Language and Security

Language and Security

LANGUAGE

If there is one thing that will enrich any visit to Nepal it is a Knowledge – however rudimentary – of the Nepali language and a willingness to attempt conversation with those you meet during your travel. Carrying a simple phrase book will pay enormous dividends, and if you are fortunate enough to travel with a Nepali who speaks some English you will have much fun learning the basics of spoken Nepali. Its linguistic roots are in Sanskrit, the ancient Indo-European literary language of India, and like Hindi, with which it has much in common, it is normally written in the Devanagiri script.

SECURITY

The vast majority of Neaplis are friendly, helpful and scrupulously honest, but constant exposure to what can only be perceived as giddy levels of affluence and the carefree attitudes of foreigners in the more popular areas has led many into temptation. A level of vigilance and care is required in these places – to keep honest folk honest as much as anything. There have been increasing reports of theft, and even violent crimes, particularly in regional areas such as Annapurna and Helambu. Avoid ostentatious displays of wealth, and keep valuable items with you. Apart from obviously appealing items like cameras and binoculars, boots are very desirable objects in the eyes of poor Nepalis – do not leave them outside the door of your hotel room or tucked under the flap of your tent.

A sense of sartorial modesty is also called for, as figure-revealing women’s clothes and behaviour that would be considered innocent enough at home may be perceived as open invitations by some Nepali men. Note that nudity and public displays of physical affection are offensive to Nepalis and should be avoided.

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