Cross Cultural and Religious Aspects of Nepal
Nepal is a landlocked country. It is a federal democratic republic nation. So, every society has its own belief in caste and religion. This land is rich with its unique culture and religion.
According to the religion in Nepal data, approximately 80% of Nepalese have a belief in Hindu religion. About 10% Nepalese are Buddhist and almost 5% are Muslim. Others are Christian, Kirati, and Bon Buddhist and so on. The different religious people speak different language, wear different dress and even eat different food on the basis of their caste and culture.
Similarly, the Hindus and Buddhist pilgrimage worship almost common deities in temples and monasteries, for instance -Muktinath Temple. Both religions believe in the reincarnation, but follow the different approaches like Bhagabad Gita by Hinduism and Samsara by Buddhism. The Pashupatinath Temple is the popular Hindu Temple of Nepal whereas Swayambhunath and Bouddhanath Stupas belong to Buddhist religion. On the other hands, other religious groups share their faith and belief on their own style. Though, there are the verities of religions, the Nepalese always live in peace and harmony. There is not any record of conflict in the aspect of religion in Nepal yet.
Likewise, there are three different geographical regions in Nepal such as Terai, Hilly and Mountain. The residence of Terai is commonly known as Madhesi people. Pahadiya people are those who live in Hilly region of Nepal. Finally, the Bhote or Lakeli is called for those who live in the Mountain zone of Nepal. The Madhesi and Pahadiya are almost full of Bhraman and Chhetri . The Newar and some Mongolian can also be found exceptionally. Especially, the ethnic tribes live in the Mountainous area of Nepal. Their living style, hospitability, feeding and so on is incredible. Due to this features of mountain people, the trekkers feel comfortable and enjoy a lot the views of Himalayas.
The Nepalese rituals that everyone follows from birth to death like naming ceremony, rice-feeding ceremony, Gunyo Cholo (a type of girl’s dress) ceremony (for girl only), tonsure ceremony(for boy only), marriage ceremony and funeral ceremony. But the celebrating style is different depending on their caste and religion. For examples- Brahmin and Chhetri people celebrate the naming ceremony after the 11 days of baby birth while ethnic celebrates it after the 9 days of baby birth. Similarly, baby boy feeds rice after being 6 months whereas baby girl feeds it when she is of 5 months. The funeral process is also different.
Dashain, Tihar and Teej are the main festivals of Nepal. But it is celebrated mainly by Brahmin and Chhetri who put on the red tika on the forehead while the ethnic groups use the tika of white colour. The Maghe Sakranti is the important festival of the ethnic tribe.
To sum up, Nepal can be described as the multi-lingual, multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic nation. Though, their belief and faith are different, they are Nepalese in singular form that follows the peace and harmony. So, there is the ‘unity in diversity’ in Nepal.