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Nepal Culture


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Nepal General Information.


Nepal is a country of amazing extremes. Imagine a rectangle, 500 by 150 miles (800 by 240km), divided lengthwise into three strips. The northernmost strip is the Himalayas; Meaning "abode of snow," and includes eight of ten highest mountains in the world. Nepal, a Himalayan country, is situated on the slopes of the central Himalayas and represents about one third of its whole length. Nepal lies between China on the north and India on the east, south and west. It is located between the latitudes 26 ° 22' and 30 ° 27' N and longitudes 80 ° 40' and 88 ° 12' E. It is roughly rectangular in shape and occupies a total are of 147,181 sq. km. From 145-241 km with a mean of mean of 193 km. About 83 per cent of its total land area is occupies by the high mountain and wavy hills and remaining 17 per cent by flat lands of the terai. The altitude varies from some 60 m above sea level in the terai to 8,848 m the Mt. Everest , which is the highest peak of the world.

 The southernmost region, called the Terai, is an extension of the Gangetic plain of northern India, containing, jungles with elephants, rhinoceroses and tigers. These inhabitants contrast markedly with the yaks and snow leopard less than 100 miles (160 km) to the north.

Enchantment is everywhere, be it on the shoulders of high mountains, terraced ridges ascending like stairways to sky, on quiet or rushing rivers, or in forests full of wildlife, flowers and birdsong.

Nepal is a round-the-year destination with a difference, be it summer, monsoon, autumn or winter. One finds an unsurpassed splendor in all the seasons depending upon one's mood and choice. Mother nature has gifted this country with bountiful beauty in all the seasons-the balmy and moderate summer of the valleys provides with the opportunity of strolling around the temples, monuments and shrines in a leisurely manners; the monsoon provides the vies of the soothing green lush valleys and an occasional opening up of the snow-capped peaks all along the northern border. Summer or winter, during the both extremes of the weather the climate is surprisingly moderate and soothing.

Nepal closed to foreigners and foreign influence until 1951 now is one of the major tourist destinations in the South Asia now virtually available at nepalvisitors.com.

Nepal is the pious Hindu country in the lapse of the Himalayas, which is beautiful, quiet, the birth place of Buddha and origin of Hinduism. Besides being the country of Everest it is equally popular with its diverse cultural values. This is the land where civilization began and is also known as the country of 'SANGRILA.' Nepal is as holy place to Hindus & Buddhists, as Mecca for Muslims and Jerusalem to Jews and Christians.

Nepal is a country sandwiched between China and India. Because of its geo-political situation, Nepal's sovereignty has always been very sensitive. Nepal is rich culturally and naturally. Our successful foreign policy would be to maintain our culture, traditions and indigenous identities to balance between China and India. Actually, Nepal is a paradise which provides calmness and rejuvenation to the mind. This lovely place is also said as the potpourri of ethnicity and has many cultural landscapes. This land of bio-diversity has so many cultural and religious landmarks that give a soothing experience to everyone. Nepal is a rich and complex mix of different cultures and traditions, melded over thousands of years into a unique whole. For the western traveler there is much that is familiar, and many surprises. Family and religion are of paramount importance, and are constantly reflected throughout the culture. Culture provides essential information on attitudes, beliefs and behavior in different countries, ensuring that you arrive at your destination aware of basic manners, common courtesies, and sensitive issues. It offers illuminating insights into the culture and society of a particular country. Nepal moves to a different rhythm than the West.

Hinduism and Buddhism: The religious structure of Nepalese society is formally Hindu; but here and only here the interplay of peoples and their religious traditions has produced a rich fusion of Hindu and Buddhist faiths. It is common for both Hindus and Buddhists to worship at the same shrine, for many gods and saints are cross-over, often known by a different name but holding the same attributes. The original inhabitants of the valley were animists, a tradition which survives in the multitude of spirits, demons, local deities, and stones which receive dutiful worship to this day. Hindu and Buddhist traditions adapted from the pre-existing animist practices and from each other. Indeed, in the medieval period, when both religions' practice adopted mystical, Tantric traditions, they were almost indistinguishable from each other. Nepal's History and Religions Nepal is a rich and complex mix of different cultures and traditions, melded over thousands of years into a unique whole. For the western traveler there is much that is familiar, and many surprises. Family and religion are of paramount importance, and are constantly reflected throughout the culture. Nepal moves to a different rhythm than the West. The notes here are meant only to tantalize you into visiting this amazing place.

ECONOMY:
Nepal is a developing country with an agricultural economy. In recent years, the country's efforts to expand into manufacturing industries and other technological sectors have achieved much progress. Farming is the main ecomic activity followed by manufacturing, trade and tourism, The chief sources of foreign currency earnings are merchandise export, services, tourism and Gurkha remittances. The annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is about US$ 4.3 billion.

A. AGRICULTURE:
Eight out of 10 Nepalese are engaged in farming and it accounts for more than 40% of the GDP. Rolling fields and neat terraces can be seen all over the Terai flatlands and the hills of Nepal. Even in the highly urbanized Kathmandu Valley, large tracts of land outside the city areas are devoted to farming Rice is the staple diet in Nepal and around three millions are produced annually. Other major crops are maize, wheat, millet and barley. Besides food grains, cash crops like sugar cane, oil seeds, tobacco, jute and tea are also cultivated in large quantities. Most recently the cardamom is becoming one of the most popular cash crops in the eastern part of the country.

B. MANUFACTURING:
Manufacturing is still at the developmental stage and it represents less than 10% of the GDP. Major industries are woolen carpets, garments, textiles, leather products, paper and cement. Other products made in Nepal are steel utensils, cigarettes, beverages and sugar. There are many modem large-scale factories but the majority are cottage or small-scale operations. Most of Nepal's industry is based in the Kathmandu Valley and a string of small towns in the southern Terai plains.

C. TRADE:
Commerce has been a major occupation in Nepal since early times. Being situated at the crossroads of the ancient trans-Himalayan trade route, trading is second nature to the Nepalese people. Foreign trade is characterized mainly by import of manufactured products and export of agricultural raw materials. Nepal imports manufactured goods and petroleum products worth about US$ 1 billion annually. The value of exports is about US$ 315 million. Woolen carpets are Nepal's largest export, earning the country over US$ 135 million per year. Garment exports account for more than US$ 74 million and handicraft goods bring in about US$ 1 million. Other important exports are pulses, hides and skins, jute and medicinal herbs.

D. TOURISM:
In 1996, a total of 390,000 tourists visited Nepal, making tourism one of the largest industries in the Kingdom. This sector has been expanding rapidly since its inception in the 1950s, thanks to Nepal's natural beauty, rich cultural heritage and the diversity of sight-seeing and adventure opportunities available. At one time, tourism used to be the biggest foreign currency earner for the country. Nepal earned over US$ 116 million from tourism in 1995.

FACT OF NEPAL :

Location:

Southern Asia, between China and India

Geographic coordinates

28 00 N, 84 00 E

Map references:

Asia

Area:

total: 147,181 sq km
land: 143,181 sq km
water: 4,000 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly larger than Arkansas

Land boundaries:

total: 2,926 km
border countries: China 1,236 km, India 1,690 km

Coastline:

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)

Climate:

varies from cool summers and severe winters in north to subtropical summers and mild winters in south

Terrain:

Tarai or flat river plain of the Ganges in south, central hill region, rugged Himalayas in north

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Kanchan Kalan 70 m
highest point: Mount Everest 8,848 m

Natural resources:

quartz, water, timber, hydropower, scenic beauty, small deposits of lignite, copper, cobalt, iron ore

Land use:

arable land: 16.07%
permanent crops: 0.85%
other: 83.08% (2005)

Irrigated land:

11,700 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

210.2 cu km (1999)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 10.18 cu km/yr (3%/1%/96%)
per capita: 375 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

severe thunderstorms, flooding, landslides, drought, and famine depending on the timing, intensity, and duration of the summer monsoons

Environment - current issues:

deforestation (overuse of wood for fuel and lack of alternatives); contaminated water (with human and animal wastes, agricultural runoff, and industrial effluents); wildlife conservation; vehicular emissions

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note:

landlocked; strategic location between China and India; contains eight of world's 10 highest peaks, including Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga - the world's tallest and third tallest - on the borders with China and India respectively

People  

Population:

26,620, 809 (Sept 2011 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 38.3% (male 5,721,720/female 5,360,391)
15-64 years: 57.9% (male 8,597,037/female 8,134,115)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 528,113/female 560,414) (2007 est.)

Median age:

total: 20.5 years
male: 20.3 years
female: 20.6 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate:

2.132% (2007 est.)

Birth rate:

30.46 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate:

9.14 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.067 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.057 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.942 male(s)/female
total population: 1.056 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 63.66 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 61.87 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 65.54 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 60.56 years
male: 60.78 years
female: 60.33 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate:

4.01 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Nationality:

noun: Nepalese (singular and plural)
adjective: Nepalese

Ethnic groups:

Chhettri 15.5%, Brahman-Hill 12.5%, Magar 7%, Tharu 6.6%, Tamang 5.5%, Newar 5.4%, Muslim 4.2%, Kami 3.9%, Yadav 3.9%, other 32.7%, unspecified 2.8% (2001 census)

Religions:

Hindu 80.6%, Buddhist 10.7%, Muslim 4.2%, Kirant 3.6%, other 0.9% (2001 census)
note: only official Hindu state in the world

Languages:

Nepali 47.8%, Maithali 12.1%, Bhojpuri 7.4%, Tharu (Dagaura/Rana) 5.8%, Tamang 5.1%, Newar 3.6%, Magar 3.3%, Awadhi 2.4%, other 10%, unspecified 2.5% (2001 census)
note: many in government and business also speak English (2001 est.)

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 48.6%
male: 62.7%
female: 34.9% (2001 census)

 




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