Nepal Culture


Mainly Hindu (85%) and Buddhist (8%), with a small Muslim minority (4%).

Social conventions:

Be careful to respect local customs: Never step over the feet of a person - always walk round; never offer food and drink that you have tasted or bitten; never offer or accept anything with the left hand - use the right or both hands; it is rude to point at a person or statue with a finger (or even with a foot).

Often when people shake their head, it means 'yes'. Footwear should be removed when entering houses, especially kitchens and shrines. Do not stand in front of a person who is eating. Shaking hands is not a common form of greeting; instead, press the palms together in a prayer-like gesture (Namaste).

Casual-wear is suitable except for the most formal meetings or social occasions. However, bikinis, shorts, bare shoulders and backs may not be appreciated. Men only remove their shirts when bathing. Overt public displays of affection, especially near religious places, are inappropriate.

Seek permission before entering a temple, and do not take leather articles inside them.


Always ask permission first. In general, photography is allowed outside temples and at festivals, but not inside temples or at religious ceremonies; however, there is no hard and fast rule, and the only way to be sure of not giving offence is to ask first and accept the answer.