People and Culture
The population of Nepal was recorded to be about 26.62 million according to a recent survey done by the Central Bureau of Statistics, Nepal. The population comprises of about a 101 ethnic groups speaking over 92 languages. The distinction in caste and ethnicity is understood more easily with a view of customary layout of the population. Though, there exist numerous dialects, the language of unification is the national language, Nepali. Nepali is the official language of the state, spoken and understood by majority of the population. Multiple ethnic groups have their own mother tongues. English is spoken by many in Government and business offices. It is the mode of education in most private schools of Kathmandu and some other cities.
Ethnic Diversity in the Kathmandu Valley:
Kathmandu Valley represents a cultural cauldron of the country, where, people from varied backgrounds have come together to present a melting pot. Nepal is a multicultural and multilingual country. Among them almost 80 percent of the Nepalese are Hindus and rest 20 percent are the mixture of Buddhism, Muslims and Christians. The natives of the Kathmandu Valley are the Newars. Newari culture is an integration of both Hinduism and Buddhism. The Newars of Kathmandu Valley were traders or farmers by occupation in the old days.
Though there is multi religion in Nepal, every religion has their own importance and they can celebrate their festivals open heartedly. The people of other religion also participate in each other’s festival. It is really interesting and fascinating to see the Nepalese from different ethnic groups, almost hundred in number making a beautiful society by helping each other and by participating in each other’s happiness and sorrow.
Everywhere, Nepali language is spoken even though they have their own ethnic group’s language. In every corner of Nepal, if you put together your hands in a Namaste position and say ‘Namaste’, in return you will get the same gesture with welcoming smile. Namaste is the greeting of Nepal and it can be used in any time of the day.
In every Nepali household, morning starts with taking shower, worshipping God and then drinking morning tea. Some even go to nearest temple to worship God every day. In Nepali language it is called “Chiya” and it is made of water, milk, sugar and some tea masala.