Nepal ! though the area is small it has different small ethinic groups with different culture. however most of the part is influenced by Hindu culture. There are similarities in clothing, language and food. A typical Nepali meal is dal-bhat – boiled dal served with rice, vegetables and spicy relish. This is consumed twice daily, once in the morning and again after sunset. Between these main meals, snacks such as chiura (beaten rice) and tea are consumed. Meat, eggs, and fish are considered a treat. In the mountainous region the staple diet is based on wheat, maize, millet and potatoes. Millet-based alcoholic drinks known as Tongba and other cereal based alcohol are popular, including chhaang and the distilled rakshi.
Traditional Nepali folklore retains a strong influence in society and its stories are widely acted out in dance and music. The culture of different ethnic groups is rich in their own ways.The Nepali year Bikram Samwat begins in mid-April and is divided into twelve months. Saturday is the official weekly day of rest. Main holidays include the Martyr’s Day (February 18) and a mix of Hindu and Buddhist festivals such as Teej, Dashai in autumn, and Tihar late autumn.
Most marriages are arranged, and divorce is rare. Polygamy is banned by law; relatively isolated tribes in the north, such as the Dolpo, practise polyandry. The various groups of Nepal have a rich tradition of ceremonies, such as nwaran (the christening of a child), Pasni, the day a child is first fed rice, and bratabandha (the penance ceremony) and gupha for prepubescent boys and girls, respectively. In Newari culture,bel bibaha, preadolescent girls are “married” to the bel fruit tree, ensuring that the girl becomes and remains fertile.
Most houses in rural Nepal are made up of a tight bamboo framework with mud and cow-dung walls. These dwellings remain cool in summers and retain warmth in the winter. Dwellings at higher altitudes are mostly timber-based. Chhaupadi is a custom, widely practiced in some areas, in which women don’t enter the kitchen or engage in particular chores during menstruation because they are considered impure.
Kathmandu rich in Culture
Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal and it is also the largest city in Nepal. The original inhabitants of Kathmandu are called Newars, who speak Nepal Bhasa, which is the language of communication between Newars, and is spoken by other ethnic communities residing in Kathmandu. It stands at an elevation of approximately 1,300m (4,265 ft). It is an urban and suburban area of about 1.5 million inhabitants in the tri-city area in the Kathmandu Valley in central Nepal, along the Bagmati River.
The temple of Machchhendranath is situated at Machchhendra Bahal between Indra Chowk and Asan. It is a pagoda of considerable artistic beauty. Also called as Janmadyo or Machchhendra the deity.
Akash Bhairav Temple :
A three storey temple in the main market avenue, called Indra Chowk, the image of Akash Bhairav is displayed outside for a week during Indra Jatra, the festival of Indra – the God of Rain.
Hanumandhoka (Durbar Square) :
It is the historic seat of royalty. The durbar square, with its old temples and places, epitomizes the religious and cultural life of the people. It is here that kings of Nepal are crowned and their coronations solemnized. Interesting things to see here are; Taleju Temple built by King Mahendra Malla in 1549 A. D. Kal Bhairav, the God of destruction, Nautalle Durbar, Coronation Nasal Chok, the Gaddi Baithak, the statue of King Pratap Malla, the Big Bell, Big Drum and, the Jagannath Temple. On the right-hand corner, larger wooden latticescreen hides an enormous gilded face of Sweta Bhairav. The screen is removed only during the Indra Jatra festival.
There are also Numismatic Museum and Tribhuvan Museum inside the Hanuman Dhoka Palace building. Photography is prohibited inside the museums. Both the museums remain . closed on Tuesdays and government holidays.
Temple of Kumari (Kumari Ghar) :
The temple or the residence of Living goddess, Kumari, is situated in the vicinity of Hanuman Dhoka Palace. The building has profusely carved wooden blaconies and window screens. The Kumari- the living Goddess, acknowledges the greetings from her balcony window. Photography is prohibited.
Jaishi Dewal :
Five minutes from Kasthmandap the Shiva Temple of Jaishi Dewal is famous for its erotic carvings. It is still one of the main routes of the chariot festival of Indra Jatra, Gai Jatra and other festivals.
Martyr’s Memorial (Sahid) Gate :
It is located between Bhimsen Stambha and Bhadrakali temple. The memorial arch contains the statue of the late King Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah and the busts of four martyrs.
Singha Durbar :
A grand imposing palace built on the neo-classical style. Singha Durbar was the private residence of Rana Prime Ministersnow it’s a parliament house of Nepal.