Friday, August 1, 2008


Here are three differentiating characteristics:

1) Popular with mountaineers, Nepal contains eight of the world's ten highest mountains, including Annapurna and Mount Everest (which it shares with Tibet/China to the north).

2) The modern formation of the Himalaya Range in Nepal has very intense microseismic activity.

3) Nepal is the only modern nation with Hinduism as its official religion, although it also has a strong Buddhist tradition.

Here are three historical and geographical facts:

1) A landlocked country in South Asia, Nepal's capital is Kathmandu. It is the largest city with around 1.5 million of the national population of almost 30 million. The country is now divided into 14 zones and three areas: the mountains, the hills and the lowlands (Siwalik and Terai regions).

2) Populated for over 9,000 years, Nepal was a monarchy from 1768 until very recently.
Its Gurkha army astounded the British in the Anglo-Nepalese War of 1815-6 with their valor, fierceness and ruthlessness. Its long-running civil war (1996-2006) resulted in the abolition of royal rule in December, 2007. The formation in May, 2008 of a federal democratic republic including government representation of the former Maoist rebels, has been led by President Yadav since May, 2008.

3) The word "Nepal" is likely, according to scholars, derived from Nepa, referring to the Sanskrit word for the Newar Kingdom in the Kathmandu valley. According to folklore, it could refer to the country looked after by a Hindu sage called "Ne" or it could be from the word "Ne" in Tibetan meaning wool and "pal" meaning house.

Here are three economic facts:

1) Nepal exports mainly carpets, clothing, leather and jute goods and grain. Natural resources are an area for future development. Agriculture accounts for 40% of Nepal's GDP, services 41% and industry 22%.

2) Nepal needs to improve its infrastructure and receives foreign aid from many other countries, such as India, Japan, the U.K., the U.S., and China. Poverty is acute and the average income is less than $470/year. Hospitality and tourism have been stifled by recent political events. Half of the working-age population are unemployed. Many citizens of Nepal move to India, the Gulf countries and Malaysia to work.

3) The currency, the Nepalese rupee has been tied to the Indian rupee at a 1.6 exchange rate for many years. The Nepali year begins mid-April and is divided into 12 months. Saturday is the official weekly holiday and the official language is Nepali, spoken by half the population.

Here are three general facts:

1) Nepal's flag is the only national flag in the world that is non-quadrilateral in shape. The top triangle represents the Shah ruling faction, and the lower triangle signifies the Rana family, or that "Nepal will continue to exist as long as the sun and the moon".

2) Nepal experiences five seasons a year: summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring (according to Wikipedia).

3) Nepal is culturally varied with unique traditions in music, dance, folklore, cuisine and architecture. The largest Shiva temple in the world, the Pashupatinath Temple is where Hindus come from all over the world for pilgrimage.


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