Home > Food & Culture > Prevent Culture Shock! Six Things You Should Know About Nepal Culture and Etiquette
Three Monkeys sitting with shocked expression.

Prevent Culture Shock! Six Things You Should Know About Nepal Culture and Etiquette

Time to learn some culture!

— Nepal is a multi-culture and multi-ethnic nation – with more than 100 different castes & ethnicities – speaking their own language.

Here are some norms and etiquette which you normally do in your home country – But is unacceptable here.

 

Read along because you don’t want to end up in Jail for kissing your spouse in the public. (unlikely in Jail – but Nepalese feel uncomfortable)

1. Public Affection – Ummmaah

Foreigner Couples Kissing in Public
In Nepal – Everyone will be staring awkwardly toward you!

Showing Public affection is taken as extremely immoral act. Even married Nepali husband and wife seldom express affection in public. – So guys! control you kiss, hug and other …. – there is a special place for these things.

You will be shocked with all the attention and (some curse, swear words, :D) people turning eyes. Just keep it private.

2. Bathing with clothes on

Image Not Available Image
Private! – Image of Bathing not Available.

For Beautiful girls – Bikini bathing is not permitted – the culture is too conservative (but feel free to bathe with clothes on in Public – think of it as getting wet in rain, except there is no rain and you have a soap & whatever you do in Private doesn’t matter). To show flesh is like dropping a bomb.

Men wear shorts while bathing and women wear LUNGI (covers most of the body).

3. COW is not a BEEF

Gai Puja - Women worshiping a cow according to the Culture of Nepal

The cow is a sacred and national animal of Nepal. They are worshipped and represents Messenger of Goddess Laxmi – she is highly respected Goddess of Hindu culture.

Some people in the Himalayas still don’t know what a Beef is. They never thought of eating Cows as meat – because of culture.

However, you can order imported BEEF in the supermarket of Thamel. If you want to eat.

4. The Left-Hand theory

Left hand Image

The Left-Hand theory (i invented it) –  is the most important theory.

Nepali houses and hotels have squat toilets. They use left hand and water to perform the task of toileting. And that is why you need to understand this theory.

Finding toilet rolls in some trekking routes is hard – better get used to water and hand.

 

Here are some basic rules.

Never use your left hand to give or take things, it is taken as an insult. – It is shocking, right?

After eating with hand – wash your right hand without the left hand touching it – it can be done.

And always – really mean it, always eat with right hand.

5. Jutho!! – What?!

Male and Female Drinking water
Now, that bottle in JUTHO. – A perfect Demonstration.

There is this culture – deeply engraved in the Nepali community.

It is called the ‘Jutho’ – when you touch something with your saliva or mouth – be it directly or indirectly. The thing becomes ‘jutho’ or Impure. Only you can eat – if it’s an edible substance.

It will be shocking for you to experience the moment – when your Nepali friend won’t drink the water – from the same bottle you just used.  

Practice drinking water without touching your lips, If you want to share your water bottle.

6. Grand Gestures!!!

Buddhist Monk in the Middle and his Followers bowing for him as a sign of Grand Gesture and Respect.

Let’s say you are very impressed with someone’s courtesy and you want to thank him/her with the best gesture in a way they will understand – in a way their culture has taught them.

You can follow following tips to demonstrate your satisfaction in a best possible way.

When giving tips, money or any gifts; use your right hand to give them while your left hand touching the wrist of the right hand. This conveys profound respect for the receiver.

‘Dhanyabad’ is translated to ‘thank you’, but the meaning in Nepali is very deep. This is something you tell when you are intensely touched by the service and you want to thank them from the bottom of your heart.

These cultural beliefs are simple in a sense but they mean heaven and earth to the Nepali’s.

 

Please! share the information with your near and dear ones. Because sharing is caring.

Namaste!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Do you Need Help Planning your trip?Contact us here!
+