Explore unusual facts and quirky tidbits that give a wonderful, insider's view of Nepal, including topics such as lifestyle, religion, festivals, the arts, and more.
» Nepali men often do the shopping for meat. Women are the bargainers for fruits and vegetables and it is not uncommon to see them haggling in the streets over the price of a merchant's wares.
» The small ornament Indian and Nepali women wear above the bridge of the nose is called a tika and signifies several different things. It represents the third eye of Shiva, which seeks out and destroys evil and is a sign of religious dedication and worship. If the tika is red, it indicates that the woman is married. The younger generation of Nepali girls don't always wear tikas, but when they do, it is often more of a fashion accessory than a religious symbol.
» The Sal tree (Shorea robusta) has beautiful and strong leaves, which are often used to create plates, either for eating or for carrying puja items to the temple. During the preparation for village weddings, neighbors of the bride make hundreds of these plates by hand. It is an environmentally friendly form of dish on which guests enjoy their delicious meal of rice, daal, and a variety of curries. Ten leaves are needed for a plate, and five for a bowl. A typical village wedding may have up to 500 guests, so the village must gather up to 7,500 leaves to create a sufficient number of plates.