Saturday, 20 December 2014 19:00

8 Do's and Don'ts of Nepal you might want to know

Because of diverse ethnic groups and traditional beliefs, Nepal has numerous cultural practices that may appear unusual to a person on his/her first visit to the country. 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. Below are some common Do's and Don'ts which may be helpful to every one who wish to visit Nepal.


1. Food:

  • Once you touched food/drink with your mouth you cannot give a taste or leftovers to anyone else. 
  • Nepalese never touch food on a passing plate with the hand they are eating with Nepalese do not take food from another’s plate

2. Feet:

  • Nepalese do not point the sole of their feet at another person.
  • Nepalese do not step over people’s food and do not step on or over anything written (newspapers, books, and magazines.)
  • If a Nepali person touches something/someone with his/her feet, he/she may apologize.

3. The left hand:

  • Nepali people do not give or receive with their left hand because it is considered to be inauspicious. If the right hand is juTho (spoiled from eating) the left hand can be used for passing.

4. Physical interaction:

  • Physical interaction with the same sex such as hand holding and linked arms is acceptable.

5. General:

  • Generally Nepalese do not knock before entering a room.
  • When Nepalese give with both hands it is more respectful.
  • Nepalese walk around temples clockwise.
  • Generally Nepalese do not openly speak about sex
  • Nepali men and women do not show affection publicly (kissing and hugging)

6. Nodding Head:

  • As in the west, Nepalese may nod their heads up and down (vertically) to mean “Yes” and they may shake their head from side to side (horizontally) to mean “no”. Moreover, a very slow side-to-side roll of the head is also affirmative. This last head movement is the most confusing for westerners as it is easy to mistake for “no” or “may be”

7. For Come and Go:

  • Many westerners also mistake the Nepali hand signals for “come here” and “go away”. Both are done with the arm extended in front of you, hand open, with the palm down for “come here” fingers are bought down and towards the chest while hand is closed as if drawing something towards you. This can look like a “bye bye”, “ go away” wave the exact opposite of what it really means. The Nepali gesture for “go away” is less confusing. In it the fingers of the extended hand are swept up and away, as if brushing something off the air in front of you.

8. Eye Contact:

  • During conversation Nepali normally does not look at the eyes of the person he is talking with. Instead, he may look elsewhere, but it does not imply dishonesty or impoliteness.
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