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Nepal Cultural Tips

A- ‘Namaste’ is widely used for greeting people. It is combined with a prayer-like gesture.
 
B- Holding hands and cuddling/kissing in public can be offensive. Try to avoid it! Don’t show affection in public.
 
C-. People don’t shake hands in Nepal. While you may shake hands with a man if he offers his hand first, you should not shake hands with a woman.
 
D- All visitors to Buddhist and Hindu temples should be appropriately dressed. Women should always dress modestly. Cover your shoulders and legs. Avoid shorts, skirts, tight-fitting clothes, and see-through materials.
 
E- Shoes and feet are considered to be unclean. In temples, religious buildings, when coming to someone’s home, take your shoes off. Do not point your feet at a Buddha image, other people, or things.
 
F- Do not eat from someone else’s plate.
 
G- Do not serve or offer any food or drink if someone has already touched it with the lips.
 
H- Always use the right hand for eating (the left hand is for wiping your bottom, cleaning your feet, and other unsavory functions).
 
I- Walk around stupas in a clockwise direction.
 
J- If you like to take a photo (close up) of people seek their permission. You should never have yourself photographed posing with a Buddha image with your back to the image. Do not use flash in temples.
 
Other cultural values and etiquette you should considerate
 
– Time is very flexible. A person may show up an hour late for an appointment, just relax, drink some tea and wait. As a foreigner, though, you are expected to be punctual.
 
– Heads are sacred and should be treated with respect. Never cuddle children’s heads (especially of little monks)
 
– Bargaining is to be expected. Don’t bargain if you are not really interested.
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