Etiquette and Taboo in Nepal

Tourism is a pillar industry in Nepal. Most of the tourists in Nepal are Asian tourists, most of whom are from India and China, followed by tourists from Western Europe and North America. Nepal is a country with a high level of belief, and the religious atmosphere here is quite strong. Before traveling, it's better to know about the etiquette and taboo in Nepal to avoid embarrassing situations.





Characteristics of Nepalese Social Etiquette

The general characteristics of Nepalese social etiquette can be summarized in these few sentences:


1. The Nepalese emphasize etiquette, and there are many levels of etiquette.

2. Most of them believe in Hinduism and stick out their tongues to welcome guests.

3. They are warm, polite, honest, and humble.

4. The Nepalese worship the scalper as a "wise man", and the law stipulates that the national animal (the scalper) is protected.

5. "Shake your head" means "agree" and "nod" means "disagree".


Social Etiquette in Nepal

The most common etiquette in Nepal is Namaste. When you give this ceremony, put your hands and chest together and say "Namsde" at the same time. In Nepal, younger generations are required to give a "kissing ceremony" when they see their elders, so they kneel and kiss the elder's feet, and the elder pats the younger generation's head to show the gift.


The people who live in the mountains area of Nepal stretch their red tongues to demonstrate their sincerity. Therefore, if you see someone sticking their tongue out at you, don't be surprised, it means a warm welcome.


When Nepalese give something to guests, friends, or elders, they have to offer it with both hands or put the tip of their left finger against their right arm.


Wedding Etiquette in Nepal

There are still various forms of marriage in Nepal today, namely monogamy, polygamy, and polyandry. The mountainous areas in the northwest of Nepal have preserved polygamy since ancient times. Polygamy means that when a husband marries a wife, he also marries all of the wife's sisters, regardless of how many sisters and how old they are. Polyandry means the same as polygamy.


People who believe in Hinduism follow monogamy, and weddings are held according to Hindu rituals. These are quite normal in Nepal. If you are visiting a Nepalese family, there is polygamy or polyandry in the family, don't be surprised.


Clothing in Nepal

The Nepalese national costumes for men are a white muslin made from white muslin shirts with belts, while most women wear tight blouses at the top and dark skirts at the bottom. Now, most Nepalese men are wearing suit jackets and white pants with a fat waist and thin legs, with a black yarmulke on the head. Nepalese like brown, white, and red as well as the patterns of cows and landscapes.


Clothing in Nepal

Clothing in Nepal


Taboos in Nepal

1. Before entering a Hindu temple, you must ask for permission, as temples are generally not open to unbelievers. Respect local beliefs, it is strictly forbidden to bring fur items to the temple, and offerings must not be touched or photographed. Walking around the temple or pagoda should be done clockwise.


2. In Nepal, it is forbidden to eat yellow beef and to slaughter female animals for eating. Because the scalper is considered a "wise man" in Nepal, and the Nepalese laws protect the scalper.


3. Nepalese women are more conservative and should not make physical contact in regards. Don't get too revealing for female travelers.


4. Try to avoid public intimacy.


5. The Nepalese believe that gods live on people's heads. So be careful not to touch the children's heads.


6. Take off your shoes before entering temples and homes (especially kitchens and dining rooms). And don't step over Nepal's body or feet indoors. In this case, you have to make a detour.


7. Do not touch Nepalese people or objects with your feet. This is considered a non-serious crime.


8. Be careful not to touch other people's food or dishes with your own used knives, forks, spoons, or with your hands.


9. The Nepalese must pass things on with both hands, not with one hand, especially the left hand, because the Nepalese believe that the left hand is unclean.


10. Permission is required before taking photos in Nepal, no matter for people or objects.


11. The Nepalese generally do not eat sea cucumbers and other strange foods, nor ginger.

Recommended Tours

11 Days India & Nepal Discovery

India: Delhi, Agra, Jaipur; Nepal: Kathmandu, Pokhara

12 Days China and Nepal Tour

Beijing, Xi'an, Lhasa, Kathmandu, Nagarkot