Religion plays an important role in Nepal, most Nepalese are Hindus, about 80 percent. This compares with nine percent Buddhists, about four percent Muslims and an estimated 1.4 percent Christians.
Nepali distinguish between pure and unclean. For example, food and materials that have been touched by someone else’s mouth are considered unclean. Feet and the left hand are also unclean. Therefore, please do not step over it or interpret it with your feet. An example here is to roll over his leg and to interpret it with the sole of the foot in another’s direction. This is considered very rude and must be avoided at all costs. Cow dung, on the other hand, is considered pure because cows in Nepal are sacred and also national animals. For this reason Nepali do not eat beef. Therefore you are not allowed to enter a temple with leather utensils! With private invitations you can see that Nepal’s cuisine blossoms in secret and is more varied than initially assumed. All Nepalese people have their own preferences. Thus, a “Newar” from the Kathmandu valley cannot imagine a life without “Chiura”, rice flakes, while a lowland inhabitant insists on his “Chapatis” or “Rotis”, smallbaked flat cakes. The Tibetan people in the mountains prefer “Tsampa” (“Dhindo”), nutritious roasted barley flour kneaded into dumplings with the famous butter tea. Yak meat, potatoes, noodle pots and “Momos”, large meat ravioli, which are offered fried as “Kothey”, served with a spicy-hot sauce, are also specialities. Nepalese drink mainly water and sweet tea with milk.
Nepali gestures represent an inverted world. In Nepal, shaking our heads, which we consider a no, means yes – so don’t let you get confused. Shorts and tank tops can be left at home on the trip to Nepal. Clothing should cover at least the shoulders and knees – better also the lower legs. Anything else is considered rude and offensive.
If you are already thinking, oh God, what do I have to pay attention to, please don’t panic! That is exactly why we at betterbackpacking also follow the clear concept that a country can simply be better discovered through the eyes of a local. Therefore you will be perfectly accompanied by our local guide Ganesh, who knows all these standards from an earl yage. After your return you will be a real professional in Nepal and travelling through this breathtaking country!