Nepali : Language, Currency, People, Castes, Occupation, Celebrities

Nepali : Language, Currency, People, Castes, Occupation, Celebrities


Nepal is home to roughly 29 million Nepalese with 49.6% of the total population being men and 50.4% being women. There are over 40 different races and tribes in Nepal, each tribe having their own language, culture, and tradition. Nepal is a country situated between china and India. This leads to Nepal having a diverse topography ranging from the Himalayan alpine climate in the north to the tropical/ subtropical climate in the south. Because of the diverse topography and climatic regions, the people in Nepal are also different in terms of looks, lifestyle as well as their tradition.

According to statistics, only 4.4% of the population is estimated to be more than 65 years old, comprising 681,252 females and 597,628 males with 61% of the population being between 15 to 64 years of age, and 34.6% being younger than 14 years. The birth rate is estimated to be approximately 22.17 births/1,000 population with a child mortality rate of 44.54 deaths per 1000 live births with average life expectancy being 67.44 years for females and 64.94 years for males.

Nepali Nepalese people picture in a festival
Nepalese people in a festival

Himalayan or Parbat

In high Himalayan region, Tibetan origin people can be found whereas in lowlands to mid hill Indo-Aryan origin groups are found. The Himalayan region contains settlements of Tibetan-speaking groups of Sherpa, Tibetan origin Gurung of Manang, Mustang and Dolpo region and Thakali of Mustang’s high plain.


Sherpas are the people who belong to Nepal’s Himalayan region who are known for their excellent climbing abilities. They usually earn their living by guiding tourists, and other mountaineers and herding yaks. Most Sherpa people live in Nepal’s eastern regions of Nepal however, some of them are also found farther west in the Rolwaling valley and in the Helambu region north of Kathmandu.

The oldest Sherpa village in Nepal is called Tengboche. According to research, the Sherpa were nomadic tribe who first settled in the Solukhumbu District also known as Khumbu of Nepal. They later moved westward along salt trade routes. Sherpas are famous all over the world for their climbing abilities and helping foreigners to scale mountains. It was also the sherpas who helped Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay to scale the mount Everest for the first time.


Dolpo is a place in Nepal surrounded by the Dhaulagiri range and almost ninety percent of this region lies above 3500 meters. The population of Dolpo is less than five thousand people, making it one of the least populated areas of Nepal.  Dolpo people also live within the Dhawalagiri Zone, west of the Loba people.


Larke is the northern most part of Nepal’s Gorkha district while Siar is the northern part of the Dhading district. These people mainly speak the Tibetan and Gurung languages and have the ethnic affinity with Gurungs.


The people of Manang are called Manang Bas. They have their own language and scripts and maintain their own local religious practice with 12 villages called Bara Gaule Baragaun.

Hilly or pahad region

The people who live in the Hilly region are Brahmin, Chhetri, Rai, Limbu, Tamang etc. Newars are the highest in number in this region. In the mid hill mostly settled Rai, Limbu, Tamang, Magar, Sunwar, Gurung and Chepang groups as well as other mongoloid groups live in this areas. The Brahmans, Chhetris, Newars and Thakuris and different occupational groups Kami, Damai Sarki, Gaine are spread generally over most parts of the country. In towns Newar, Marbadi, Punjabi, Brahaman, Kshetri and other mixed groups are also settled. The groups of Rai, Limbu, Gurung, Magar are popular as Gurkha soldier in the world.


Chhetris are believed to be from the present day Khasa people from Khasi. These people follow Hinduism as their main religion and socially they have many sects.Their language, khas-kura (Nepali) which had evolved out of Sanskrit t, was later introduced as the state language other King Prithivi Narayan Shah conquered the Kathmandu Valley in 1778.


Newars are believed to be the first settlement of Kathmandu Valley and are also settled in major trading centers throughout the kingdom. The Newars, who have been divided into 64 occupational groups by King Sthiti Malla, are a unique testimony of the richness of Nepali Cultural heritages.They have complex social systems an and practices and are comprised of many castes.

Unlike other castes of Nepal such as brahmans and chhetris, who have specific roles such as brahmans being responsible for carrying out religious festivals and chhetris being known as rulers or army men, newars do not have any specific roles. Since newars were the inhabitants of Kathmandu valley, before Nepal was unified, newars are already an established community. Newars as a whole do not have any specific caste role but they have roles within the newari community, such as Mallas being rulers and so on so forth.


According to Baburam Acharya, they came to Nepal in about 700 B.C. and ruled over it. Kirati people are well known for their courage and bravery and are often recruited into armies abroad like the more famous Gurkhas.


Tamangs are the people found in the Himalayan and hilly regions of Nepal as well as in India. Their ancestral land is known as the Tamsaling. The word Tamang is derived from Tibetan language, Ta meaning Horse and Mang, meaning Soldier. According to the recent census, the Tamang population is estimated to be roughly around one million three hundred thousand. However, experts suggest that this may not be true since a handful of Tamangs wrote changed it to Lama to liberate themselves from the shudra caste and it’s limitations. The major places where tamangs are settled are Kavre palanchowk, Nuwakot, Dhading, Rasuwa, Ramechhap, Sindhupalchowk, Makwanpur, and Dolakh.


The Magar people are found in the hilly region of Nepal in places like Palpa, Gulmi, Rolpa, and Rukum. Magar people look similar to the Tamang with physical features such as small and slanted eyes.


The Thakali people are found in the Upper Gandaki region, Lete, Ghasa villages and the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. The houses they live in are designed in a Tibetan style of architecture, made of slippery stones usually slate (a stone having thin layers which can also be sliced) with flat roofs and of having a rectangular or a square hs shape. Thakalis are known for being extremely clean. Even their houses are big, spacious and very sanitary. In places such as the villages of Lete and Ghasa, where it is relatively much hotter and also more humid, they build sheds or temporary huts for the rainy season.

Terai or subtropic



Rajputs are like the brahmins of the terai region being in the top tiers of the caste system. According to belief, the Rana who ruled Nepal for 104 years were also Rajputs from India who had settled in Nepal.


The Tharu people are found in the terai region of Nepal, in places like the Khairahani-Persa in Chitwan and also in Uttarakhand and Lucknow in India. In Nepal, there are about 1,676,000 Tharu people in Nepal and 2,131,000 in the world(Nepal and India). According to a recent census, around eighty-seven percent of the Tharu community are Hindus and the remaining thirteen percent are Buddhists.


Rajbanshis are a caste in the terai region that follow both Hindu and Muslims religions, but they also have their own local practices. Farming is their major occupation. They are found in  far eastern Terai areas of Jhapa and Morang

Author: Jitendra Sahayogee

I am Jitendra Sahayogee, a writer of 12 Nepali literature books, film director of Maithili film & Nepali short movies, photographer, founder of media house, designer of websites and editor of some blogs, has expert knowledge & experiences of Nepalese society, culture, tourist places, travels, business, literature, movies, festivals, celebrations.

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