Dos & Don’t
Nepal’s diversity in traditions and ethnic groups are the cultural assets of this country. Many of Nepal’s cultural practices and traditions may appear unusual to people on their first visit to the country. It is always helpful to get yourself acquainted with the basic cultural practices that will help you get along well during your stay in the country. There are things that you should keep in mind to easily blend with the Nepali people and some other things that you should keep yourself from doing as a respect to Nepal’s culture and beliefs. Here are some things to pay attention to:
- Namaste is the form of greeting in Nepal, it is analogous to shaking hands in the western world. When you are greeted with a Namaste, try to return it with the same. Or it would be even better if you become the first to greet with a Namaste.
- If you are to enter any Temple, Stupas or Nepali homes, make sure to remove your shoes before your enter.
- You should respect people’s privacy while taking photographs. Also, many temples have strict rules against bringing cameras to the temple; make sure you ask of such rules beforehand. If you need to take photographs of people that may kindle your interest, only do so after taking their permissions. For instance, many foreigners love to take pictures of Babajis. Its OK to take pictures with their consent.
- Make sure you don’t hamper the environment or contribute to environmental pollution in any way. Burn or dispose of your wastes in a proper way. If you are to use public water sources, use with utmost care without polluting them.
- In many places, you may encounter beggars may soliciting alms. Cheap charity doesn’t solve their problem but instead encourages them. So, don’t be too benevolent to them.
- Take genuine interest in learning about the culture and meeting local people. Respect their culture and try your best to blend with them.
- Respect the local traditions, culture and sentiments of the people. Your respect towards their culture will earn you even more respect.
- Do not touch anything of religious or cultural value with your feet as it is considered as an unholy practice in Nepali culture.
- Do not wear clothes that expose too much of your body. Although Nepali society has become fairly open to western styled clothing, many societies are still not used to accepting such costumes.
- Plants should be left to flourish in their natural environment.
- It is better not to touch the persons when they are on the way to temple.