Cultural Etiquette

Some tips on the common etiquettes practiced by Nepali people should be useful to visitors.

  • The form of greeting in Nepal is “Namaste” performing by joining both palms together. It literally means “the divine in me salutes the divine in you”.
  • As a mark of respect Nepalis usually take their shoes off before entering someone’s house or place of worship.
  • Food or material that has been touched by another person’s mouth is considered impure or “jutho” and, therefore, is not accepted unless among close friends or family.
  • Touching something with feet or using the left hand to give or take may not be considered auspicious.
  • Women wearing skimpy outfits are frowned upon especially in the rural parts of the country.
  • As a part of the tradition some Hindu temples do not allow non Hindus to enter.
  • Leather articles are prohibited inside some temple areas.
  • Walking around temples or stupas is traditionally done clockwise.
  • To avoid conflict photography is carried out after receiving permission from the object or person.
  • Public displays of affection are considered scandalous.
  • Nodding of head means “Yes” while shaking of head means a “No”. A slight dangling of head from left to right means “OK”.

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