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Nepal Travel
Get to know about local customs and traditions of Nepal.

Nepal Customs

The basic outlook of Nepal is Hindu in its nature. There is a sizable population of the minorities but apart from Buddhism, none has left its permanent marks on the society. In a way, Nepalese society is not a heterogeneous society as its neighbors India and Bangladesh are. The effect of Hinduism is prevalent with a sprinkle of Buddhism on it.

The basic customs and traditions of Nepal are more or less same as that of Hindus in India. The most auspicious ceremonies are the 'Birth' and 'Marriage'. The birth of the child is considered very auspicious. Nepal, being a conservative Hindu society, rejoices the birth of a boy more than that of a girl. The main ceremony is organized on the sixth day of birth when the child is named. This is a festive moment where song and dances are normally accompanied by a huge feast. The second most important ceremony is the sacred thread ceremony. But this ceremony is confined to Brahmins and Kashtriyas only. The young boys sit for "Havan" (A ritual where offering are paid to fire god) chanting religious hymns. Then a sacred yellow thread is tied around their bodies in a diagonal fashion. As usual, feast and merry making follow this ceremony.

The marriage, in eastern civilizations, is considered one of the major duties of human being. In a sense, a Hindu is not considered fully educated until or unless he gets married. The marriage ceremony in Nepal is conducted with great pomp and show. The marriage is thought to be a divine permission for the couple to live together. The main ceremony takes place at bride's residence and her father does the arrangements. Dowry is very prevalent and common and is not considered a stigma.

As far as beliefs are concerned, the Nepalese are superstitious and god-fearing people. They believe in Hindu theology of reincarnation and thus naturally believe in things like Ghosts, Djinns and other Demigods. Apart from that, the monarch is considered to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. At least it is believed by a sizable chunk of the rural population. Nevertheless, the Maoist movement has been largely successful in eroding that base and altering the thoughts of the common mass. The current monarchy is severely feeling the heat of these counter-initiatives.

Tantrism movement from the Mahayana school of Buddhism appeared in the first century AD in fringe areas of India. Hindus and Buddhists came into contact with animist religions and integrated beliefs and practices. Yoga, physical exercises to control body functions, mantras, repetitive utterances, bijas, magic syllables, use of designs and objects such as mandala and dorje became the part and parcel of Tantrik activities. Transformed into Lamaism that penetrated into Nepal too. Purpose was to shorten the road to enlightenment with such practices.

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