Nepal Customs and Traditions

Nepal Customs

Nepal is a distant country, so local customs and traditions, behavior and mentality of people can differ significantly from those familiar to us. Do not forget that Nepal is located in South Asia, moreover, most of the population is still very religious. The official religion of the country is Hinduism, and this defines some generally accepted norms of behavior. For example, as a greeting, it is customary to put two hands together with palms at the chest and say: “Namaste”. At the same time, Hindus will not shake hands at all, however, some Nepalese may shake hands with you, due to increased contact with the Western world. When greeting, they usually first address the most senior and respected person.

According to, cow is a sacred animal for Hindus, so they do not eat its meat, this should not be forgotten. The left hand is considered unclean, so it should not take or give anything, and also eat. In addition, it is considered indecent to give someone food from one’s own plate, to eat from the same plate or drink from the same mug, or to offer to eat from used dishes. The Nepalese consider it unclean. Most Nepalese eat with their hands, not using a fork and knife, do not forget about it. It is also indecent to step over a person lying or sitting, and even over the legs of a person. Try to sit down so that others don’t have to step over you,¬†indicate on anything with one finger or foot, especially on people or religious monuments, is considered indecent and offensive. It is better to make a wide gesture with your hand. In Hindu temples, some houses and restaurants , it is customary to leave shoes at the entrance. Watch how other people behave when entering. Leather items are also not allowed in Hindu temples. There are usually a lot of beggars around religious places; in principle, it is customary for Nepalese to give “bakshish”, i. alms, and the main thing is not the amount, but the quantity. Smoking in temples and other sacred places is not allowed.

Clothing must also be appropriate. It is indecent for men to go bare-chested, and it is better to wear trousers than shorts. Women must wear clothing that completely covers both their arms and legs, and it is considered unacceptable for women to wear pants. Although, of course, in the Kathmandu valley, and in many major tourist centers, Western influence could not but affect, it is not worth abusing the tolerance of the Nepalese and wearing too revealing clothes. Any public display of feelings between a man and a woman is also considered indecent, even if they are husband and wife. Try not to hug, kiss, or even hold each other’s hands in public places.

Usually the Nepalese are very hospitable, although many have never seen foreigners in their lives. But it must be remembered that a lot of different nationalities live in Nepal, some of which may turn out to be hostile to foreigners. Nepalese are extremely photogenic, but before taking pictures, it is worth getting permission to avoid conflict in the future. Many of the Nepalese have not seen the camera, and may be afraid of the flash.

We must be prepared for the fact that Nepal is a poor country, and tourists are the only source of income for many of its inhabitants. In the Kathmandu valley, despite the fact that the capital is located there, they live very poorly and crowded. Everywhere is very dirty, many people live right on the street. Water is best boiled or disinfected or bought in bottles in stores. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be carefully selected and washed before consumption.

The streets in Kathmandu are narrow and drive on the left., the rules are not respected, and the drivers constantly honk. Tourists immediately upon arrival are surrounded by a crowd of taxi drivers, guides and those who just want to earn extra money, each of whom assures in broken English that he knows where the best hotel, restaurant, shop or shop is located. If you are not interested in what they offer, ignoring the annoying Nepalese is the best way out. In the main tourist places, especially near various religious buildings, crowds of beggars and beggars hang around, persistently asking for alms from all tourists. You have to be ready for this.

There are several types of common “divorces” tourists. A boy of 10-14 years old or a young mother with a baby may come up to you and, having told some touching story, ask you to buy milk for them. Usually they ask to buy powdered milk, it is expensive and they sell it back to the same shop. Young people 20-24 years old who call themselves “university students” can also come up. They will show local sights, tell local legends, and only after half a day they can start a conversation about the fact that they want to study, but there is not enough money for textbooks. If you do not want such a denouement, you should not believe in the altruistic intentions of the Nepalese. They are not hostile in any way, they just want to earn as much money from you as possible.

Nepal Customs