According to the census taken by the Central Bureau of Statistics state that Nepal’s population is in the vicinity of 26 million of which there are 101 ethnic groups speaking (92 mother tongues) their respective yet different languages.
Even though there exist numerous lingos, Nepali (नेपाली) is the national language of Nepal. Also, the English language is also spoken especially in business sectors, private companies and by most of the private Kathmandu-based schools.
In Nepal, all ethnic groups can be broadly divided into two categories:
2.Tibeto Nepalese/ Tibeto Mongolians.
It is believed that humankind from the former group entered the territory of Nepal during the spell of Muslim's conquest in the Indian sub-continental and the latter came to Nepal across the high Himalayas passes which belong to the North and started to live in and around Himalayan regions, terrains, and slopes. The latter is regarded as the natives of the country. Moreover, there are many nomadic tribes in the hills and Terai who practice seasonal and temporary migration inside the country and has submitted to the agrarian system now.
On the basis of regions or belts of Nepal, its demography can be roughly categorized as below:
- Himalayan People
Mainly the northern region of the high Himalayas is inhabited by those Tibetan-speaking classes namely Dolpa-pas, Sherpas, Lopas, Baragaonlis, and Manangis. The Sherpas are dominant in the eastern hilly and Himalayan region, almost around Solu area and Khumbu region; the Baragaonlis and Lopas are populated in the trans-Himalayan patches of Upper and Lower Mustang perched in the Tibetan rain-shadow area; as the name implies the Manangis live in Manang district whereas the Dolpa-pas reside in Dolpa district of western Nepal.
- Hilly and Valley People
Various tribes reside in the middle hills and valleys. Mid hills are mainly occupied by Chhteris, Brahmins, Magars, Gurungs, Tamangs, Sunuwars, Newars, Thakalis, Chepangs, and Thakuris. In addition to that, there are also some occupational ethnics groups like Damai (who tailors), Sarki (who involves cobbler), Sunar (works as goldsmiths), and Kami (earned living as a blacksmith).
- Kathmandu Valley; the land of Newar Communities
Kathmandu Valley, the hub of Nepal has many features which can’t be expressed at all; it’s insufficient if attempted. :)
This unique valley beckons a cultural vessel of the country, where, people from multiple backgrounds reside so that it is often termed as the ‘melting pot'. However, the aboriginals of the Kathmandu Valley are the Newars.
Newari culture and tradition is an assimilation of both prime religions i.e. Hinduism and Buddhism. It is believed that the Newars used to involve in occupations like trading, handicrafts industries, paintings and farming in the old days.
There is no denying that Kathmandu is a diverse city from a cultural and ethnic perspective. As Newari communities are the dominant of the valley they hold the position of largest ethnic group at 35% of the population, Matwali being second largest with 25% -- comprehending the Tamang, Gurung, Sunuwar, Magars, and others -- the Khas Brahmins at 21.5%, and the Chettris at 18.5% of the total population. Tamangs were originally from the outlying hillocks of the valley.
- People from flatland: Terai
Tharu Communities are dominant ethnic groups of the plain land Terai, the granary of Nepal. Besides, Darai, Kumhal, Majhi are other tribes residing along the segmented fields of Terai region. As far as their mother tongues are concerned they practice speaking north Indian dialects like Maithili and Bhojpuri. Owing to the fertile fields of Terai, most inhabitants rely upon agriculture and in livestock. Few occupational castes like Majhi (fisherman), Kumhal (potter) and Danuwar (cart driver) are also found abundantly.
Interesting Fact: Raute, the nomadic tribe of Nepal.
Rautes are the nomadic indigenous ethnic class officially recognized by the Government of Nepal residing in and around few parts of mid-West as well as far West. Fleshes of langur and macaque monkeys is regarded as their prime food obtained after hunting. They rely upon wild forest tubers, fruits, and greens on a continuous fashion to sustain their lives. They generally are involved in carving wooden bowls, boxes trading them for goods from local farmers for the sake of iron, jewelry, and otherworldly stuff. Generally, they don’t trade forest products, bush meat, and forest medicinal plants
Raute’s total population is estimated at the vicinity of 650 people residing in small as well as make-shift settlements in the regions of mid and far western Nepal. The ‘Khamci'is the name of dialect being practiced by these indigenous vagabonds. Mainly their haven is from the deep and dark hilly forests of Jajarkot, Surkhet, Salyan, Kalikot, Achham, Jumla, Dailekh, Makwanpur, Darchula, and Baitadi district. Touching money was an evil act to these nomadic tribes however the scenario is changing gradually as these days they started working for money. Man Bahadur Shahi is considered as the leader of Raute demography in Nepal.
Further details can be obtained through the official website of the Central Bureau of Statistics at http://census.gov.np.
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