A small nation squeezed between the Indian and Chinese language borders, Nepal with its 30 million folks is a tremendously multi-ethnic society with over 100 ethnic teams and 92 totally different languages.
It’s as fascinating because it sounds, however what struck me probably the most throughout my go to final April is the next attention-grabbing cultural information .
7 Shocking Cultural Details About Nepal
1) The Swastika and David Star: Do not get shocked when you see them collectively
As I used to be strolling in one of many aspect streets in Kathmandu, I used to be astonished to see the Swastika crafted on the gate of tiny little temple along with the Star of David. It intrigued me for just a few days after, as I stored seeing it continuously throughout town, until I made a decision to ask a neighborhood.
And it turned out that each are … purely Hindu symbols!
The Swastika is a really sacred image in Hinduism representing auspiciousness. As for the David Star or Hexagram, it represents the emergence of the female and male, with the upward triangle representing Shiva (the masculine aspect of God) and the downward triangle representing Shakti (its female aspect).
2) The Sand Mandala: A reminder that nothing lasts without end
Whereas in Nepal, you’ll come throughout mandalas displayed in each nook of the nation: i outlets, eating places, streets, Mandalas are probably the most stunning colourful geometrical designs your eyes would ever see. Often printed on fabric or paper, the Mandala is a non secular image of each Hinduism and Buddhism used for meditation. Its circle form is available in totally different colours, with meticulously painted patterns and symbols.
However what was so distinctive to Nepal is the Tibetan Sand Mandala. Constructing one Sand Mandala requires a workforce work of a number of monks and it takes a number of weeks to assemble as a result of its sophisticated and detailed construction. After its completion, the Sand Mandala is utilized by Tibetan Buddhists for a one time meditation, solely to be completely destructed straight after . Its destruction is a symbolic technique to commemorate the Buddhist highest worth of “detachment” and the ephemerality of life and the world.
3) The Dhal Tub: An all day meal
The Nepali delicacies doesn’t have a lot varieties, however the nation’s conventional dish, the Dhal Tub, is a lot filled with flavors, spices and above all, very fulfilling and wholesome. What was stunning is that each one Nepalese eat this quiet heavy meal at the very least twice a day typically even 3 times. The Dhal Tub comes on a tray with 5 small bowls containing lentils, cooked greens (or rooster), curry paneer (a Nepali cheese), steamed spinach, chili sauce, pickles and a big bowl of rice within the center. It’s eaten primarily round 10 am, then once more round 5pm.
Nepalese should eat utilizing their proper hand, as it’s thought-about gross and culturally disrespectful to the touch meals with the left hand. The explanation? … That is the hand reserved for cleansing within the enjoyable room, to place it properly 🙂
4) The Yr 2072: Dwelling sooner or later
One specific store caught my consideration as I used to be wandering within the slim streets of Kathmandu. It learn “established in 2051”. At first I believed it was perhaps my eyes that could not see, or a joke!… However no! A number of days later as I continued my journey to go to the attractive metropolis of Pokhara, a celebratory environment was taken over the streets. The large day got here!
It turned to be the Nepali New Yr’s Eve, in April! Celebrating the start of the 12 months 2072.
Nepal makes use of Lunar months and Photo voltaic sidereal 12 months, therefore they ended up 57 years past us.
5) The Stupa: The 13 phases to enlightenment
The Stupa is a geometrical building that stands in lots of squares throughout Nepal. The largest and most sacred of all of them for Buddhists are present in Bouddhanath and Swayambunath (a should go to though partialy destroyed after the earthquake).
The Stupa consists of a dome that symbolizes the Universe, with a cubical building over it on which the Buddha eyes are painted on the 4 sides. The entire thing is topped with pyramid like construction consisting of 13 pinnacles, that are believed to be the 13 totally different phases one has to undergo so as to attain enlightenment.
The 2 Buddha eyes represents knowledge and compassion, with a 3rd one painted in between radiating his mild to information these searching for enlightenment.
6) The Moon and the Solar: The world’s solely non-rectangular flag
The form of Nepal’s flag is probably the most distinctive on the earth. Not like others, it consists of two non-identical triangles symbolizing the Himalaya Mountains, together with the Moon on the primary half and the Solar on the opposite. There are numerous interpretations of those 2 symbols, the most typical is the moon representing the cool climate of the nation, whereas the solar the fierce resolve of its folks.
7) The Freak Road: The cradle of the Hippie motion?
Many foreigners who’ve been dwelling in Nepal for years would inform you that it is proper right here, on this slim road subsequent to Kathmandu Durbar Sq. referred to as Freak Sq., that the Hippie motion was born within the 60’s.
What is bound although, is that the Freak Road was the epicenter through the Hippie path in early 60’s with most of them dwelling there. At the moment hashish was legally offered by government-run outlets within the Freak Road, which made from it a sort of Hippie Nirvana.
Nepal remains to be one of many prime locations for bohemians, artists and hippies. And though hashish just isn’t legally offered anymore, you possibly can spot the plant in mountainous areas throughout the nation, and the hemp is extensively used to make sturdy baggage, slippers and bracelets, a should purchase particularly when in Pokhara.
The preferred locations to remain in Nepal embrace Kathmandu, Queenstown and Phokara.
Excited to discover the attention-grabbing Nepali tradition? Seek for flights now, and get reserving!