Features: Nepal

The more I travel, the less weird things I see in new countries. People eating insects as a snack or people who are proud of a “western toilet” in their hotels don’t seem strange any longer. But still, I hope that interesting features could be found everywhere and that every country could be called a unique one despite how many place I’ve seen.

So, this time I wanna share some interesting traditions of Nepal I’ve noticed while living here for the last 4 months.

Here we go,

• people bargain when buying airplane tickets in Nepal.

• There are numerous fat and glossy dogs on streets but almost no cats… Hm…

• People carry their loads on their heads. They have special baskets with a strap for that. Porters in Himalayas carry even western tourist’s backpacks in this way.

Girl with a basket on her head

• Nepalese flag is the only one on our planes which is not of a square shape.

• Nepalese time zone differs form the Universal time for 5 hours and 45 minutes (!!!) – GTM+5:45.

• There are kind of solar cells almost on every roof in touristic spots of Nepal.

Solar cells on the roof for water heating

• Roofs are pressed with stones to keep them on their place.

A roof pressed with stones

• Streets are often paved with bricks.

• Local buses are tiny. Like Nepali people. Tourists from the West always bump their heads against doorway or ceiling in them.

• When Nepali want something to be tasty, they add cardamom to that. Even pills covers have cardamom flavor here.

• They have no idea about baked food, so no ovens either.

• Food preparation in cafes and restaurants is a very long process. One hour is an average time to make a sandwich.

• Nepali would never touch a bottle or a jar by their lips when they drink.

• Nepalese cuisine is very spicy.

• They eat only with right hand.

• Almost everybody smokes. And seems that grannies in sari who spend hours sitting at the porches smoke most of all.

• But then Nepali don’t smoke in buses (what is so common in many Asian countries).

• There is no concept of warming up the houses even in mountain regions.

• Local way of warming yourself up at home: a table covered on sides with thick blankets and a pot with live coals under it.

• There are disposable tableware made of pressed leaves.

• Another type of local disposable cutlery is a special kind of pottery.

• The matches are made of paper in Nepal.

Matches made of paper

• There are several calendars in Nepal. But seems that almost none knows the starting points of any of them.

• It’s 2070 now according to the most widespread Nepali calendar.

• The starting point is rule of Emperor Vikramaditiya in 56 D.C.

• New year is celebrated in the middle of April.

• Almost all holidays are celebrated by moon calendar.

• Buddha Gautama was born in Nepal (Lumbini).

• Two of the oldest and biggest Stupas are located in Nepal.

• But still, Nepal is Hindu country, not Buddhist.

• A lot of people wear traditional clothes. Almost all women are in sari or sharovar-camis.

• Nepali kids are very calm and quiet.

• Drunken Nepali are not really violent but love to shout how much they hate people from the West. And there are tons of drunken Nepali in the evening of any holiday.

• There are labor troubles very often. And seems again that none knows why exactly. Strikes in Nepal is about not working. Nothing like meetings or demonstrations.

• Electricity is switched off in most part of Nepal on everyday basis for 10 hours or so. There is a schedule for different districts and cities. The schedule changes every month.

• You need a photo to get anything in Nepal. Even to buy a sim-card for your mobile phone.

• There are choice from “male”, “female” and “other” in sex column in any forms you have to fill for visa, permits, etc.

• I saw people reading a book just twice withing 4 months in Nepal. Both times that were math text books for secondary school and both times they were in English.

And if you haven't decided yet where to stay on your next trip - try AirBnb! You can rent a room or a house from locals and that's usually cheaper and cozier that staying in a hotel. Plus, $20 bonus for your fist stay is a nice bonus! Enjoy!