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9 // People of Nepal
of Nepal (Click here for more information about the people
The students will identify some different ethnic
groups of Nepal. The students will describe unique
characteristics of these ethnic groups.
Have the students identify different ethnic
backgrounds that are in the classroom. Discuss the
differences between these groups. Explain that Nepal
is very similar to the United States in terms of the
diversity of its people.
2. Read the information on the people of Nepal either
orally to the class or have each student read it
3. Share some pictures of the people of Nepal. Try to
have some pictures of the different ethnic groups.
4. Tell the class that in the following three days we
will be looking at each of these ethnic groups in
1. The students will read the information of Nepal and
answer the questions. Be sure to have the students
save the map because they will be adding information
to it over the next two days.
2. The student will prepare a five-minute report on
the ethnic background of his/her own family. Share
these reports with the class the following day.
1. Choose one of the ethnic groups found in Nepal and
prepare a visual depicting typical characteristics of
2. Discuss with the class the problems that arise
within a country that is composed of many ethnic
The term "melting pot" is often used to
describe the United States of America. The country of
Nepal could easily be called a "melting pot"
as well. Nepal has a unique blend of races and
religions that add tremendous flavor to the
atmosphere. One ethnic group is the Newars, who
primarily live in the Kathmandu valley. The Tamangs
live outside of the Kathmandu Valley, often near
fertile land. In the mountain region of Nepal lives
another group of people referred to as the Sherpas.
The Thakalis people live in northern Nepal near the
Kali Gandaki river. The ethnic group referred to as
Gurkas live in the middle section of Nepal. In the
middle hills of Nepal live the people called Brahmans
and Cchetris. Finally, in the Terai region of Nepal
live the Tharu people.
Among all of these various groups, the main religions
of Nepal are Hinduism and Buddhism. Many of these
ethnic groups combine both Hinduism and Buddhism into
their religious ceremonies.
The main language of Nepal is Nepali, and it is spoken
by over half of the population. There are however,
more than sixty languages with dozens of dialects
spoken in Nepal. In the Kathmandu valley the Newari
language is predominant, while in the mountains, one
might hear Tibetan languages being spoken.
1. What does the term "melting pot" mean?
2. What are some of the languages spoken in this
country? What is the predominant language spoken in
1. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Copyright
1994-1999, Encyclopedia Britannica Inc.
2. Lisa Choegyal, Insight Guides Nepal, Langenscheidt
Publishers Inc., New York, 11378, p. 28-29.
State Standard - SS3 E5 Describe natural and human
characteristics of places and use this knowledge to
define regions, their relationships with other regions
and their patterns of change, with emphasis on:
1 common characteristics of regions at local, national
and international scales on the basis of climate,
landforms, ecosystems and culture.
2 patterns of climate, landforms and ecosystems in a
4 the concept of region and how and why regions
5 relationships and interactions among regions.