Dominant Nepali Cultural Concepts
 Caste
 Bahun or Brahmin
 Chhetri
 Newar
 Status
 Nepal is the meeting place of the Indo-Arayn people of
India and the Mongolian people of the Himalaya.
 141 indigenous groups.
 24-100 different languages and dialects.
 Nepali is the unifying language although it is the first
language for less than half of the population.
 Devanagari is the script.
Bahun (Brahmin)
Punya (Merit)
 Sixth year is the most holy for Brahmin girls to marry.
 Hindu scripture charges the parents with the duty to
marry their daughters.
 Doing ones duty earns merit toward reaching swarga
(heaven) when they die.
Sherpas and Bhotias
 The Newari language while greatly influenced by
Sanskrit, is still distinctly Tibeto-Burman.
 Beginning of the Newar civilization is estimated to be
about 6th century BC.
 Uray and Shrestha are traditionally business people
and farmers.
 Within the Shrestha community there are three
hierarchically ranked groups, chha-thare, panch-thare
and char-thare.
Rais and Limbus
 The Rais and Limbus ruled the Kathmandu Valley
from the 7th century BC until around AD 300.
 They then moved to the east from the Arun Valley to
the Sikkim boarder.
 They are of Tibeto-Burmese descent and their
traditional religion is distinct from Buddhism and
 Live mainly in the central midlands.
 Gurungs have made up large number so of Gurkha
 Gurung women wear nose rings (phuli) and coral
 Thought to be early inhabitants of the Terai.
 May be the descendents of the Rajputs from Rajasthan.
 Their beliefs are largely animistic.
 Many harve been exploited by the zamindars, and
fallen into debt so became bounded laborers,
Nepal’s Population
 Chhetri 15.5%
 Braham-Hill 12.5%
 Magar 7%
 Tharu 6.6%
 Tamang 5.5%
 Newar 5.4%
 Muslim 4.2%
 Kami 3.9%
 Yadav 3.9%
 Other 32.7%

The People of Nepal