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Nepal

Nepal

Geography & Topography

Capital: Kathmandu

Population: 26,494,504

Area: 147,181 km2

Languages: Nepali (48,6), Maithili (11.7%), Bhojpuri (6.0%), Tharu (5.8%), Tamang (5.1%), Newar/Nepal Bhasa (3.2%), Magar (2.4%), Rai (2.8%), Awadhi (2.5%), Limbu (1.5%), and Bajjika (1%)

Religion: Hinduism, Shiva

Currency: Nepalese Rupee

 

 

History

Nepal is a country in South Asia with a population of approximately 28 million people. Approximately 83% of Nepal’s population live in rural areas of the country. There are approximately 40 different ethnic groups in Nepal, the largest of which is broadly defined as Indo-Nepalese. Although Nepali is the official national language, due to the large number of ethnic groups in Nepal there are over 70 local languages and dialects spoken. Most people in Nepal identify as Hindu, however other religions include Buddhism, Islam and Kirant. The country is also known for its diverse range of animals including snow leopards, elephants, the Bengal tiger, rhinoceros, buffalo and deer.



 

 

Performing Arts

Music

Until recently the main style of music played in Nepal was traditional folk music for rituals or ceremonies, however today genres like pop, rock, classical, and rap are popular.


 

 

 

The most recognizable instruments in traditional Nepalese music are:

culturalinfusion/soundinfusion-Bansuri

Bansuri, an ancient musical instrument made of bamboo

 

Bansuri: The bansuri is an ancient musical instrument depicted in Buddhist paintings from around 100 AD. It is a flute with six or seven finger holes made from a single hollow shaft of bamboo. Bansuris range in size from less than 12 inches to nearly 40 inches, and can be either a soprano or bass.

culturalinfusion/soundinfusion-Sarangi

Sarangi, a traditional Nepalese string instrument

 

Sarangi: The Sarangi is a Nepalese string instrument traditionally only played by people of Gandarva or Gaine cast. Today however, it is played by many people in Nepal. The Sarangi is made from a single piece of light wood, known as Khiro, carved into a hollow frame with a neck, body and two openings. The lower opening is covered with dried sheep skin. The Sarangi has four strings supported by bridges and is played with a bow.

culturalinfusion/soundinfusion-Maadal

Maadal, a popular and widely used hand drum

 

Maadal: Maadal is a popular and widely used hand drum which originates in Nepal. The maadal has a cylindrical shaped body with a slight bulge and is made of wood or clay. Leather is stretched over its two heads, which vibrate to make the sound. The Maadal drum is held horizontally and the player hits both of the two drum heads using their hands.

 

Some interesting facts:

  • Nepali food is generally eaten by chunking everything together with the right hand.
  • Nepal is among the poorest and least developed countries in the world with 31% of its population living below the national poverty line.
  • Only about 57% of the population of Nepal can read, with the number of males who can read (62%) far outweighing females (26%).
  • Mount Everest (8,848 metres), the highest peak in the world, forms the highest point in Nepal.

Nepalese community in Australia:

More information on the Nepalese community: