Cultural do’s and don’ts in Nepal
Nepal is a multi-cultural nation. Here, people value their culture and customs more. Some of their customs you will find interesting, some strange and others beyond scientific logic. The below list is some cultural do’s and don’ts in Nepal.
- “Namaste” is a common act done by putting the palms together in a prayer like gesture to greet anyone in Nepal.
- Do not take it seriously if any Nepalese hesitates to shake hands because it really hasn’t been very long since western traditions crept into the Nepalese way of life.
- Major Hindu temples are usually off-limits to foreigners. Don’t enter them unless given permission to. Do not take leather articles inside the temple area as they are prohibited.
- Also there will be small circular or rectangular stones or metal mandala on the ground in front of most shrines. Do not step on them.
- Use your right hand to eat and deal with food. Nepalese use their left-hand to wash themselves after defecating.
- Also remember that most Nepalese use their fingers to eat and using spoons and forks is not common, especially when you are having “Daal Bhat” the staple Nepalese diet.
- Once your lips have touched a food item or its container, it is considered Jutho (polluted) for others. Don’t eat off someone else’s plate or offer anyone food you have taken a bite out of.
- Men should not walk/trek around bare-chested. Shorts are acceptable, but long pants are better. Women are recommended to wear long skirts. Exposure of women’s legs can bring unnecessary, so avoid wearing shorts and short skirts.
- Public display of affection between man and woman is frowned upon. Kissing, cuddling, hugging in public is absolutely discouraged.
- Time in Nepal moves very slowly. Everything is approximate. Nothing happens on time. Be patient. Anger and impatience will rarely make things better, if not worse.
- Bargaining is very common in Nepal. You would often need to bargain while shopping and riding cabs in Nepal.
- Never eat beef in front of Hindus & Buddhist because beef is strictly prohibited among both Hindus and Buddhists. Cows are sacred in Nepal.
- Remove your shoes when entering a home, temple or monastery and avoid smoking and wearing scant dress in religious settings.
- Do walk around temples/ stupas clockwise (from left hand side).
- Do get a receipt of authenticity when purchasing an antique replica, otherwise, you will not be allowed to take it out of the country.
- And don’t buy ivory or fur from endangered species, your purchases encourage the trade in such illegal goods, and you won’t be allowed to bring them back home anyway.
- Don’t give in to children who ask for just one rupee. Although a rupee is a small amount that anyone can spare, successful begging leads young children to drop out of school and take up panhandling as their trade. If you want to help, give to a trustworthy charity or a school.
- Don’t take photographs of locals, holy shrines & temples unless they have clearly given their consent.