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Cultural Consideration

Cultural Consideration

Nepal is a country in culture and tradition. As a visitor, it is important that you respect the rights and beliefs of the local people and that you minimize your impact culturally and environmentally. 

The Nepali people are a friendly and proud people who will thank you for saying something positive about their country. Always remember that life for many of the people in Nepal is extremely hard, they have very few material possessions and there is little or no alternative to doing things the hard way. Nevertheless, you will find many of their qualities put the western ‘developed' world to shame. The influx of visitors to Nepal is bound to have an impact on the country. In the cities and larger villages where tourist are frequently seen, you will find the locals to be more aware of the western ways and in some cases will have picked up on the less favorable attributes. Of course, being in a totally different culture, you can expect to make some mistakes and most of the locals will make allowances for this. It is, however appreciated when visitors make a genuine effort to observe local customs. 

So, Let Nepal Change you - not you to change Nepal!

It has to be remembered that Nepal is home to the Nepali people. Their lifestyle and conditions dictate that much of their living is conducted in open view of everyone. Bathing often has to make place at a communal tap out in the open, doors and windows in the homes are invariably open. Visitors should respect the privacy of the local people by “not seeing” these activities. Avoid looking into the homes as you pass by and do not enter a home unless invited to do so, be sensitive when using your camera, and avoid making judgmental comments based on western cultural norms. Avoid public displays of affection -it is rare and frowned upon to see couples of the opposite sex holding hands. You will, however, see Nepali men walk hand -in -hand or with an arm around each other as is customary in many Asian countries It is a sign of good friendship and does not have the same connotations as it may have in most western societies. Nepali people will usually greet you by placing their hands together in front of the face and bowing slightly while saying the familiar greeting “Namaste” or the more respectful form “Namaskar”. It would be customary for you to reply in same manner. 

If you are unsure, let the Nepali person take the lead and follow their example.

Nepali people avoid exposing too much of their body in public and it would be appropriate for tourist to observe this custom by wearing suitable clothing. It is not suitable for women to wear shorts, short skirts or brief tops.

Shorts are acceptable for men when walking but going around without a shirt or top is not. Nudity is definitely not acceptable. It is considered extremely bad manners to raise your voice to or shout at a person. Nepali people do not like offending and can be easily embarrassed by your reactions. However, in the larger centers frequented by many tourists and where some of the locals have become more ‘western -wise' in their attitudes, you may find a difference in the way you are treated. Remember that patience is a virtue and that you may be on the receiving end of what are, after all, introduced changes. 

Some Hindu temples are not open to non-Hindus. Please ask for permission before entering.