Culture of Nepal – Everythings You Need To Know About Nepalese Culture


Culture of Nepal: – Nepal is a country rich in terms of cultural diversity, with more than one hundred ethnic and caste groups. It is a multilingual country, where more than 92 languages are spoken.

The speakers of these languages have their own oral traditions and cultures, which have been handed down from generation to generation. The diverse natural environment has given seed to a plethora of living cultures which are unique to Nepal.

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Nepal is wondering all at once. This country is enough on itself. The culture and traditions are so rich that we can go on for generation with this wealth. I have visited a few countries and every time I see something; I feel like there is a missing part that our soul could not digest at all.

We need Nepal and we search for it no matter what. No matter how many times you munch into the chicken nuggets or any fancy, you crave in for Dal Bhaat Tarkari. And if you say no to this, then you are probably lying. Nepal is a small landlocked country which has an identity of its own.

The unique amalgamation of its culture and rituals will make you wonder what this small country can possess. No matter where ever you go and no matter how many abroad homes you fantasize about, your heart is where your home is and it is certainly here in Nepal.

The good thing here is, Culture and Values in Nepal run deep. Some of them you will find fascinating, some odd and others beyond sense. But as long as you show admiration and warmness to local civilization, willingness to learn and settle into Nepalese ways and values, you will be acceptable.

For people so intensely entrenched in traditions and culture, the Nepalese are unusually open-minded and easy-going. If at any time, you have worries, ask, or simply do what other Nepalese do. Nepal is sacred with one of the richest values in the world.

Culture has been named ‘the way of life for a whole society’. Every aspect of clothing life, food, and even professions are socially guided. The culture of Nepal includes the rituals, norms of behavior, codes of manners, dress, language, and schemes of belief.

To conclude, Nepal is a small country with a variety of things to see and experience. You should definitely come to Nepal and visit it!! And if you are already here, enjoy!

The dominant pre-literate Nepalese societies have expressed their reflections on their unique life experiences through various forms of folklore from time immemorial, notably through oral traditions.

The cultural practices of Nepal are essential of the Hindu and Buddhist derivation finding expression in the numerous rites and ritual, beliefs, social values, festivals, art and architecture of the land. These are all historical accretions of different ages, of different sources of origin, which make a fantastic spectacle to an out looker.

Culture has it another name practice, that the people are following from years handling from generation to generation. We can see a lot of diversity in those practices.

Importance of preserving our Culture

Culture is a defining characteristic of our identity and is not different for children and young people in our care. Culture helps children and young people see themselves and the groups with which they identify. Culture can be defined in general terms as the sum total of life forms embraced by groups of people.

These groups can be defined by race, ethnicity, economic class, language, disability, gender, sexual orientation, age, geography, immigration status, etc. Each cultural group has its own values, beliefs and ways of life. The observable aspects of culture, such as food, clothing, celebrations, communication, religion and language, are only a part of a person’s cultural identity.

The values, customs and shared histories that characterize culture shape the way a child thinks, behaves and sees the world. A shared cultural heritage unites the members of the group and creates a sense of identity and belonging through the acceptance of the community.

Nepal has been blessed with one of the richest cultures in the world. Culture has been known as “the way of life of an entire society”. The statement is particularly true in the case of Nepal, where all aspects of life, food, clothing and even occupations are culturally guided. The culture of Nepal includes the codes of manners, dress, language, rituals, norms of behavior and belief systems.

The unique combination of tradition and novelty is culture of Nepal. Traditions are continued as they were and new customs are created to keep pace with changing times. The culture in Nepal is a set of music, architecture, religion and literature. Nepal is multi-ethnic and multilingual country. The land is rich in unique cultural groups such as Tharu, Yadav, Ahir, Newars and others.

Hospitality in Nepal

The Nepalese are among the most hospitable hosts. This is the reason why tourists from all over enjoy coming to Nepal again and again. The local Nepalese are usually rural people who receive tourists in their homes for tea, coffee or dinner. The Nepalese are culturally warm, hospitable and affectionate hosts who put their hearts above their heads.

Nepal Dress

Daura-Suruwal, generally called “Labeda-Suruwal”, is the traditional Nepalese dress. The dress has several religious beliefs that identify their designs and, therefore, has remained the same for years. The Daura has eight strings that are used to tie around the body. Eight is the lucky number in Nepalese mythology. In addition, the Daura has five folds or Kallis, which means Pancha Buddha or Pancha Ratna. And the closed neck of the Daura means the serpent around the neck of Lord Shiva. The Nepalese dress for women is a cotton sari (Guniu) that is gaining great popularity in the world of fashion.

Rituals

The main rituals followed in Nepal are naming ceremony, rice feeding ceremony, tonsure ceremony, Nepali Sari surrender ceremony (Guniu), marriage ceremony and funeral rite. The rituals still prevail in society and are carried out with zeal. They have different roles in these rituals.

Cultural sites

Surprisingly, seven of the ten world heritage sites in Nepal are called cultural by UNESCO. Therefore, the stupas, the monasteries, the temples and the architecture are all representatives of the rich cultural heritage of Nepal.

The cultural world heritage sites of Nepal are Durbar Square in Kathmandu, Durbar Square in Patan, Durbar Square in Bhaktapur, Changu Narayan Temple, Swayambhunath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, Lumbini. The stupa of Bouddhanath.

Apart from the world heritage sites, there are other pilgrimage sites in Nepal that have great cultural significance. A tour of these places will familiarize you with the rich culture of Nepal. The cultural heritage is unique and irreplaceable, which places the responsibility of preservation in the current generation.

Smaller objects such as works of art and other cultural masterpieces are collected in museums and art galleries. Grassroots organizations and political groups, such as the international organization UNESCO, have managed to obtain the necessary support to preserve the heritage of many nations for the future.

Barah Chhetra, Halesi Mahadev, Janakpur, Pathibhara, Tengboche in eastern Nepal Manakaman, Gorkha, Lumbini, Muktinath, Gosainkunda, Tansen, Kathmandu Valley in central Nepal, Swargadwari, Khaptad Ashram in western Nepal are famous places of pilgrimage in Nepal.

The best way to preserve our cultural heritages, is to share it with others and repair it on time to time. The importance of preserving heritage, tradition and race The cultural heritage and natural history of a nation have a very high value and are unique. It is an identity that can be introduced to the world.

Cultural heritage affirms our identity as a people because it creates an integral framework for the preservation of cultural heritage that includes cultural sites, ancient buildings, monuments, sanctuaries and monuments that have cultural significance and historical value.

The culture and its heritage reflect and configure values, beliefs and aspirations, thus defining the national identity of a person. It is important to preserve our cultural heritage, because it maintains our integrity as a people.

As, culture defines our evolutionary identity by which it is so important. Culture helps us understand our ancestral values ​​and gives us the true meaning of life. It also makes us different from different parts of the world. When we are born in a particular region, we grow by learning our regional culture and society shapes our lives to become what we are today!

The traditional culture of a community keeps us together forever. The beliefs and laws established by the roots of our culture are significant and are for the betterment of our lives. Everything, from matrimonial traditions to religious beliefs, must be valued in any culture. Although times are changing now and “mixed cultures” are in vogue, the effort to not abandon regional cultures is constantly carried out.

It is very important to preserve our Nepalese culture, since it has many meanings;

1. Ancestry:

our cultures help us obtain valuable information about our ancestry. Cultural traditions are like the pages of a history book that should be read with interest. Human beings do not live for infinity, but their cultures remain for infinity. In order to study about our ancestors, cultures give us a gateway.

2. Self-realization:

when we study the roots of our cultures and follow them accordingly, we know each other much better. We can relate better to our origin and value ourselves more. Increase our self-esteem and dignity to follow our culture. It also makes us proud to belong to our own culture.

3. Evolutionary illumination:

knowing our culture thoroughly allows us to take a look at our evolution. Cultures originated in ancient times when human beings began to live as a community. Therefore, studying about our cultures and the whole world is extremely interesting and gives us some information about ancient times. This also gives us the required clarity against all our doubts.

4. Moral values:

following a culture infuses moral values in us. Each culture has its share of knowledge and beliefs that make us better human beings. It makes us responsible people who can coexist with each other in a harmonious society.

5. Discipline:

cultural traditions keep us disciplined. Each culture has certain norms and established laws, which if they are still lead to a peaceful existence. The rules were made for a reason and must be followed correctly. The neglect of cultural traditions is not wise and should not be maintained as an option.

6. Knowledge:

a detailed study of every aspect of our culture can give us a deep knowledge. Cultures never demand blind followers. Everything is well explained and accounted for in the story. Studying about them will make us more knowledgeable.

7. Compassion:

each culture teaches us to coexist with all other cultures of the world. Cultural teachings always point to peace. They teach us to live with compassion and respect for all, so that peace prevails.

8. Meaning of life:

cultures teach us the true meaning of life. Each phase of our life demands different actions and our culture teaches us that. As we grow older, our culture takes us by the hand and directs us to the right path.

9. Safeguard future generations:

cultural traditions were created by our experienced ancestors who wanted to transmit their valuable knowledge about life to all generations of humanity from now on, to facilitate their survival.

10. Responsibility:

Cultural traditions teach us to be a responsible person. A human being without culture and without law is just another animal. Our culture and our society make us the responsible entities that we are.

But nowadays, Nepali culture is being forgotten by the new generation. Our culture is our identity and we are forgetting our pride. We are forgetting our folk songs, national dresses, our games, our manners. Culture makes us rich and reflect who we are.

We are forgetting humanity and self-respect. We are degrading our cultural heritage which reflects our culture. So, to protect our identity and make us recognize who we are, it is very important for us to preserve our culture.

Our culture must be maintained as our heritage. Nothing and no one should be able to attack or destroy our cultural traditions. We should not forget that our cultures define our existence and make us who we are and we must be proud on our culture.

It must be passed on from generation to generation, as has been done up to now. Our cultural background should never disappear into oblivion and we have to make sure of that. A world without cultural diversity will not be as colorful as it is now.

But nowadays, Nepali culture is being forgotten by the new generation. Our culture is our identity and we are forgetting our pride. We are forgetting our folk songs, national dresses, our games, our manners. Culture makes us rich and reflect who we are.

We are forgetting humanity and self-respect. We are degrading our cultural heritage which reflects our culture. So, to protect our identity and make us recognize who we are, it is very important for us to preserve our culture.

Our culture must be maintained as our heritage. Nothing and no one should be able to attack or destroy our cultural traditions. We should not forget that our cultures define our existence and make us who we are and we must be proud on our culture.

It must be passed on from generation to generation, as has been done up to now. Our cultural background should never disappear into oblivion and we have to make sure of that. A world without cultural diversity will not be as colorful as it is now.

Popular Culture of Nepal

Food Culture of Nepal:-

Religious ethnic foods contain cultural aspects such as food items or ritualistic processes followed by certain religious groups. Every community has a distinct dietary culture that symbolizes its heritage and sociocultural aspects of its ethnicity.

Food prepared by various ethnic groups of people is unique and distinct due to the variation in preference of food, geographical location, environmental factors, and availability of plant or animal sources.

Food rules, customs belief and laws, religions, and social groupings are some of the characteristics contributing to the description and importance of culture. Food item of them is unique along with their festival.

Dal Bhat tarkari masu
Dal Bhat tarkari masu

Like “Dahi Chiura” in Ashar 15, “Khir” in Shrawan 15,  dairy and meat product in Dashain, sweet item in Dipawali, etc of Brahmin culture.

Furthermore, a number of calendrical feasts are named after the foods which are prescribed to be eaten at an instance, Ghyöcaku sanlu, Yomari punhi, Sakimila punhi, Ukhu care, Sanya duling, Lai-are, Duru cya cya yatra, Mala ja nakégu, Kai Sanlu,  Bya ja nakéguetc in Newari culture.

Similarly, alcohol is considered a symbol of spiritual purity in Newari culture, as well as Gurung, Tamang, Rai, Limbu, etc. Similarly Dhikar,  Bagiya, Chichar,  ghongi,  Jhingiyamachhari,  Khariyain Tharu community. Thakali set of food is famous and mostly preferred by the visitor and tourist. Similarly, there are much other food and flavor in practice with their culture.

Dances Culture of Nepal:-

Nepali dances can be categorized into two subgroups, i.e cultural dance and folk dance. Cultural dances are the dance that is practiced during cultural rituals.

Newari people has a number of cultural dances that depict the story of god and goddess, such type of dance are mainly practiced in the Jatras and festival. For example Kumari Dance, Manjushree Dance, Bajrayogini Dance, etc.  Similarly, folk dances include the informal dance which is the spirit of the Nepali culture.

Some of them are Tamang Selo by Tamang people, Juhari or Dohori, Chutki  This dance is generally practiced by Chhetris, Brahmins, Gurungs, and Magars. The Chhetris and Brahmins perform Chutki in the rhythmic beats of Khaijadi. The Gurungs and Magars use madal in the dance which is performed with full of speed and movement of the body.

DhanNach is the dance of Limbus. Young boys and girls hold each other from side to side swing their feet in the beat of Chyabrung. KaruaNach performed by the Magars and Tamangs in groups in which both women and women can be men or men women can perform this dance.

Balan Is performed by the Chhetris and Brahmins during religious ceremonies. Maruni Dance the most loved dances in Nepal. A male dancer performs as women wearing a long frock like dress where other members sing and make music.

A dhatuware is like a jester which accompanies the team. Bethi dance involves panch, Eb Aja. Similarly other folk dances are Sorathi Sakela dance, Tharu dance, Lakhe dance, Matrikastam dance, Jungwa dance, Mhendomaya dance, Sangini dance, Jhyaware dance, Deura dance, Khukuri Nach, Jhyaure dance, Tappa dance Sorathi dance, Yak and Yeti dance, Newari (Dhime) dance, Sherpa dance, Bhojpuri dance, Dhimal dance, That dance Ghatu dance, Khali dance, Jhijhiya dance, Chandi dance, Peacock dance, and they also bring the equal importance and amusement on practicing and watching.

Language

Nepali language Letter alphabet Ka
Nepali language Letter alphabet “Ka”

Nepal is a multi-lingual country, she is diversified in language. Nepali is the most practiced language of Nepal, but people also practice their mother tongue in between their communities. Language is the identity of every culture, different culture has a different language.

For eg. Tharu language for Tharu people, Bhojpuri, Maithili, Awadhi, etc are language practiced by the Madhesi brother, and so on. Nepal has adopted a new constitution, allowing future states to declare local mother tongues as official languages in their administrative areas.

The constitution visualizes a commission to recommend which mother tongues can be used as official languages. Hence Nepal is the land of a country of the home of a different language.

Festival Culture of Nepal:-

Dashain Tika Photos - Nepali Greatest festival Vijayadashami Picture - A Husband is putting Tika on His Wife forehead
Dashain Tika Photos – A Husband is putting Tika on His Wife’s forehead

There is a saying that every house in Nepal is a temple and every day are the day of the festival. There are many culture and caste in Nepal and along with they have a number of the cultural festival, hence there is an almost uncountable festival in Nepal.

Every Festival in Nepal is celebrated with equal joy and energy, that every day of the Nepalese is joyful. People of one culture also enjoy the festival of another culture in Nepal. Most famous festival in Nepal is Dashain, Tihar, Chhat, Uudhauli-Uuvauli, Loshar, Holi (the festival of color), Sivaratri, Jitiya, Ramjan, Id, Christmas, etc. There is cultural harmony in Nepal and people celebrate each other festival hence there is a brotherhood among Nepalese people.

Dressing Culture of Nepal : –

Dress depicts the cultural background of people. Commonly people wear light and easy dress like t-shirt, pant, shirt, jacket. but people have their own typical dress that symbolizes their culture.

People wear them on a special occasion like a festival, Jatras, public gathering, and celebration. People have their great attachment with their cultural dress. For example, in Brahmin and Chhetri, a man wears Daurasurwal, and women wear sari and choli.

Newar men wear Bhoto Surwal with Bhadgaule Topi or Dhaka Topi and women wear HakuPatasi with Patuki. Gurung men wear Ista-coat with each had and ghalek, and women wear sari blouse with their typical ornaments. Similarly, Tharu, Madhesi, Sherpa, etc people have had own typical dress with their geographic and cultural background.

Holy place: –

Pashupatinath Temple
Pashupatinath Temple

Land of Nepal is considered as the favorite of god and goddess according to the Hindu myth. According to that, god and goddess used to visit the land of Nepal for amusement. And those places are considered to be the holy place and people visit them with great respect.

According to Hindus holy book Ramayan, goddess Janaki (Sita) was born in the land of Nepal, and Janaki Mandir is the symbol and remembrance of her, and it’s the holy place of Hindus and all Nepalese people.

Similarly, Light of Asia, Lord Buddha was born in Nepal. His birthplace was Lumbini. Many stupas, Bouddha, and temple are there, and it’s a holy place for Buddhist people, and pilgrim tourist from the whole world visit there.

Similarly, Pashupatinath temple has great belief and is sacred land that many people from India, Srilanka, etc visit there with great belief. Muktinath is another holy place which is great holy and place of belief of people. It has been the destination of people as the purpose of visiting this Holy Land, as well to visit the beautiful locality.

There are thousands of temple, bouddha, gumba, masjid that God lives in each brick of each house, and they bring their equal importance in people heart and belief.

Fusion in Culture:

Another distinctive trait of Nepalese culture is its power of synthesis and assimilation. It has blended and harmonized even the most opposing philosophies reaching its territorial shores. Buddhist and Hindu have been fused in Nepal for many years.

There are scores of religious rites and festivals which at the popular level of practice by illiterate masses are devoid of any sectarian character. Divinities like Ganesa, Bhairava, Kumari, Saraswati, Vajrayogini, Mahakaalaa, Ajima are some of the divinities worshiped as much by Buddhist as by the Hindus.

There are many popular festivals in which the devout Hindu and Buddhist communities equally participate with the faith, co-operation and harmony. Such a festival is the chariot-dragging festival of Matsyendranath, who is understood and venerated by his different followers differently.

It is very curious to see depicted the many iconographic features of the Hindu god, Siva, in the representation of this Buddhist divinity in Nepal. Similarly, HalesiMahadev is the famous temple in Nepal, which is the holy place of both Buddhist and Hindus.

The priest from both groups is there, representing the cultural harmony of Nepal. Being in between India and China, Nepal has an intermediary position had definite bearings on its cultural activity throughout history.

The overall effect has been imbibing an amalgam of Tibetan and Indian cultural aspects in its lifestyle. An example of the extensive mix of the two culture is provided by the Newar, residents of the Kathmandu Valley.

In their cultural expressions such as ethnic makeup, their languages, sculptures, temples, their rituals, paintings, dances, and festivals, there is also an element of Tibetian influence in all of them.

Now let’s get it done with 100 cultural facts that will leave you in awe. Fasten your seat belt, because you are going for a soul ride. In the end please do not forget to like and share our contents.

If you have any constructive criticism, then please do write in to us. We will try and assure you that we will keep your suggestion in mind and we will try to come up with better contents. Till then, stay blessed.

100 Facts & Information About the Culture of Nepal

1. How peaceful and loving our country is. Nepal has never come across any ethnic or religious disputes and disturbances. Blood has not ever been dripped in the name of religion or whatsoever in the country.

2. we are living in a country where we have over 80 ethnic groups and the people here speak 123 different languages.

3. The people of Nepal here respect each other. That is why when they meet, they greet each other with their palms placed together. They bow their foreheads and say “Namaste” which literally means, “I salute the God in you.”

4. The last Hindu country in the world, Nepal was stated secular by its government in 2006. It still has the world’s highest percentage of Hindus among its people. Cows are very sacred and it is illegal to kill one in Nepal; it is their national animal as well.

5. Nepal has four belongings inscribed on the World Heritage List. Two are cultural: Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha (1997) and Kathmandu Valley (1979); and two are natural: Sagarmatha National Park (1979) and Chitwan National Park (1984).

6. Nepal’s national flag is the only one in the world that isn’t like other countries’, not a rectangle nor a square. It has two triangles; the top has a moon and the bottom has a sun. The triangles represent not only the Himalayas but Nepal’s two main religions-Hinduism and Buddhism.

Facts about Culture of Nepal

7. If you are a Nepali and you do not cave in for a plate of hot Momos– are you even one of us? So now you have guessed it- a popular and quickly made dish is the Momo. They are also called as dumplings filled with a variety of ingredients: meat, chicken, and/or vegetables (either fried or steamed) that are delightful and served with a dipping sauce.

8. Tasting a plate of momo has become a part of our culture and tradition.

9. We cannot miss out on this. The national dish and the dish that a typical Nepali asks for is Dal-bhat-tarkari, which means dal (lentils), bhat (rice), and a tarkari (vegetable). We Nepali never get tired of eating it every day. A typical meal could be a chicken gravy, salad (cucumber and carrot), rice, mustard greens, potatoes, ghee, black lentils, and mutton curry.

10. The Swastika and David Star: Don’t get surprised if you see them together. As you walk in the streets in Kathmandu, you will see the Swastika crafted on the gate of the tiny little temple together with the Star of David. It will fascinate you as these are purely Hindu symbols!

11. The Swastika is a very holy symbol in Hinduism representing auspiciousness. As for the David Star or Hexagram, it signifies the appearance of the male and female, with the upward triangle representing Shiva (the masculine side of God) and the downward triangle representing Shakti (its feminine side).

12. The Sand Mandala: A reminder that nothing lasts forever. While in Nepal, we will come across mandalas displayed in every corner of the country. Mandalas are one of the most beautiful colorful geometrical designs your eyes would ever see.

Facts about Culture of Nepal

13. Usually, it is printed on cloth or paper, the Mandala is a mystical symbol of both Hinduism and Buddhism used for contemplation. Its circle shape comes in different colors, with accurately painted patterns and symbols.

14. But the most unique to Nepal is the Tibetan Sand Mandala. Building one Sand Mandala needs teamwork of numerous monks and it takes several weeks to construct due to its difficult and detailed construction. After its completion, the Sand Mandala is used by Tibetan Buddhists for a one-time consideration, only to be totally destructed straight after. Its devastation is a symbolic way to honor the Buddhist highest value of “detachment” and the ephemerality of life and the world.

15. Treating people with love and respect is very traditional here in Nepal.

16. It is the result of the upbringing of Nepalese from generation to generation.

17. Children live with their parent’s whole life. Unlike western countries, children do no go away once they reach 18 years of age.

18. Girls are not permitted outside the house after 8 in the night. There are most of the parents who feel the place is not safe for girls.

19. The Year 2072: Living in the future. You will see that we Nepalese are living 57 years ahead of anyone in this world. You will experience Nepali’s New Year’s in April where people come together and enjoy this glorious day in Nepali calendar. Nepal uses Lunar months and Solar sidereal year hence ended up 57 years beyond anyone in this globe.

20. The Stupa: The thirteen stages to enlightenment. The Stupa is a geometrical construction that stands in many squares across Nepal. The biggest and most sacred of them all for Buddhists are found in Bouddhanath and Swayambunath (a must visit although partially destroyed after the earthquake).

Written by

Jitendra Sahayogee

I am Jitendra Sahayogee, a Writer of 12 Nepali Books, Director of Maithili films, Founder of Radio Stations, Designer of Websites and Editor of Some Nepali Blogs.

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