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Nepalese Society

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Nepalese Society

  1. 1. Nepali People & Society Tony Rebollo
  2. 2. People • Ethnic Groups: 125 reported in 2011 • Chhettri, Brahman-Hill, Magar, among highest • Languages: Nepali 44.6%, but 123 languages were reported as mother tongue in 2011 • Religion • Hindu 81.3% • Buddhist 9% • Muslim 4.4% • Kirant, Christian, and others below 3% of population
  3. 3. People • Population: 30,986,975 (2014) • Median Age: 22.9 years • Population Growth Rate: 1.82%
  4. 4. People • Urban Population: 17% • Kathmandu: 1.015 Million • Life expectancy: 67.19 years • Exposure to improved drinking water: 88.1% • Exposure to improved sanitation: 36.7% • Risk of Major Infectious Diseases: High • Bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, typhoid, malaria, dengue fever • Most rural people are sustenance farmers • 70% of households have less than 1 hectare and may depend on plots too small for food
  5. 5. People • Literacy (ages 15< can read/write): 57.4% • Male: 71.1% • Female: 46.7% • Child labor (ages 5-14): 2,467,549 • Education • 72% from government schools failed last years School Leaving Certificate exam • Civil war damaged education system • Teacher absenteeism is common • Education has improved, new education official is bringing change
  6. 6. Caste System • Affects family life, food, dress, jobs, culture • Brought to Nepal by Indians • Based on heredity • Castes • Brahmin (priests, scholars, educators) • Kshatriya (soldiers, governors, kings) • Vaishya (Merchants, farmers, cattle herders) • Sudra (laborers, artisans, service providers) • 36 castes • Dalit: untouchables • Punishments for breaking one’s caste are illegal now • Caste system technically no longer exists, but can still be seen • Arranged Marriage
  7. 7. Customs & Courtesies • Greeting: “namaste” with palms held together • To be formal or respectful add –ji to end of name • “namaste, Jonn-ji” • Yes: tilt head to one side and back other way • No: hold one hand up in front, palm forwards, swivel wrist subtly • Point with chin rather than finger
  8. 8. Customs & Courtesies • Once food has touch lips, it’s polluted for others • “Waterfall” drinks • Don’t eat off other plates or offer food you’ve taken a bite of • Don’t touch cooked food unless you bought it already • If eating with hands, only use right • Don’t wipe your mouth or pass food with the left hand • Give & receive with right hands only • Offer money or gifts with both hands or the right while the left touches the wrist
  9. 9. Customs & Courtesies • Men: always wear a shirt and pants if possible in public (shorts on trails) • Looking clean and well groomed shows respect • forehead is most sacred part of body, impolite to touch • Feet are unclean, don’t put them up or point soles at anyone • Handshaking has increased, but not all women feel comfortable shaking a mans hand
  10. 10. Customs & Courtesies • Hindu temples • Usually off-limits to nonbelievers • Take off shoes • No photos unless you ask • Leave rupees in donation box • Don’t wear leather • Buddhist temples • Walk around Buddhist stupas and monuments clockwise • Private homes • Fruit or sweets are good gifts, but don’t expect thanks • Take shoes off or follow example of host • Eat first, take less than you can eat • Don’t throw trash or scraps in the family hearth
  11. 11. Customs & Courtesies • Touts • Lone entrepreneurs and middlemen • Ignore or ask nicely • Don’t give to street children and watch your wallet
  12. 12. Food • Dal Bhat (pulses and rice) is main food of Nepal, eaten twice a day • Other Nepalese recipes usually include different spices like ginger, garlic, pepper, cumin, chiles, or yak butter • Higher castes: vegetarian and do not drink • Lower castes may drink and some eat pork and beef • Restaurants weren’t popular but are increasing due to tourism • Masu: spiced or curried meat with gravy
  13. 13. Architecture • Urban areas have shikhara temples, buddhist stupas, palaces, brick houses, and some Western-style buildings • Rural architecture is simple, usually made of the materials available

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