Cultural etiquette in Nepal

Nepal is a culturally rich nation. With the majority of the population being Hindu, this particular religion hosts various etiquette to be followed. Similarly, some things are bound by the religious belief which we suggest you not to follow. The clothing, lifestyle, and norms are often guided by their belief and are not something that anyone must go against. From common courtesies to the religious taboo, these are some of the stuff you have to take care of while traveling to Nepal.

Common Courtesies

‘Namaste’ is a more accepted way of a greeting than a handshake. This is done by putting your hand together in a clap position putting your palms together below your chin. As Nepal is dominated by the social stigmas, we recommended not to offer a handshake to a female, especially married woman if you are a male. Though the girl may not have any problem, the traditional mindset of her in laws may probe some problem. Similarly, don’t point your finger at someone. It is considered offensive and suggests that you have something against them. And do remember, complimenting girls for their beauty is considered impolite and rude. They will probably assume that you are flirting with them. For ladies, we suggest wearing long skirts. Although shorts are skirts are acceptable, Nepalese people find it uncomfortable to watch. People will try to talk to you and befriend you, rather than ignoring try to have a nice chat with them. They might ask for your name or e-mail address so that can chat you up later. Majority of people are rather nice. Kissing, hugging, and cuddling of opposite sexes are considered offensive as well. Do be careful on the street, as you may find some bulls and cows on the middle of the street.


Nepal holds some of the weirdest and unheard superstitions around the world, so do be careful while getting into one. Don’t keep your shoes and slippers upside down, it is considered bad luck. If someone is just about to go somewhere, don’t ask where they are going. While going to the same location, three people going at a time is considered unlucky. To protect against any supernatural aspect, Nepalese have red dried chilies and lemons hanging so it is not uncommon to notice. 


Hinduism houses many rules that you as a tourist also have to follow. Since there are many temples around the country, you are expected to leave your shoes outside before entering the temple. Some temples are restricted for tourists and some, even for non-Hindu so avoid those. There are many places where you are not allowed to take pictures, we recommend you to avoid that as well. Beef is not accepted as Cow is considered a national animal. Be careful not to step on the stones in front of the shrines and temples with Mandala on it. For Buddhist stupas, it is wise to offer a Kata (ceremonial white scarf) to the lama. Similarly, inside the Buddhist temple and monasteries, you are expected to walk in clock wise direction.

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