Friday, November 27, 2009

Cultural Mores

How To Be a Gracious Guest
  • Dress for women is always modest. Shorts are frowned upon and men should always don a shirt
  • Always pass religious objects on the left
  • Since the feet are considered unclean, tuck your feet under yourself as pointing them towards any object or person is not in good taste. Never place them on furniture nor step over someone else. Remove shoes before entering most homes.
If one accidentally touches someone with one's feet he/she is supposed to say 'BISHNU, BISHNU' and while saying that, he/she first touches the other persons body (not on the head) with their right hand then immediately touch their own forehead. The indication is 'Oh God, forgive me'      (Source: Brilliant Treks and Adventure Ltd)
  • The very easy manner in which we may touch a child's head or give it a loving tap is totally taboo in Nepal. The head is considered the most spiritual part of the body, thus untouchable.
  • When handing money to someone, always use your right hand, and grasp your right elbow with your left hand, or place your left hand on your chest. (You see this in Korean, and Asian dramas all the time)
  • Always use your right hand for shaking, eating or passing something 
  •  Give or receive things with both hands; even a business card.
  • Remove all leather goods before entering a Hindu temple. (Shoes are easy, watchbands can get you!)
  • Never touch anyone else's food and always pass food containers with only your right hand - the clean hand, the left is used for other purposes.
  • Nepali's drink without letting the container touch their lips.

1 comment:

  1. Dearest Helen-ji!

    I've been amiss at not writing to you yet about your time in Nepal! But, to quickly catch up - I have dear friends in Pokhara and Kathmandu, and I would love to put you in touch with them if you would like some extra contacts. Perhaps email is the best way for me to hear back from you, but I wanted to let you know that you have been in mero dimaag, ra mero muthu tapaai sangha chha (translation: you have been in my mind, and you are in my heart).
    Namaste and subha din,