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Responsible tourism
Respect for customs and traditions
The Himalayan populations live in a harsh environment; Everyday life is tough. It is not surprising, therefore, that their beliefs and customs are closely associated with the cycles of nature. Their religious fervor is everywhere manifest and the divine omnipresent in
Their environment. Religious monuments, temples and monasteries testify to the vitality of their beliefs and ancestral customs that punctuate life. In the high mountains, work in the fields and household chores occupy the whole day. The peasant produces the bare necessities to feed his family and, with a little luck, a small surplus that he will hasten to sell to the market. The sense of community is very developed and the work of the land is often accomplished collectively.
Living in the Himalayas means walking to move and carry. Women and children walk to fetch water and firewood. You have to walk to the fields or to the next village. You also have to walk to the dispensary or the market. The provisions and miscellaneous merchandise required must be carried or carried on the back of a man or yak.
Despite the extreme roughness of life, the populations developed an exceptional taste for the festival, most of which have a religious connotation. The celebrations are an occasion for great celebrations in which all the people participate: Losar celebrates the Tibetan New Year, Dasain, the biggest festival in Nepal, celebrates the victory of the goddess Durga on the buffalo demon, Indra Jatra at Kathmandu highlights the end of the monsoon, Biskhet Jatra in Bhaktapur celebrates the New Year. At the rhythm of the drums and cymbals, monks and lamas, transformed into dancers personifying great Buddhist saints and demons, revive centuries-old mysteries and legends.
Here are some tips to best respect these populations and their cultures:
- Respect the personal space of your guests, adapt to the uses of the local culture.
- Photographing people relies on an exchange, make sure of their agreement.
- In the villages, prefer an ample covering covering the shoulders.
- In contact with populations of Buddhist tradition, respect the usages:
- bypass the stupas clockwise;
- fire is sacred, avoid disposing of waste;
- when sitting down, avoid stretching your legs and directing your feet towards someone (train to sit cross-legged!);
- it is customary to make an offering of a few rupees in the sanctuaries and temples visited.
- Respect the places of worship you visit, wear a suitable attire and agree not to enter it when it is forbidden or during ceremonies. -Remove your shoes or cover your head at the entrance of the religious sites when requested.
- Demonstrative couples' attitudes are perceived as inappropriate.
- Never distribute money, sweets or pens, especially to children, so as not to incite them to beggary. Prefer donations to associations, schools, dispensaries or other recognized organizations.
More suggestions
- do not enter a kitchen.
- Do not eat on the plate, nor drink in the glass of others, considered ritually polluted. In the case of a common bottle not directly to the bottle.
- If you decide to follow the local custom by eating the national dish (dal bath) with the hand, use the right.
- Do not designate someone or even a statue of the finger.
- Thank you do not exist! If you offer a gift, it will never be opened in front of you.
- Avoid bodily contact (never touch a child's head, do not squeeze a woman's hand).
- The Nepalese ask a lot of questions, do not be offended.
- Do not forget that a nod from left to right (or the opposite) means "yes, okay"!
The preservation of the environment
From the Terai plain to the Himalayan mountains, the landscapes range from 100 meters to more than 8,000 meters above sea level, offering an impressive variety. The vegetation, adapted to each environment, reflects this layout: from lush jungles to high places, through forests of acacias, magnolias or fragrant rhododendrons. Crops, especially rice fields, strongly mark these landscapes.
To preserve this exceptional natural heritage:
- Respect the regulations in force in regional and national parks.
- Avoid bringing back memories that are part of the natural heritage and collecting   Archaeological or cultural heritage.
- Do not approach the fauna too closely; We must not forget that we are only invited in its own territory.
- Always remember to pick up your papers, handkerchiefs, cigarette butts, etc.
- Avoid leaving waste that is difficult to recycle (such as batteries, wipes, plastics) in rural areas or small villages that do not have recycling facilities. Bring them back to the big cities or bring them back with you.
- Pay special attention to the management of your waste in the camps, in order not to degrade the environment:
- respect the sort proposed by the accompanying team;
- burn the toilet paper used in its entirety.
- Water requires treatment, we advise you to treat it with pellets or a filter.
- Some areas you will cross contain many cultivated plots. In order to preserve the work of the local people, do not leave the paths and abstain from picking rare flowers, fruits, etc.
- When you have individual air conditioning, we recommend that you always shut it down when you leave the room to avoid over-consumption.
- When you stay with the inhabitant save energy