Nepal Religion and Culture

Proportion of literate adults: 59.6% (estimated, 2018)

Major religions: Hinduism 80%, Buddhism 15%

Urban population: 19.7% (2018)

Life expectancy (male / female): 69.0 / 71.9 years (estimated, 2018)

Gender Inequality Index: Rank 115 (of 162) (2018)

Number of births: 2.07 / woman (estimated, 2018)

Infant mortality: 27.8 / 1000 live births (2018)


According to thereligionfaqs, Nepal has a rich cultural heritage. Due to the long isolation of the country, independent religious, ritual and cultural traditions have developed and maintained. Nepal is famous for its wood carving, architecture, visual arts and numerous festivals. Also music, dance, cinema, literature and theater have a long tradition in Nepal. Handicrafts and religious motifs are particularly prevalent in rural areas.

Based on this diverse legacy, there is a vibrant arts scene in Nepal. In the last few decades numerous galleries have established themselves, especially in the capital Kathmandu, which can rely on a small but interested art scene. In 2010 the Kathmandu Contemporary Art Center was opened in Lalitpur.

In the cinema, domestic productions and feature films made in India are particularly popular. The film ” Highway ” was presented at the Berlinale in February 2012 as the first Nepalese production at an international film festival.

2015 earthquake

The devastating earthquake that more than 8,000 people in Nepal has cost the lives, also has among the cultural assets of the country serious damage done. Up to half of the temples and palaces recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kathmandu Valley have been destroyed or damaged. The historic city centers of the cities of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan were opened to visitors again in mid-June 2015.

Wood carvings in Bhaktapur Nepal


Religion is the basis of traditional culture in Nepal. Not only religious practices, but also festivals and celebrations, literature, art and architecture, manners and customs, or the course of daily life, are shaped by religion. The checkered history of the country has also decisively influenced the religion and brought about the special relationship between Hinduism and Buddhism in Nepal.

Hinduism and Buddhism are interwoven with Tantrism, as well as remnants of animistic primitive religions, which consider all things to be animated by a multitude of good and bad spirits. Many festivals are celebrated together, sometimes with different content. Buddhist and Hindu places of worship stand side by side or are also used jointly.

The religious worldview consists of a juxtaposition of religious directions, schools and theories. This type of syncretism makes the division into religious groups only possible to a limited extent: According to the last census (2011), around 80% of the total population profess the former state religion, Hinduism, around one tenth are followers of Buddhism, Muslims form 4 and Kirati 3%. the population; Christians, Sikhs, Jains and Bon form small minorities (0.4%).

The proportion of Hindus has been declining since the first free count in 1991 (approx. 90%). This has to do with the growing awareness and commitment of the numerous non-Hindu population groups as well as with the liberalization of the legal system in Nepal.

On May 18, 2006, the House of Representatives passed a resolution declaring the country known as the only official Hindu kingdom in the world a secular state. The constitution passed in October 2015 confirmed Nepal as a secular state.

National symbols

The national symbols of Nepal were changed after the transition from monarchy to democratic republic. The old hymn, which was a song of praise to the king, was banned by parliament and replaced in 2007 by the new hymn ” The Hundreds of Flowers “.

The current national coat of arms of Nepal was introduced on December 30, 2006 after the end of the civil war. It shows the outline of the land in front of Mount Everest within a wreath of rhododendron blossoms (national flower). Below you can see a handshake between men and women, a symbol of gender equality. Below the coat of arms there is a band with the national motto: “The homeland is worth more than the kingdom of heaven”.

The national flag of Nepal was introduced in its current form in 1962. Their colors, blue – the symbol of peace – and carmine – the color of the blooming rhododendrons – are also the national colors of Nepal. The crescent moon and star used to symbolize the royal family, the sun the noble Rana dynasty. Today these symbols stand for the hope that the nation may last as long as these heavenly bodies.

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