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Nepal Fact Sheet
Interesting Facts on Nepal Culture
Nepal is one such country in the world which is blessed with the most unique and authentic culture and tradition, which dates back to centuries. With over 100 different ethnic groups speaking 123 different languages all over the country, one can easily guess the magnitude of Nepal culture and its prevalence.
From the eastern part of Nepal to the west, from the Himalayan region to plain land of Terai, Nepal exhibits distinctive culture rooted since generations. Apart from our religion and ethnicity, our place of residence is also one of the determinant factor of Nepal cultures. Meaning, our culture is part of where we live as well.
No matter where you travel in Nepal, you will obviously walk in the different geographical setting, where you will meet a different group of people and the cultural part you will experience in those part will be unique of its kind.
Hindu legends suggest Nepal was visited by Gods, who bestowed their blessing in many places. Likewise, being the birthplace of Lord Buddha, Nepal is already one of the holiest places in the world. Well, with so much of reference since the origin of Gods, the array of Nepal culture is beyond belief.
When somebody mentions Culture, we think about festivals, food, music, dance, language and these sort of things. As today, we are here to know about Nepal’s culture, let us unravel the interesting facts on them and everything associating to it.
No Beef Allowed
Although the constitution of Nepal defines Nepal as a secular country, the people still adhere to Nepal as a Hindu nation. No Beef is one of the strict rules followed all over the country, as Cow is the carrier of Lord Shiva and is worshiped the same as Gods.
Cow is the major part of Nepal culture and butchering them for meat is the cruel and sin act by any people. If you are a beef lover, do not expect the same in Nepal and do not ask for it even by mistake, as people can take it offensively.
Touching with feet is offensive
Now, this another interesting fact about Nepal culture; touching with feet is taken offensively. In some culture, if you touch someone (mainly girls) with feet, then you have to bow down till your forehead touches their feet.
Nepal culture is already conservative, where touch is already avoided, and if you happen to touch someone with feet, then an immediate sorry will be the best thing to do. It is quite an interesting part of Nepal culture, how our belief clings to small things.
Same Food twice a day
You might have heard it already that in Nepal, we eat Dal-Bhat-Tarkari, which is literally Rice and Curry twice a day. However, it is not so boring as you are thinking. Nepal offers a variety of cuisines, but Dal-Bhat-Tarkari, the traditional dish remains the signature dish and a major part of Nepal culture.
The food is full of flavor, spices, and is very healthy. Bhat (rice) remains the same, the type of Dal (lentil soup) changes, and so does the varieties and number of Tarkari (curry). With a large bowl of rice and variety of curries like meat and veggies, mix the of lentil soup, Dal-Bhat-Tarkari is the delicious meal and has stood out as a major part of Nepal culture in recent time amongst tourists.
Also, we use our right hand while eating. Using left hand is considered culturally disrespectful and so is touching others food while eating. Shocking, yes?
Nepal is way ahead of time
In Nepal, the current year is 2076, which is 57 years ahead of the English calendar. It is the confusion for most of the visitors of Nepal when they hear about the year Nepal is living in. The calendar of Nepal follows Lunar months and Solar sidereal year, which has added almost six decades of the gap from the rest of the world.
Our festivals, ceremonies, and events are determined according to the Nepali calendar so that you can say that our time pace is a major part of our culture. When the rest of the world is almost at the mid-year, Nepal celebrates its New Year Eve.
Greeting is an important part of Nepal culture and as you might have popularly heard the word Namaste, said with palm together and slight nod or bow. Namaste works both ways; you can say it when you just met someone and while departing too.
If you are in confusion on how to approach someone in Nepal, just say Namaste Dai for male and Namaste Didi for females. This simple phrase can work as an icebreaker between two different culture.
Covering your full body is very important in Nepali culture. As a conservative country, Nepali people find themselves very uncomfortable with nudity and immodest clothing.
The national dress for a female is Gonyou Cholo, while Daura Surwal for male, both of this dress is designed to cover the full body part. You can see these dresses are worn during special occasion or festivals.
While the cities of Nepal, especially Kathmandu and Pokhara, have gotten quite used to with the shorts and sleeveless, Nepali culture still doesn’t welcome half body covering clothes. Having a clean and tidy appearance with no showcase of the flesh is the sign of respect as per Nepali culture.
Another interesting fact about Nepal culture is, in the case of women, hair is considered as the embodiment of beauty and shouldn’t cut it at anytime.
Buddhism is revered by Hindus as well
Buddhism is the second most followed religion in Nepal, after Hinduism. However, Buddha is greatly worshipped by both Buddhists and Hindus of Nepal. You can see the photo of Buddha in a Hindu’s house, or a locket or pendant worn by a youngster of a different religion.
There are five Dhyani Buddhas worshipped by Buddhist of Nepal; Vairochana, Akshobhaya, Rathasambhava, Amitabha, and Amoghasiddhi, representing five basic elements; earth, fire, water, air, and ether. According to Buddhist philosophy, these deities are the manifestations of Sunya (absolute void).
While Hindus worship Mahakala and Bajrayogini deities of Vajrayana Buddhist. The encounter is quite unusual when you see the one religion paying homage to another religion. Well, that’s why Nepali culture is so surprising.
Rules of Marriage
Nepal still follows the traditional way of life, and as marriage is the biggest part of our life, Nepali culture regarding this matter is quite interesting. Love marriage has become quite popular to today’s generation, yet arrange marriage is stilled rooted to the core.
When a boy or girl comes of age, family starts looking for a perfect match according to caste, class, background, qualification and all. It is the family of the boy, that lays down the proposal, and if the girl agrees, then they are set for life. Hiring lami (marriage broker) is equally popular in Nepali marriage culture. Lami helps you get the best match as per your preference.
Dance is very important
Literally, every ethnic group of Nepal has their very own traditional dance, which they perform wearing traditional dress. You can witness the unique exhibition of Nepali culture during festivals through dances. They also have traditional instruments and songs, which adds more authenticity and excitement.
Rai ethnicity has Sakela dance, Limbu ethnicity has Dhan Nach, Tharu ethnicity has Stick dances, Deuda dance is integral in Far-Western Nepal; well, Nepali culture knows how to do fun as well. It is an interesting fact about Nepali culture how every ethnicity stands out on their own.
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