People, Religion and Customs

Nepal is multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-religious country. It has about 23.8 million populations that comprises of over 101 caste/ethnic groups, each caste or group has a distinctive lifestyle and cultural flavor speaking over 92 different languages, according to the latest census of the government. It is a tiny but really amazing country in terms of religion, culture, customs etc. According to the Census, there are over 10 different religious groups live in Nepal namely, Hindu, Buddhists, Jain, Judaism, Kirant, Islam, Sikh to name a few and it is said that there are non-stop festivals in the country, meaning people celebrate at least one festival a day. Although Nepal was a Hindu Kingdom for centuries, in May, 2008, it was declared to be a secular country. Such diverse communities live here in Nepal making a country of unity in diversity.

Nepal is unique and considered to be the laboratory for the social scientists from around the world for making research upon the ethnicities, inter-culture and customs, where the visitors may experience any lifestyles from the stone age to the more advanced/modern age. The Kathmandu, capital city of Nepal, where you land up for the first time, when you make up your journey here is such a mosaic that diverse cultural, lingual, religious groups from all across country live here making the valley a melting pot. Kathmandu valley is the settlement of Newar ethnic communities, who have unique and distinct lifestyle, culture, tradition, language, really enchant you and make you feel that you like to come here time and again.

If you go to the hills and valleys, where there are various other ethnic groups such as Magars, Sunuwars, Gurungs, Tamangs, Newars, Thakalis, Chepangs and majority of Brahmans and Chhetris. There are also some occupational castes namely: Damai (tailor), Sarki (cobbler), Kami (blacksmith) and Sunar (goldsmiths). Though, there exist numerous dialects, the language of unification is the national language, Nepali. Similarly, if you go to the plain Tarai area, you can spend time and interact with Tharus, Darai, Kumhal, Majhi and other groups. They speak north Indian dialects like Maithili, Bhojpuri, most of them depend upon agriculture as Terai occupies the fertile plains, furthermore, there are, however, some occupational castes like Majhi (fisherman), Kumhal (potter) and Danuwar (cart driver). These features are explicit that how diverse the country is in terms of religion, ethnicity, customs and traditions.

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