Bhaktapur, Nepal

Participation in religious festivals is an integral part of growing up in the Kathmandu Valley. In several of the great festivals grand wooden chariots are pulled through the medieval cities. In the Bisket Jatra festival in Bhaktapur there are two chariots, one for the adults and one for the youngsters. Here, young boys practice for the big day. One boy stands on the chariot’s front end as the others prepare to show off their strength. They have this one chance each year and they make the most of it. They are learning to carry on a centuries-old tradition, and they have great fun as well.
Photo © 2009 Scott Faiia

NEPAL

Nepal/Sanghiya Loktantrik Ganatantra Nepal
Southern Asia, landlocked between China and India, has eight of world’s 10 highest peaks. 147,181 km2 (slightly > AR), 16% arable.

Capital Kathmandu (pop. est. 990 K)

Population 29.8 M (6.7/km2)

Life expectancy 67 years

HIV/AIDS 0.4%

Literacy 49%

Lang(s) Nepali (OFFICIAL) 48%, Maithali 12%, Bhojpuri 7 %, Tharu 6%, Tamang 5%, Newar 4%, Magar 3%, Awadhi 2%, other 12%

Religions Hindu 81%, Buddhist 11%, Muslim 4%, Kirant 4%, other 1%

Ethnic Groups Chhettri 16%, Brahman-Hill 13%, Magar 7%, Tharu 7%, Tamang 6%, Newar 5%, Muslim 4%, Kami 4%, Yadav 4%, other 34%

Gov’t Federal Democratic Republic

GDP/cap $1,300

PCVs 1962-2004, 2012; small business & youth development, education, environment, health and HIV/AIDS education/awareness

Nat’l holiday Republic Day, 29 May (2008)

indigenous design from Nepal

Water dragon in sky from Tibetan Thangka.
Copyright © Julie Olsen

Map of the world

Focus word for 2013 - "Friendship"

Nepali: Mitratah (me-tra-tah)
Newari: Pasa (paah-saah)

Films

Nepal
Himalaya, Eric Valli (1999)

Books

Among Flowers
by Jamaica Kincaid
Book Description
In this 2005 travel narrative, subtitled A Walk in the Himalaya, noted novelist and avid gardener Kincaid, a Caribbean native, traverses Nepal providing descriptions of the flora and fauna of the countryside, and giving insights into the culture and history of the Nepalese people.

Kids' Books

The Snow Leopard
by Theresa Radcliffe
Publisher: New York: Viking, 1994
ISBN-10: 0-670-85052-7
Unpaged
Ages 5 - 9