Clothing and the body

Clothing and the body

 

Clothing and the body
Nepalis are innately conservative in their attitudes to clothing. clearly , you'are not Nepali, but it's woth knowing how you many come across. The following hints apply epecially in the temples and monasteries.
Men should always wear a shirt in public , and long trousers if possible (short are for low caste or home, but ok in tourist area). For women in villages, a sari or skirt that hangs to mid-calf level is traditional, though trousers are acceptable these days. Girls in kathmandu and pokhara do wear shorts or short skirt, but this is new and you still run the risk of being seen as sexually available, so be prepared for what it brings. More surprisingly, perhaps, shoulders should also be covered up-a T-shirt is much more appropriate than a vest, looking clean shows respect-ungroomed traveller are distasteful and confusing to Nepalis , who will wear the best they can afford.
Nudity is a sensitive issue. only women with babies or small children bare their breasts. when Nepali men bathe in public, they do it in their underwear, and women bathe underneath a lungi(sarong). Foreigners are expected to do likewise. In nepal, the forhead is regraded as the most sacred part of the body and it is impolit to touch an adult Nepali's head. The feet are the most unclean part, so don't put your on chairs or tables, and when sitting, try no to point the soles of your feet anyone. it's bad manners to step over the legs of someone seated: in a crowded space Nepalis will wait for you to draw in your feet so they can pass.
Nepali views about displays of affection may seen counterintuitive. it's considred acceptable for friend of the same sex to hold hands in public, but not for lovers of the opposite sex. cuples, who cuddle or kiss in public will at best draw unwelcome attention. at worst , you've offended everyone around you and reinforced the dangerous notion that foreign women are sex objects. Handshaking has increased with the maoists' popularity, but not all women will feel comfortable to shak a man's hand.

 

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