Travelling to Nepal means not only the new place, its a journey to new society with unique culture and tradition, food habits and way of living. Some acts and activities are commonly practiced in some part of world whereas same thing is unacceptable in other societies. Respecting native culture brings you close to locals and help understand their traditions in the mean time gives you respect in return. Here are some of the do’s and dont’s we recommend while travelling to Nepal.
Do’s and Don’ts in Nepal
Do not feel offended if a Nepalese woman hesitates to give you a hand. Especially women, but greet you with “Namaste”, a gesture reminiscent of a praying position, in which the two palms are placed together.
Public gestures of affection between man and woman is not common in Nepal. Therefore, avoid such affection in public.
Drug abuse and drug trafficking are strictly followed. Possession of drugs is a serious offense in Nepal and will be severely punished!
Alms create more beggars, but not solve the underlying problems! For these reasons, you should not encourage beggary. If you really want to do good, ask your tour leader/guide then and donate money to a school, an orphanage, or other means, but not to street beggars (even if ever so enterprising stories dish!)
Use the hotel safe for valuables. Do not leave money or valuables in the room are open.
Table manners in Nepal are quite different. In a typical Nepalese household there may be no plates, knives, forks or spoons on the table. The Nepalese use the right hand for eating. However, this does not mean that guests may not use forks or spoons.
Do not offer your left hand offer food your left hand. The left hand is considered in many countries as ‘unclean’.
Put off your shoes when entering homes, since these are considered “unclean”. Make sure that your feet do point to anyone.
All bodily secretion and products are considered polluted. A Nepali person will not step over your feet or legs. You should not touch people on the head nor should you touch or point your feet at people. This can be a grave insult. The left hand is also considered polluted; you should never offer it to someone. Normally Nepali people do not use toilet paper or tissues they find it unhygienic. In the toilet there will be water for washing your parts with. You should use your left hand only for this. Don?t expect to find toilet paper in private houses esp. in remote areas. Also you should note that in most hotels and restaurants toilet paper is provided but you should put it in the bin provided, not flush it down the toilet as this can block the plumbing.
Men and women
Physical contact between men and women should be avoided in public. Though you will notice that it is acceptable for boys and to hold hands etc and vise versa for girls. Don?t be surprised to see boys walking arm in arm and hugging. These things are signs of friendship and should not be taken any other way. You will never see Nepali men and women displaying signs of affection towards each other.
At The Temple
You should be especially sensitive about etiquette in places of worship. Dress conservatively and keep shoulders and knees covered. Always take off your shoes before entering. Beware that some Hindu temples do not allow non Hindus to enter. Also you should ask before taking photos of religious festivals, cremation grounds and the inside of the temples. If you are wearing leather belt you will be refused entry into the temple. Also you should note that cows are a sacred animal in Nepal and injuring or killing them is an offence. You will find cows roaming freely all over the place.