Located between India and China, Nepal consists of 56,827 square miles, which is slightly larger than the state of New York. It is home to 29,384,297 people, 81.3% of whom are Hindu, 9% are Buddhist, 4.4% are Muslim, 3.1% are Kirant, while 1.4% are Christian.
The capital of Nepal is the city of Kathmandu, with very high population density of 51,600 per square mile within the city (while New York City only has a population density of 27,000 people per square mile). Overall though, the population density of Nepal is fairly low.
Nepal is a tough mountainous region, and about 75% of Nepal is mountains, and Mount Everest, the highest peak above sea level, is located on the boarder of Nepal and Tibet, China. At 29,029 feet above sea level, the massive mountains loom. 219 have died in unsuccessful attempts to reach the summit. The trek to the summit takes an average of about two months, and certainly isn’t for the faint of heart.
Because of the mountains, the temperature has a wide range depending where you are in Nepal. However, in the south it can get hotter than 37° C (98° F), though in that same area the winter temperatures can range from 7° C to 23° C (44° F to 73° F). In the mountains there are moderate summers but the winters can reach subzero temperatures.
Another unique aspect of Nepal is its flag. All other countries have a square or rectangular flag, but Nepal’s flag is the shape of two overlapping triangles sporting the country’s national color, red. The symbolism behind the triangles was originally intended to represent the Himalayan Mountains and the king and prime minister, though over time the meaning has changed. Today it is instead understood to represent Hinduism and Buddhism, which together represent the religion of about 90% of Nepal’s population.
Popular leisure activities among the people of Nepal includes music and dance, and they also play a part in the performing of religious ceremonies. These ceremonies particularly include ancient drums and wind instruments.
The cuisine in Nepal is founded on rice, or in poorer areas, dhiro, which is a corn or millet mush. The most common way of eating is to use one’s right hand (without utensils) and seated on the floor. It is expected that the woman cooks while the men typically are involved in heavy lifting of agriculture and other trade and work.