Interesting features of the national culture of Nepal

(ORDO NEWS) — Locals manage to live according to “prehistoric” laws in the era of the digital revolution. In Nepal, to this day, to get any piece of paper, even buy a SIM card, you need your photo. And yes, in Nepal, all tourists still face problems with cash withdrawal from ATMs. Read about other nuances in our material.

They pray every 50 minutes

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If the inhabitants of Russia think that the Russian Orthodox Church occupies a lot of place in their lives, after a trip to Nepal this delusion will pass.

On the streets of Kathmandu, the capital of the country, almost every 50 m there are temples (an analogue of an Orthodox chapel), where you can come at any time and talk face to face with your God. There are especially many temples in the center.

Religious sites are a place of rest and leisure here. It’s almost as if groups of people were just walking around the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, they would make appointments, spend time chatting on benches.

They take a shower in the city center

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There is no central water supply system in Nepal. Hostels and hotels buy water in cans. Some urban families are doing the same.

But not all. In winter, warm water is so scarce that Nepalese wash only during the day, while the sun is still shining brightly and warming a little. And rivers and streams, open springs with mountain water are popular places here to wash clothes, wash dishes and even wash yourself. It doesn’t matter that it’s right in the center of the city.

They love chubby

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For a Nepalese, a woman without a round belly cannot be attractive. That’s right: the more inaccessible the ideal, the more desirable it is.

If Western women, with good nutrition and low mobility, have to lose weight all the time, then Eastern women with a poor diet and hard work – the opposite. The owners of round bellies here can bare them proudly, while the rest silently envy, tying saris under the breasts and wrapping scarves around the waist to show that they also have some form.

They eat rarely and a lot

An ordinary Nepalese family eats twice a day: morning and evening. At the same time, the portions are huge so that the feeling of satiety does not leave as long as possible. The diet is monotonous and consists of daily curried rice with vegetables, lentil stew and wheat tortillas.

The appearance of meat or fish on the table is a whole event, it is expensive! At the same time, the caste division of society extends to food: noble types of meat, such as lamb and goat meat, can only be consumed by brahmins, and the lower castes are content with buffalo meat and poultry.

They throw garbage on the streets, but they always wash their hands before eating

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Walking around Kathmandu, it is easy to stumble upon a landfill, which is almost the whole area. People live among this rubbish, go about their usual business, stepping over heaps of rags. Children are running, women are working – in general, everything goes on as usual.

There are very clean families, but in general, the attitude of the Nepalese to urban cleanliness is indifferent. Nevertheless, everyone follows the rules of hygiene before eating. If only because they eat with their hands, without cutlery. True, in a cafe they still give a fork and a spoon, and in every family they also have them, they just are not served on the table.

Here Wi-Fi catches only on holidays

“Constant uninterrupted supply of electricity in Nepal” – sounds like a slogan from the realm of fantasy. Even in good hostels, electricity is supplied only in the morning and in the evening for a few hours. During the rest of the day, people either sleep or are saved by light from dim lamps. If your work is connected with the Internet, then be sure to get a local SIM card with 3G.

Their women are movers, lumberjacks and bootleggers

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A frail elderly woman lifting heavy baskets of timber uphill is normal in Nepal. The spouse walks behind lightly and does not feel pangs of conscience – this is also normal.

Women’s labor is indispensable at construction sites: Nepalese workers carry stones, chop rubble, dig trenches. Another type of professional activity is bootlegging.

Clandestine traders (and never traders) in alcohol every morning rise high in the foothills, and then go down with the goods down, in danger of collision with the police. Upstairs there are villages where moonshine is brewed. In mountain villages, all cargo work is performed by women: they pull plows, raise baskets, chop wood.

They are not gentlemen

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Hence the logical conclusion: do not expect gentlemen from a Nepalese in our understanding of the word – you will have to carry your own backpack or suitcase.

Men in Nepal tend to do more serious things: drive cars, organize some kind of small business, or prefer to work in a company (this is not easy). There is permanent unemployment in Nepal, so every person, regardless of gender, enjoys any way of earning money.

They have special gestures

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The sense of personal space among the Nepalese is very developed, and touching a Nepalese, especially his head, is unacceptable (this applies to all Buddhists).

However, there are exceptions. So, as an apology, you can lightly touch the hand of the offended, and then touch your head. The habitual gesture of approval – thumbs up – can seem indecent here, so be careful in expressing your emotions.

To better understand the Nepalese, you should also know that a nod of your head while shrugging your shoulders means “yes”, and the palms folded in a boat in front of the chest or at the forehead is “namaste” (translated as “I welcome God in you”). This gesture is almost universal – it is used as a greeting, goodbye, thanksgiving.

They have disgusting roads

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The predominant mode of transport in Kathmandu is a motorcycle or scooter – only they are able to overcome narrow, broken streets with zigzag turns. It is better to ride a jeep or a powerful motorcycle along the serpentines of the countryside, but in fact, even prehistoric buses – typical representatives of Nepalese public transport – ride here. They are filled not only inside, but also outside. To save money, many passengers prefer to travel on rooftops.

They are friendly and welcoming

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Nepal is a rather isolated country, and most of the inhabitants are completely unfamiliar with the structure of life in the rest of the world. They will be delighted to know where you are from, what you do, what your relatives and colleagues are doing.

Do not be surprised if the owner of the establishment silently puts an addition of rice on your plate at a local café (even if you did not order rice at all). In this case, it is not worth offering a surcharge for an extra portion, you can offend the person for whom this rice is a gesture of disinterested concern.


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