As I said in the beginning, people visit Nepal for the first time for the mountains and come back for the people. Hence, I am mentioning the people of Nepal at the end just so that you get my message: Come back to Nepal! For this section I am not going to mention the best 3 because it’s simply not fair. Each and every Nepali are different in their own way and will make your stay worth it.
For a country as small as Nepal the population is absolutely off the charts, 30 million as of 2014. In terms of the population growth rate it outshines the fellow neighbour and the population kingpin of the world, China. As of 2014 the patriotic population of Nepal crossed the 30 million mark.
This many population definitely calls for differences in between people. Differences in terms of culture, the place they live in, language etc. From the fearsome and defiant Gurkhas to the peace-preaching Buddhists, Nepal has got it all.
Let me introduce you to the wonderful Nepalese people high above the Himalayas to the flatlands of Terai. Nepal, the land of the Himalayas as its more famously known is where the joyful and hardworking Sherpas are. In the mountaineering fraternity Sherpas are rock stars who have helped thousands of ‘Goras’ to the top of the world, Mt. Everest.
Lawrence of Himalayas " Nepalese call every other foreigner a ‘gora’ or ‘khaire’ which means a white guy. If you happen to be a black guy they will call you “kale” which means a black guy. The term “sir” and “madam” are just a formality. This is the way things work in Nepal so it is best you get used to it. Nepalese don’t mean to offend you in anyways."
These guys are friendly and will take you to high places even down below. Considering the fact that marijuana plants are found in many places, people wanting to treat you with one is not that rare. Nowadays, the word Sherpa in itself has become a brand and represents Nepal in a large spectrum. There are Sherpa gears, Sherpa beer all of which are top class.
When all fails and nothing is understood just smile. In this context Nepalese hold a PHD degree for they are always smiling and happy. And english language won’t be a problem in Nepal as most Nepalese do know English even if it's broken as a dead branch. They will somehow get the message across. Just like in the 2013 Everest brawl when Sherpas hurled rocks at Ueli Steck and Simone Moro to show discontent towards them. But don’t generalize Sherpas from this incident alone. They are indeed friendly and wonderful people.
Lawrence of Himalayas " Do not regard these Sherpas as just your porter and helper, because they are not."
Ever came across the name Tenzing Norgay? One of the first to conquer the Everest along with Sir Edmund Hillary. Apa Sherpa the world record holder for the most successful ascents of Mt Everest along with another climber by the name of Phurba Tashi. Babu Chiri Sherpa, another Sherpa guy who did the fastest ascent of Everest in 16 hours and 56 minutes and also stayed at the summit of Everest for 21 hours without supplemental oxygen. These people are indeed soft souls inside hard skins.
Lawrence of Himalayas " One research showed that these Sherpas had connections to the Denisovan genes (which became extinct some 50,000 years ago) which gives them unmatched physical capacity at high altitudes."
Just south to the Himalayas is where the cool-temperate climate occurs and where all the mixing up happens. This region has got beautiful mountain valleys and is the region where 60 % of the total population live. People from various backgrounds can be found in this hilly region especially since the capital of Nepal is present in this part of Nepal. Newars, Brahmins, Chhetris, Gurungs, Tharus, Sherpas can all be found in this region getting their hands at the modern world and lifestyle of the capital. Here you will find all types of people, from people partying hard past midnight to people stopping by if a cat crosses his/her road. This is also the region where you might come across a few jackasses but don’t judge an entire population based on some annoying blokes.
Mr. Been "But let me just remind you, or rather warn you, Nepalese are known for their bravery and this might be in show if you call somebody your wife (budi) or husband (buda); everything else is just fine. Trust me, I have flirted with the word “budi” and have had blue patches around my eyes. "
Mr. Been is quite right there; be warned. Here people go by the motto “Iron hand for enemies and salute for friends” a line made famous by the greatest superstar this country has ever seen, Rajesh Hamal. If you ever wish to dramatize a certain situation utter out the uber famous Nepali dialogue “Dushman ko lagi yo haat falaam ho bhane saathi ko lagi yo haat salaam” by our very own Rajesh dai. If a Nepali doesn’t know who Rajesh Hamal is, he probably isn’t Nepali at all.
The Gurkhas are another interesting bunch of people. They were the army of Prithvi Narayan Shah, the conqueror of the unified Nepal. Coming from a small town of Gorkha Prithvi Narayan Shah had the audacity and bravery to conquer the small separate states into a single unified Nepal with the help of these Gurkha soldiers. The Gurkhas’ name was truly cemented in history as brave warriors during the war with the British East India Company in the eighteenth century. So much so that the British still today have Gurkhas recruited in their army. They even fought in both the world wars. Even today you can see the traditionally dressed Gurkha regiment armies in special festivals of Nepal. The former Indian Army chief, Sam Manekshaw famously said, “ If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gurkha”. That just about sums up the Gurkhas.
Terai belt is more close to the Indian border as is evident by the people living in this belt. The language, lifestyle are heavily influenced from India. Mostly tharus, Rajbansis and Dhimals are found in the lowermost belt of Nepal which is also the hottest one of all.
Basically people of Nepal are all immigrants from diverse backgrounds. Which also explains the vast differences in culture and ethnicity. The upper part of Nepal is more influenced from the Tibetan culture and the lower part is influenced from India. This is why you will be seeing a lot of chinese and Indian goods, Indian music and movies etc in Nepal. Overall the people of Nepal are generally a nice bunch of people. They believe in a famous sanskrit saying “Atithi Devo Bhava” which means guests are god. That should explain the generous behaviour of the Nepalese.
Mr. Been "Nepalese are so nice they will never say “no” to you. Whatever you say Nepali people will always nod their head and agree. Only to find later that they were finding it difficult to say ‘no’ to you only because you would find that offensive. Perhaps it’s also because of the sanskrit phrase “Atithi Devo Bhawa” which translates to Guests are god, a belief Nepalese believe in strongly. But don’t worry you will get a lot of “NO” when you are bargaining with them in shops."