With more than 30 different ethnic groups and a wide range of religions and language dialects, Nepalese society is rich in diversity. With Indian, Tibetan, Chinese and Mongolian influences, Nepalese food, clothing, customs and music vary, depending on what area you’re travelling in and what ethnicity people belong to or identify with.
Hinduism is the dominant religion, followed by Buddhism. Standing alongside these religions, there are also small populations of people who follow Islam and Christianity. Simultaneously, animist beliefs and belief in spirits is common throughout Nepal, particularly within rural communities. Like India, the caste system exists in Nepal, as does the custom of arranged marriage. As one of the least urbanized countries in the world, life differs greatly between the rural and city-dwelling populations, with rural people largely living a very simple, traditional life – slow-paced, village-based, in connection to their family and local community. Visitors will be charmed by the hospitality of Nepalese people, who are generally very friendly and welcoming of travelers.