The Religious way of Life
Religion is an integral and deep rooted part of Nepalese life, temples, monasteries, shrines, holy images and sacred paintings are seen almost everywhere. A majority of people in Nepal are Hindus, but Buddhism also has an important place in this country as the second most important religion because of the sizeable number of its devotees. Equally important, Hinduism and Buddhism are closely intertwined in Nepal, and it would take a lifetime to study and understand the complexities of the country's religious life.
Some do's and don'ts:
The Nepalese people are friendly and hospitable by nature. Therefore, visitors in general will have no difficulty in making adjustment. At the same time, one may be perplexed regarding some customs, traditions and manners as it usually happens in any unfamiliar society.
Nepal, like any other country, has its own traditional ways to regulating life though it might be different in degrees to each individual visitor. In any case, the visitors are encouraged to observe and seethe ways of Nepalese people and share their experiences with them. It is in this spirit of understanding practical guidelines that could help make your stay delightful and rewarding in Nepal is given below:
- In some temples, entrance may e prohibited for non- Hindus
- Leather articles are prohibited inside temple precincts.
- It is better not to touch offerings or person when they are on way to shrines.
- Beef is strictly prohibited among both Hindus and Buddhists. No female animal is slaughtered for food in Nepal.
- Walking among temple and stupas is traditionally done clockwise.
- It is better to ask before photographing places and people.
Since the majority of our people live in rural areas, their outlook to life is simple and traditional. Infact, they take special delight in the company of foreign visitors, but there are certain things that are alien or embarrassing to Nepalese people. Therefore, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Additional important tips:
- It is better to be decently clad when visiting any place. Sun and beachwear is not proper when roaming around. Briefs, shorts, bare shoulders and backs also may not be appreciated. However, one need not be stiff and overdressed but comfortably and decently attired.
- Do not be offended if Nepalese lady hesitates to shake hands. In Nepal people, especially women, do not normally shake hands when they greet one another, but instead press palms togather in a prayer-like gesture known as "Namaste".
- Public display of affection between man and woman is gazed upon. Do not do something that totally alien to the Nepalese.
- We are hard on drug abuse. Trafficking and possession of drugs are taken as serious offence.
- Charity breeds betters, and does not solve their basic problem. Therefore, do not encourage begging.
- Beware of touts who claim to be representing companies and offer to take you bargain hunting.
- Use hotel safety lockers for your valuables. Don't leave cash and other valuable things lying around the room.
- Table manners in Nepal are quite different. from those at home. In typical and traditional Nepali houses, plates, knives, forks and spoons maybe absent from the dinner table. While eating, Nepalese people use their right hand. This does not mean, however, that the guests are not to use forks and spoons.
- Any food or utensils touched by used knife or spoon or finger or lips or into which spitted has fallen as considered "Jutho" which means "contaminated". It would humiliate a person if such food were offered to him or her. Nor such dish containing such food be used again without is being properly washed.