Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cultural considaration

Cultural ConsiderationsNepal represents a culture far older and in many ways more sophisticated than Western culture, but you are not visiting a museum. Rather, you are visiting a country that is vibrantly alive, where many people live more comfortably and, in many cases, more happily than in the West. The more you listen and observe, the more you will learn and the more people will accept you. If you must try to teach Nepalese hill people something, try teaching them English. English is a key to upward mobility for employment in, or the running of, any business that deals with foreigners. This is the one element of Western culture that everyone desires - the English language. Spending your time conversing with a sherpa or porter in English as you stroll the trail together will be a good start towards a lasting friendship.
When trekking you will have a chance to meet and become acquainted with Sherpas and members of other Nepalese ethnic groups. The background of these people is completely different from what you are familiar with in the West. Treks are a fascinating cultural experience, but are most rewarding when you make some concessions to the customs and habits of Nepal.
Nepalese are traditionally warm and friendly and treat foreigners with a mixture of curiosity and respect. "Namaste" ("Hello, how are you?") is a universal greeting. Most Nepalese speak at least some English, though smiles and gestures work well where language is a barrier.
Always double-check when asking for information or directions. As Nepalese hate to say "no", they will give you their individual versions whether they know the answer or not. Their intention is not to mislead you; it is only to make you happy that you received an answer. You can often circumvent this problem by asking questions in a way that require a choice of alternatives rather than yes or no answers.
Visiting a Temple
Nepal is a Hindu country, although the Sherpas and most other high mountain people are Buddhists. In Kathmandu, you will be refused entry to a Hindu temple if you are wearing leather shoes or a leather belt. There are other temples that you will not be allowed to visit at all. Buddhist temples (gompas) are less restrictive, but you should still ask permission to enter and remove your shoes when you do - and definitely ask permission before photographing religious festivals, cremation grounds and the inside of temples.
If you meet the head lama inside a Buddhist gompa it is appropriate to present him with a white silk scarf called a kata. It is traditional to include a donation to the gompa inside the folded kata. The lama will remove the money and either keep the kata or place it around your neck as a blessing. Place the kata you are offering on the table or in the hands of the lama; do not place it around his neck. Monetary offerings should be in odd numbers like Rs101; a donation of an even amount like Rs100 is inauspicious.
Photographing People
During a trek you will have many opportunities to photograph local people. Some people, however, will not want you to photograph them. Always ask before photographing women. There are always cases of shyness that you can overcome with a smile, a joke or using a telephoto lens, but don't pay people for taking their picture. Some people are afraid that a camera might "steal their soul", but more often they are concerned about how photographs will eventually be used. Many photographs of hill people in Nepal, especially Sherpas, have been printed in books, magazines and brochures. The Sherpas, in particular the women, are afraid that a photo of them will be reproduced in quantity and eventually burned, thrown away or even used as toilet paper. his is a major reason that many local people will refuse photographs, and it should be respected.
Environmental Considerations
There are a number of things the visitor can do to prevent pollution and other forms of environmental degradation.
Pick up papers, film wrappers and other junk.
Use locally made toilets (charpi) whenever available, no matter how revolting they might be.
Burn all your toilet paper and bury your faeces.
Don't make campfires, as wood is scarce in Nepal.
Dress & Behaviour
These are also important considerations for the trekker, and include the following points:
Nudity is completely unacceptable and brief shorts are not appreciated. Men should always wear a shirt.
Public displays of affection are frowned upon.
Don't pass out balloons, candy and money to village children as it encourages them to beg. Trekkers are responsible for the continual cries of children for mithai (candy), paisa (money) and "boom boom" (balloon). Well-intentioned trekkers thought they were doing a service by passing out pens for use in school, so clever kids now ask for pens.
Don't tempt people into thievery by leaving cameras, watches and other valuable items around a hotel or trekking camp. Keep all your personal belongings in your hotel room or tent. This also means that you should not leave laundry hanging outside at night.
Food & Etiquette
Most Nepalese eat with their hands. In many places you will not be offered a spoon, but one is often available if you ask. The Nepalese use only their right hand for eating and will expect you to do the same. If you eat with your hand, manners dictate that you wash it before and after eating. A jug of water is always available in restaurants for this purpose.
Don't touch food or eating utensils that local people will use. Any food that a (non-Hindu) foreigner has touched becomes jutho ("polluted") and cannot be eaten by a Hindu. This problem does not apply to Sherpas, however.
Do not put more food on your plate than you can eat. Once it has been placed on your plate, food is considered polluted.
Don't throw anything into the fire in any house - Buddhist or Hindu. In most cultures the household gods live in the hearth.
When you hand something to a Nepalese, whether it is food, money or anything else, use your right hand.
Nepalese will not step over your feet or legs. If your outstretched legs are across a doorway or path, pull them in when someone wants to pass. Similarly, do not step over the legs of a Nepalese.
The place of honour in a Sherpa home is the seat closest to the fire. Do not sit in this seat unless you are specifically invited to do so.

Annapurna trekking
Island peak climbing
Trekking Guide in Nepal
Alternative way for the lifestyle when travelling in Nepal will be possible by Booking  a home stay in Nepal. Mountains  home  is running by the home stay family in Nepal kathmandu. Home stay in Nepal give you the best ideas of the explore the Nepalese culture by giving face to face and eyewitness experience.  lets book  home stay in Nepal for  grab  the opportunity  to study the Nepalese life style. After home stay again you can come back hotel with helps to clear picture of the Nepal living ideas. 

1 comment:

  1. Kathmandu to Delhi Bus and
    Kathmandu to Varanasi bus ticket managed by the mountain Air Guided Adventures. Book a direct bus ticket to Delhi and Varanasi from our agency located at thamel.