Culture of Nepal

Nepalese culture is diverse, reflecting people of different ethnic origins. The Newar community is particularly rich in cultural diversity, hosting most of the festivals and being well known for their music and dance.

A typical Nepalese meal is dal-bhat, a kind of lentil soup served with rice, vegetables, and pickles. The Newar community, however, has its own unique cuisine. It consists of non-vegetarian and vegetarian items as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Mustard oil and a host of spices, such as cumin, sesame seeds, turmeric, garlic, ginger, methi (fenugreek), bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, chili, mustard seeds, vinegar, etc. are used in cooking. The cuisine served in the festivals is considered to be the best diet cuisine.

Folklore is an integral part of Nepalese society. Traditional stories are rooted in the reality of day-to-day life, tales of love, affection, battles, and demons and ghosts; they reflect and explain local lifestyles, cultures and belief. Many Nepalese folktales are enacted in dance and music.

The Newari Music consists mainly of percussion instruments. Wind instruments such as flutes and other similar instruments are also used. String instruments are very rare. There are songs pertaining to particular seasons and festivals. Paahan chare music is most probably the fastest played music whereas the Dapa the slowest. The dhimay music are the loudest ones. There are certain musical instruments such as Dhimay and Bhusya which are played as instrumental only and are not accompanied with songs. In the hills, people enjoy their own kind of music, playing saarangi (string instrument), madal and flute. They also have many popular folk songs like lok geet and lok dohari. The Newar dances can be broadly classified into masked dances and non-masked dances.

Most houses in rural lowland of Nepal are made up of a tight bamboo framework with mud and cow-dung walls. These dwellings remain cool in summers and retain warmth in winters. Dwellings in higher latitudes are mostly stone masonary walls with slate and thatch roof and timber based.

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