Nepal As Hub of Cultural Diversity
Nepal is a hub of cultural diversity. In Nepal, you can spot the variance in culture, lifestyle, religion, tradition, and language in such vast amount that you can see nowhere else on the planet. Unbelievable right? But, you know what is more unbelievable? There is not a single evidence of any fight or violence for culture, religion, or language in the whole history of Nepal. Yes, not a single drop of blood has been dropped on this holy land in the name of culture, religion or tradition.
This is why Nepal is truly a land of peace and exemplary county for all other countries in the world. The culture of Nepal is unique, yet fascinating in terms of diversity and what is even more fascinating is it's unity in diversity. Some culture, beliefs and traditions of Nepal are truly unique to the whole mankind. It's unique tradition of taking guest as an avatar of God, respecting elders, strictly abiding by the religious and ethical norms and many more can be sighted merely in Nepal. Nepal has a truly unique culture and tradition.
But, Nepal has been able to maintain unity in such diversity. The main reason for this is though every individual follows his own culture, tradition, speaks his own language, follows his own religion and believes his own God or Goddesses, all the individual are bounded by a common feeling of Nationhood and deep reverence towards the nation and a feeling of brotherhood or sisterhood towards other citizens. Such unity in diversity is truly unique to Nepal.
You will really be astonished with that weird sensation whenever you are travelling amidst other Nepalese people, a weird sensation of so-called 'Brotherhood' or 'Sisterhood'. This has been a positive externality of Nepalese culture to the whole world, or at least people travelling to Nepal. We fervently recommend you to have a trek in Nepal at first and you will yourself see the results. There is no need of a long essay about the culture of Nepal right here. As they say, "Good things are better experienced rather than talked about". So, the more you talk about Nepal, the less the number of words remaining in dictionary begins to get. And even at the end of the whole dictionary, you would have not talked much about Nepal.
Customs and traditions differ from one part of Nepal to another. A conglomeration lies in capital city kathmandu where cultures are blending to form a national identity. Kathmandu Valley has served as the country’s cultural metropolis since the unification of Nepal in the 18th Century. A prominent factor in a Nepali’s everyday life is religion. Adding color to the lives of Nepalis are festivals the year round which they celebrate with much pomp and joy. Food plays an important role in the celebration of these festivals.
Religion In Nepal
Nepal was declared a secular country by the Parliament on May 18, 2006. Religions practiced in Nepal are: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Jainism, Sikhism, Bon, ancestor worship and animism. The majority of Nepalis are either Hindus or Buddhism. The two have co-existed in harmony through centuries.
Buddha is widely worshipped by both Buddhists and Hindus of Nepal. The five Dhyani Buddhas; Vairochana, Akshobhaya, Rathasambhava, Amitabha and Amoghasiddhi, represent the five basic elements: earth, fire, water, air and ether.
Buddhist philosophy conceives these deities to be the manifestations of Sunya or absolute void. Mahakaala and Bajrayogini are Vajrayana Buddhist deities worshipped by Hindus as well.
Hindu Nepalis worship the ancient Vedic gods. Bramha the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer, are worshipped as the Supreme Hindu Trinity. People pray to the Shiva Linga or the phallic symbol of Lord Shiva in most Shiva temples. Shakti, the dynamic element in the female counterpart of Shiva, is highly revered and feared.
Mahadevi, Mahakali, Bhagabati, Ishwari are some of the names given. Kumari, the Virgin Goddess, also represents Shakti.Other popular deities are Ganesh for luck, Saraswati for knowledge, Lakshmi for wealth and Hanuman for protection. Krishna, believed to be the human incarnation of Lord Vishnu is also worshipped widely. Hindu holy scripts Bhagawat Gita, Ramayan and Mahabharat are widely read in Nepal. Vedas, Upanishads and other holy scriptures are read by well learned Brahmin Pundits during special occasions.
Customs in Nepal
The diversity in Nepal in terms of ethnicity again makes room for various sets of customs. Most of these customs go back to the Hindu, Buddhist or other religious traditions. Among them, the rules of marriage are particularly interesting. Traditional marriages call for deals arranged by parents after the boy or girl come of age.
Nepalis do not eat beef. There are several reasons for this, one being that the Hindus worship cow. Cow is also the national animal of Nepal. Another interesting concept among Nepalis is division of pure and impure. “Jutho” referring to food or material touched by another’s mouth directly or indirectly, is considered impure by Nepalis. Nepalis consider cow dung to be pure for cleansing purposes. During menstruation women are considered impure and hence, are kept in seclusion until their fourth day purification bath.Nepal is a patriarchal society. Men usually go out to work while women are homemakers. However, in cities, roles can differ. Most Nepalis abide by the caste system in living habits and marriage. Rural Nepal is mostly agrarian, while some aspects of urban life carry glitz and glamour of the ultra-modern world.
Foods in Nepal
Nepal does not have a distinct cooking style. However, food habits differ depending on the region. Nepali food has been influenced by Indian and Tibetan styles of cooking. Authentic Nepali taste is found in Newari and Thakai cuisines. Most Nepalis do not use cutlery but eat with their right hand.The regular Nepali meal is dal (lentil soup), bhat (boiled rice) and tarkari (curried vegetables), often accompanied by achar (pickle). Curried meat is very popular, but is saved for special occasions, as it is relatively more expensive. Momos (steamed or fried dumplings) deserve a mention as one of the most popular snack among Nepalis. Rotis (flat bread) and dhedo (boiled flour) also make meals in some homes.
So, please visit to Nepal and experience this amazing sensation by yourself rather than reading about it in our website or any other blog.