Anyone who has visited Nepal at least once knows that Nepal is a friendly country. Nepalese love to interact with new people. Apart from a handful of urban cities, the villages in Nepal still have people who work hard, play hard, and have a lot of fun in between.
If you are visiting Nepal for the first time, it is normal to feel a bit excluded. This always happens in a foreign place.
Since the lifestyle of the Nepalese people is a world apart from that of the west, you will have only a few things in common to start with. Nevertheless, there are a few ways to mingle with the locals and have the best time out of this vacation.
Note: The art of communicating and getting more friends is the same everywhere. The following ways can be of help in any part of the world.
Try to learn the Nepali language
This is hard but you don’t have to actually learn the whole language. Just learn a few common phrases and the locals will notice that you are trying.
People from all over the world feel nice when a foreigner is taking the time to learn their culture and tradition. It is a direct way of expressing that you care about their values and respect them.
Here are some common Nepali phrases:
(A Nepalese greeting suitable for people of all gender and age groups.)
“Khana khanu bhayo?”
(Did you eat?)
For some reason, the Nepalese people believe it is nice to ensure that you are fed and not hungry.
Sanchai hunu hunchha?
(How are you?)
If somebody asks you this, the ideal reply would be “Hajur, sanchai chhu.” (Yes, I’m fine.)
Try verbalizing these phrases in your imperfect pronunciation and western accent and the locals will find it cute. After all, you put your sincerest efforts.
The trick to getting more friends and attention is to play dumb. Don’t believe us? Try pretending as if you can’t eat with a chopstick when in a hotel in China.
You might have realized that the best people you know left you space to laugh at them. Humor certainly is the strongest binding glue in a relationship.
However, be mindful to not make fun of their culture, language, or physical attributes since you wouldn’t feel good if they did the same to yours.
Wear their costume
We tend to associate similarity with friendliness. Try wearing a Dhaka topi (a cultural cap), or if you are a female, wear the kurta-salwar.
You will enjoy this if you love to experiment with new apparel.
There are also numerous other ethnic costumes to choose from since Nepal is a diverse country with a large number of ethnic groups. However, the Nepalese themselves don’t wear their cultural costumes except in religious or cultural occasions.
Unlike in the west, people in Nepal have ample time to burn. The Nepalese stranger walking on the street will warmly return your greeting no matter how busy he is.
Especially in the villages (trekking routes), the locals actually expect you to greet them, with a nice intention.
Greet back properly
Even you know that it is interesting to see people of a different complexion or hair color.
While even the adults find it amusing, they are not as brave to express as the children. Children in Nepal will greet on the streets just to see how you react.
Smile at them, greet back and probably do something interesting to amuse them. The children themselves have some great moves to amuse you. Only if you open up.
Go to a Dohori Saajh (Cultural musical night)
If you would sit for a beer anyway, why not do it in a place with cultural music and people dancing?
Unlike pubs and bars, Dohori Saajh is a low-energy, warmer setting with people singing their cultural songs. Friends are made in a public setting like this. You will be served delicious local cuisines like Sukuti (roasted meat), choila, and local beverage.
Besides, you can also learn a few good moves to brag about when you return home.
Find a Nepali friend or a guide
A Nepalese friend or a guide will not only be helpful to tour around, they will also make you likely to get more Nepalese friends.
If you have a Nepalese friend already, other Nepalese will be comfortable to open up with you and include you in their group.
Try it yourself and notice the difference.
Spend time with kids
Kids are the first to get friendly with you everywhere you go.
Great way to pass time, and get along with the locals.
Moreover, Nepalese kids get all performance extraordinaire in front of foreigners.
Volunteer at a school or a church
This is a great way to take focus away from traveling and all the tail-chasing.
You don’t have to visit everything to make the most out of a vacation abroad. Memories matter in the end, and they are created in multiple ways.
Many visitors are seen volunteering at schools and churches in Nepal. The Nepalese people are always ready to accept your kind gesture. You only have to ask!
Nepalese love to talk about themselves and brag about their culture. Everyone you meet in this bizarre country has an interesting story to tell. Be curious, listen to them intently, share a bit about yourself, and you will make friends in no time.
Travel alone while you can
Somebody said it perfectly--you never grow in your comfort zone.
Well, turns out you never create new memories in the same bubble either.
Unless absolutely necessary, try to get a break from your travel partner and rather visit new places alone.
If you travel in a group, people will hesitate to approach you thinking you already have company. Travel alone, get near where people are having fun, and you will be one of them.
Also, it is hard to immerse in the surrounding if you and your travel buddy have your own issues to talk about.
Apart from the obvious natural and cultural riches, Nepal is an extremely hospitable country. With a few things in mind, there is no reason why you won’t mingle and make the best friends and memories here