to throw rubbish of any sort into an open fire as fires are culturally held to be sacred. This observation should also extend to camp fires if you are out trekking with Nepalese individuals.

When eating, you should only use your right hand and ideally, you should try to drink without letting touching the drinking implement with your lips.  You should also avoid ‘polluting’ food by ‘contaminating’ it with a used utensil.

You should dress modestly whilst in Nepal as the culture in Nepal is not one for exposing the body.  Nudity is not acceptable anywhere under any circumstances.   It is not acceptable for a male to take his shirt off and equally, women should not wear revealing clothes as both actions can be deemed offensive.
Do not show affection in public, do not shout, and avoid making body contact unless this is essential.  The lower parts of the body are the least revered and therefore it’s important not to point at anything with your feet and it is certainly not acceptable to touch anything with your feet.  Since the head is spiritually the purest part of the body, then it’s equally important that you do not make any kind of physical contact with it.  This means that it is unacceptable for you to pat a child on the head.

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