Cultural Etiquette

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

  1. 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”.
  2. As a mark of respect Nepalis usually take their shoes off before entering someone’s house or place of worship.
  3. 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.
  4. Touching something with feet or using the left hand to give or take may not be considered auspicious.
  5. Women wearing skimpy outfits are frowned upon especially in the rural parts of the country.
  6. As a part of the tradition some Hindu temples do not allow non Hindus to enter.
  7. Leather articles are prohibited inside some temple areas.
  8. Walking around temples or stupas is traditionally done clockwise.
  9. To avoid conflict photography is carried out after receiving permission from the object or person.
  10. 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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