Nepali Culture and Traditions: What to Know Before You Go
If you're planning a trip to Nepal, there are some important things to know about Nepali culture and traditions before you go. Nepal is a beautiful country with a rich cultural heritage that is deeply ingrained in the daily lives of its people.
Understanding and respecting their customs will not only help you have a more enjoyable trip, but it will also help you appreciate the country's beauty and diversity.
Nepal is a predominantly Hindu country, but Buddhism and other religions are also widely practiced. Religion plays an important role in the daily lives of Nepalis, and many of the country's traditions and customs are rooted in religious beliefs.
Religion and Spirituality
Nepalis are deeply spiritual people, and you'll see evidence of this everywhere you go, from the numerous temples and shrines to the colorful prayer flags and wheels that adorn buildings and streets.
Nepalis are known for their warmth and hospitality, and visitors are usually welcomed with open arms. However, there are some customs and etiquette rules that visitors should be aware of.
Etiquette and Customs
For example, it is considered impolite to touch someone with your feet or to point your feet towards someone or something sacred. It is also important to dress conservatively, especially when visiting religious sites.
Nepali cuisine is diverse and delicious, with influences from India, Tibet, and China. Dal bhat, a dish of rice and lentils, is a staple of the Nepali diet, and you'll find it served in virtually every restaurant.
Food and Drink
Other popular dishes include momos (dumplings), thukpa (noodle soup), and chow mein. It's also worth trying the local beverages, such as chiya (sweet milk tea) and raksi (a traditional alcoholic drink made from rice).
Nepalis love to celebrate, and there are numerous festivals and holidays throughout the year. Some of the most popular festivals include Dashain, a 15-day celebration that marks the victory of good over evil, and Tihar, a five-day festival of lights.
Festivals & Celebrations
During these festivals, you'll see colorful decorations, traditional music and dancing, and plenty of delicious food.
Nepali is the official language of Nepal, but there are many other languages and dialects spoken throughout the country. English is widely spoken in tourist areas, but it's always a good idea to learn a few basic phrases in Nepali, such as "namaste" (hello) and "dhanyabad" (thank you).