Dos and Do not in Nepal
Nepal heartily welcomes all of our valued guests. Either you are trekking in the mountains or touring the Kathmandu valley we suggest you that you treat the land and its people with care and respect. Below are some tips on how you can keep the environment clean and show appreciation for age-old culture and traditional religious beliefs. Nepal's Culture might be astonishing and surprising for newcomers therefore these tips are sometimes necessary.
- To show gratitude and respect, use both of your hands rather than one when giving or receiving something, even money. It’s seen as a gesture of respect.
- Remember not to point with a single finger but use a flat extended hand especially to indicate a sacred object or place.
- Among Hindus, avoid touching women and holy men. In Nepal, people especially women, do not normally shakes hands when they greet one another, but instead press palms together in a prayer-like gesture known "Namaste" greeting is preferable.
- Do not eat with your left hand.
- Never eat beef in front of Hindus and Buddhist because beef is strictly prohibited among both Hindus and Buddhists. Cows are sacred in Nepal.
- Try not to step over or point your feet at another person, a sacred place or a heart.
- Remove your shoes when entering a home, temple or monastery and leather items in Hindu temples and avoid smoking and wearing scant dress in religious settings. Remember, some of the temples entrance may be prohibited for non-Hindus.
- It is better not to touch offerings or persons when they are on way to shrines, especially if you are non-Hindu.
- Do not offer food to a Nepalese after tasting it, nor eat from a common pot, and avoid touching your lips to a shared drinking vessel.
- The sight of men holding hands is common, but men and women holding hands, and general acts of affection, are frowned upon. Do not do something that is totally alien to Nepalese culture.
- Do walk around Stupas clockwise, so that the outer walls are always on your right. If you encounter a stone wall covered with Tibetan inscriptions, do the same: Walk past with the wall on your right (and don't take any of the stones).
- Do not lose your cool. Raising your voice or shouting is seen as extremely bad manners in Nepal too and will only make any problem worse.
- Do get a receipt of in authenticity when purchasing an antique replica? Otherwise, you will not be allowed to take it out of the country. And do not buy ivory or fur from endangered species. Your purchases encourage the trade in such illegal goods, and you would not be allowed to bring them back home anyway.
- Do not give in to children who ask for just one rupee. Although a rupee is a small amount that anyone can spare, successful begging leads young children to drop out of school and take up panhandling as their trade. If you want to help, give to a trustworthy charity or a school.
- Do not take photographs of locals, holy shrines and temples unless they have clearly given their consent.