Explore Himalayas

What you can Do & Do not in Nepal

What to Do & Do not in Nepal?
Tourists coming to Nepal are naturally from different societies, different geographical locations, different culture, different political environment, different religions, different ethnic background etc. They are not familiar with our customs and traditions. In such a context, whenever they enter our society, they may find many things unfamiliar or unacceptable. The things and behaviors that are all right to us may be peculiar to them or vice versa. So you are expected to inform them about the society they are visiting.
*In oriental countries, especially Nepali people will not let you know of their displeasure. They are a more reserved type of people. Their disliking are expressed as disliking, contact, willingness to serve and honor. By respecting the Nepali people and their customs in positive ways will get you more respect in return.
*Nepal is a complex social mosaic, with Hindu and Buddhist traditions overlapping Animist and Shamanistic beliefs. Their respect to each other and acceptance of co-existence has knitted the social fabric together throughout the centuries. Do not try to divide, separate and differentiate them. You need only to observe what Nepalese around you are doing and act accordingly.
*The dress code for men is as important as that for women. It is advised to wear socially accepted dress. It should not give cultural shock to the host society.
*"Why do you rob banks willy? That's where the money is"Do not expose and show-off your prosperity. Do not display large sums of money. Carry only the equipment you except to use.
*Lock your bags, whenever possible. Try to have all your belongings inside your pack and keep the pockets done up with small items buried inside the luggage. Do not let people get tempted.
*Do not leave bags and belonging in crowded areas. Be watchful.
Other Concerns
*Treat your porters with respect. Make sure that they are well equipped and with sufficient food.
*Trekkers often like to relax in Hot Springs or swim in rivers or lakes. While doing so, women should not bare their breasts. Men may go bare-chested while swimming or bathing, but not at other times.
*There are many good locally made craft items in certain areas. Purchasing these at the going prices is certainly beneficial to the local economy.
*Do not give money or items to the people who have not done special favors to you.
*Respect people's desire not to be photographed.
*The freely available marijuana and hasis attract some foreigners. The plant grows as weed.Buying and selling and consumption of such items is illegal. So be discreet in the use of marijuana.
*One should not accept as gifts or buy objects or art, manuscripts, images etc., which have antique value. These need to stay here for future visitors. Whether something is antique or not can be established by the Department of Archeology.
*Entry to most temples is restricted to foreigners. So,you should confirm with local people and watch signboards.
Bargaining is almost 'universal'in Asia.It is like a game.You are expected to bargain but not at the cost of friendship.
*Once a price is agreed upon,it is "fixed".
*Bargaining takes time.So be leisurely and relaxed.
*Calculate the monetary value of the amount in dispute.Sometimes it may just be few cents and worth the haggle for something.
*Prices of certain items are fixed,such as food,and bargaining is not appropriate.
*Nepalies are concerned about ritual pollution of food when it is touched by an outsider.As a foreigner,you are an outsider.Thus,do not touch any cooked food though it is usually all right to handle uncooked food such as fruit and raw vegetables.
*While drinking from a container avoid touching your lip to it;pour the liquid into your mouth.
*Wait for food to be served to you rather than helping yourself.
*Do not give leftovers to the hosts,even though it may be rare delicacies.Do not offer anything from your plate if you have taken a bite.This is "Jutho"-contaminated for others-if any food is touched by the lips,the food,glass,bottle,entire plate si contaminated.The utensils must be washed before anyone else uses them.All leftovers food or drink must either be thrown away or fed to animals.Hence,do not accept more than you can eat.
*Do not touch food with your left hand.Give and eceive items wiht your right hand.To receive to two hands is to show respect.
*The fire and hearth are considered sacred.Thus,do not throw any refuse into a hearth.
*Shoes are considered as most degrading objects,so keep them on the floor or ground.Shoes,especially leather ones should always be removed before entering any kind of temple,gompa or monastery and before entering a Nepali home.If you are in doubt,follow the example of your host.Do nto touch anyone with your shoes.The greatest insult is to kick him or her with your shoes.
*The head of an adult Nepali is the mos sacred or ritually clean part of the body.You should never touch it.Similarly,do not touch any one wiht your left hand.
*While sitting do not point the sole of your feet at any one.
*Nepalese do not step over your legs and feet.Be sure to draw them up to make a path for anyone coming or going.The same way,do not step over anybody.
*Gurada,lions or lotus carved stones on the pavement or slightly recessed square pit usually marks the front of the shrines or the image of the carriers of the deity may be seen.These define the territory of the shrine.
*Leather products such as belts,jackets,shoe and bags are prohibited in most religious places.please leave them outside.
*While travelling,you may pass Buddhist mani-walls,stupas,chorten,temples or religious places or objects.keep them on your right as a sign of respect.
Begging and Dealing with Children
*Trekkers may sometimes encounter beggars. There are few traditional beggars such as Gaine-a special cast or group of families who travel around singing and begging; Sadhus or holy men-who have left families,personal properties and materialistic attachments.They travel and beg as part of their life style.Note the actions of the Nepali around you when deciding whether to give and how much to give.
*Nepalese have had good dental hygiene in the past due to low consumption of sugar.Do not work against this by giving candy.
*Do not encourage smoking by handing out cigarettes,especially to children.
*Do not encourage children to beg.Help the Nepalese to maintain their self-respect.