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  • You know after I made the India video,

  • I got a lot of Nepalese people saying:

  • "You made a mistake. Buddha was not born in India. He was born in Lumbini, which is in Nepal."

  • Too, which many of the Indian subscribers were like:

  • "Yeah, but Buddhist texts say he grew up in Kapilavatsu for the first twenty nine years of his life

  • which is probably in Piprahwa, which is like a half a mile away from the Nepali border."

  • "Lies! Kapilavatsu is most likely in modern-day Tilaurakot."

  • "Okay. Well, even if that was true, it was during the Mahajanapada area.

  • Modern-day Nepal wasn't even established. So does it really count for Nepal?"

  • "Yes. Yes, it does!"

  • Yeah, this is kind of a big deal for them.

  • ♪♪

  • It's time to learn Geography

  • NOW!!! ♪

  • Everybody I'm your host Barb's. Alright. So what do you know about Nepal?

  • Mount Everest, right?

  • Yep, keep going.

  • Sherpas!

  • Sure, anything else?

  • Sherpas on Mount Everest!

  • And that's my cue to begin the lesson.

  • Let's look at some maps now, shall we?

  • Political Geography

  • Nepal is often called the "Roof of the world".

  • About 75% of the entire country is in the highest mountain chain on Earth.

  • This means they have a very interesting civil layout.

  • First of all

  • The country is landlocked located in South Asia, sandwich right in between India and China, locked away predominantly within the Himalayan mountain range.

  • The country is divided into 7 provinces, only 3 of which have actual names,

  • whereas the remaining four are just called "Province" with the corresponding number.

  • Some of these provinces have proposed names, but as of 2019, they are not yet official.

  • Number 4 is skipped because they gave Gandaki a name back in 2018 when it used to be province 4.

  • "Wait, so if 4 is gone now,

  • why don't they just switch 5 to 4??"

  • Ehh, paper work is hard. Plus it might get a new name soon.

  • Anyway, so why bother...

  • Keep in mind, the province subdivision is relatively new up, until 2015, they actually had 14 zones

  • which even though they were displaced, they are still used today for license plates.

  • The capital, Kathmandu, is located in Province 3, although it is not the capital of the province, Hetauda is.

  • The country's largest busiest and only International Airport is Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International

  • However, to relieve capacity constraints due to high tourism, work is being done to extend and make three more inner national hubs:

  • Nij-Gadn, Pokhara, and Gautama Buddha Airport.

  • Oh and keep in mind,

  • they have the most dangerous airport in the world at Tenzing Hillary or "Lukla" Airport, in which the runway runs off a cliff.

  • So basically, if you don't build up enough momentum and become airborne,

  • You free fall to your death!

  • No joking, it's true.

  • Now here's the thing:

  • Nepal has always kind of been like the "buffer" between the two giants, India and China.

  • This in return has been both a blessing and a curse.

  • Blessing, in that nobody could really touch them, and therefore they remained one of the few countries that were never colonized.

  • Influenced: Yes. Invaded: Yes.

  • But colonized, No.

  • This in return has made Nepal's land transport network very unique.

  • Multiple roads enter into Nepal from India and China.

  • But if you want to get to the economic hub, Kathmandu,

  • you have to go into the heart of the mountains, and your options are limited only to a few main highways:

  • Like the HO2 from Raxaul, India,

  • and the HO3 which goes into Zhangmu-Zhen, Tibet, China.

  • If you look closely in the West though,

  • you'll find Nepal's only disputed area, the Kalapani territory.

  • Basically, it was a byproduct of the 1962 border war with India and China.

  • Things got messy, and to this day, Nepal claims that the river to the west should be their border

  • but India claims that the ridge line to the east should be theirs.

  • Well, for its worth though,

  • there are tons of cool places to check out in case if you decide to visit. Such as:

  • The Annapurna National History Museum

  • Narayanhiti Palace

  • The city of Pokhara is kind of like the tourism capital

  • The Island jungle resort of Chitwan

  • The Tiger Tops and Elephant Polo field

  • Toothache tree

  • The aircraft's museum

  • So many religious sites like these temples

  • The Rongbuk monastery

  • and probably the most notable sites being Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha

  • and Boudanath stupa.

  • Phew!

  • Yeah, lots of things were built and happened here in the mountains.

  • Mountains make a great fortification against outside forces, especially when they are really tall.

  • Let's talk more about the mountains, shall we?

  • Physical Geography

  • Now, how can I put this simply?

  • Nepal's physical land makeup is kind of like the share price of Apple Stock in the beginning of the 2000s.

  • You know, it's like:

  • First of all, Nepal is located right at the start of the Himalayan mountains, the tallest range on Earth

  • which was basically formed by the Indian tectonic plates smashing into the Eurasian plate.

  • The collision is still occurring to this day

  • which means that the Himalayas grow about 2.4 inches or 6.1 centimeters every year.

  • This means that every new person to reach the summit temporarily becomes a world record holder.

  • Obviously, you all know the highest point can be found here too:

  • Mount Everest, or "Sagamatha", the tallest mountain in the world shared with China at nearly 9,000 meters high.

  • Keep in mind, 8 of the 10 tallest mountains in the world are actually found in Nepal as well.

  • Also keep in mind, due to the tectonic plate convergence, the country is subject to occasional earthquakes.

  • One of the most well-documented ones being a 7.8 magnitude quake with aftershocks hitting the capital destroying ancient sites back in 2015.

  • In addition, it triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest killing 21 people,

  • making it the deadliest in Mount Everest history.

  • The Himalayas are just one of three regions of the country though.

  • Below the Himalayan region lies the Pahad, a lower mountain region in the Green Zone, that generally does not get snow and fosters fertile valleys and rivers.

  • Below this is the final region, the Terai, the lowest point in Nepal located in the greater Gangetic plain that extends into northern India and Bangladesh.

  • The lowest actual point being Kechana Kalan of the Jhapa district.

  • After China, this makes Nepal one of the countries of the widest range of elevations on Earth.

  • This is also where most of the agriculture and produce are grown

  • as it is the most fertile region fed by countless rivers and their tributaries that are sourced by the snowmelt from the Himalayas.

  • The longest of these rivers, the Ghaghara can be found in the west, as well as the largest lake, Rara.

  • Nonetheless, the Bagmati River is very important as it passes through Kathmandu

  • and the Gandak river contains the largest hydroelectric dam,

  • and the Koshi River provides irrigation to much of the valleys in the east.

  • Phew!

  • Mountains, rivers, lakes, valleys, earthquakes, agriculture.

  • It seems like Nature has been playing around with Nepal since day one.

  • All right, so that being said. It's time for my triple shot of espresso break.

  • It's time for me to stop talking, but you know who knows a few things?

  • Did somebody say, Noah?

  • HE'S BACK!

  • Now Nepal may have a lot of natural beauty

  • but the problem is they still have a quite a way to go in terms of stabilizing their living index.

  • Today, they are still the heavily agrarian society with about 65% of the workforce employed in agriculture.

  • Only about 20% of the land has been cultivated.

  • About 30% of the GDP is dependent on admittances set from abroad, more than half of the development budget comes from foreign aid.

  • The largest exports are actually textiles, carpets, and clothing

  • Nonetheless, since the 90s,

  • they've been really trying hard to exploit the tourism sector and mostly through guide excursions up the many mountains.

  • With Everest being the most expensive one. It's like this:

  • All right, Ken. You get to go up Everest.

  • But which agency will you choose?

  • Hi, I'm the Western agency that speaks your language and caters to all your Western needs.

  • You'll even wake up to eggs and toast with coffee in the morning. My minimum rate goes around 45,000 ??.

  • Hi. I'm the local Nepali agency

  • I have a slight accent when I talk and the experience might be a little rough around the edges.

  • But you'll still get to the peak of Everest!

  • I charge only $25,000.

  • So which one will you choose, Ken?

  • Can I just hire a helicopter for a couple hundred dollars?

  • So far only one person has ever done that and it's incredibly dangerous.

  • Besides that though, about 40% of the country is forested. They have 9 national parks and 3 wildlife reserves.

  • Nonetheless, the national animal is the cow. No surprise,

  • The country is predominantly Hindu with reveres cows as sacred animals

  • Many people are either vegetarian or only eat chicken and fish.

  • Speaking of which: FOOD!

  • Now there are many different people groups that have their own cuisines in Nepal and they come in all different colors and tastes.

  • Some of the top dishes you guys, Nepali Geograpeeps you've suggested include things like:

  • Dhindo

  • Gundruk

  • Daal Bhat Tarkari

  • Thakail Khana set

  • Choila

  • Kachila

  • Chatamari

  • Nepali style pani pani

  • Aloo Chana

  • Laphing

  • And the one dish almost all of you mentioned: Momo dumplings

  • Now these dishes we just mentioned came from the cuisines of the main different people groups you can find here.

  • Nepal is just not "Nepal" without its people.

  • Which brings us to:

  • Demographics

  • Thank you Noah, follow him on Instagram.

  • No problem... So you, uh, try to film without Noah last episode, huh?

  • Sorry, Noah, I must

  • Nepal-agize

  • [PUNCH]

  • Now one thing many people don't seem to know too well

  • is that Nepal is actually a very diverse nation with over 120 ethno-linguistic people groups.

  • First of all

  • The country has about 30 million people, and about 2 million absentee citizens working abroad, mostly male laborers in the Middle East.

  • Of these ethnic groups, the largest one at about 17% are the Chhettri,

  • followed by about 12% Brahman-hill peoples,

  • the Magar at 7%, Tharu at additional 7%,

  • and the rest are made up of the various121 other people groups.

  • They use the Nepali rupee as their currency, which is pegged to the Indian rupee.

  • They use the type C,D and M plug outlets, and they drive on the left side of the road.

  • Now linguistically, how does a country unify 125 different ethno-linguistic people groups?

  • Well for one: The official language of Nepal is Nepali, a cousin of Hindi natively spoken by about 45% of the population.

  • To simplify things though, English is sort of used as like a lingua franca in government offices, businesses

  • and also within the technical medical and engineering scientific community.

  • Now here's the thing: As mentioned before, the majority of Nepal at about 81% of the country identifies as Hindu.

  • Nonetheless, even though it's a minority religion, at about 10%,

  • Nepal takes Buddhism very seriously, it kind of started here.

  • Now, of course, since there are so many different people groups,

  • there isn't really one universal "Nepalese" culture.

  • In general though, most of them can be divided into 7 family groups that cluster into certain regions:

  • You have the mountainous Bhotia, Sherpa and Thakali peoples way up in the northern Himalayan zones

  • Yes, this is where the word "Sherpa" comes from.

  • Then you have the Gurung peoples whom are kind of like the famous body guards of Nepal.

  • Many Gurung are Gurkhas, an elite military trained contingent force that fights for higher.

  • Today, a couple thousand actually worked for the British military.

  • Then there's the Kiranti, Rai and Limbu peoples of the east.

  • These people are actually culturally close to Sikkim and the Bhutanese people. They speak a similar Tibeto-Burman language.

  • At about three-fifths of the population,

  • the Pahari peoples are actually the largest and most widespread people group inhabiting many of the lowlands.

  • They are known for being heavily agrarian and having wonderfully colorful wool and woven fabrics.

  • The Tamang are made up of about 40 clans scattered in the center and east highlands.

  • They are also Tibeto-Burman and way more Buddhist in culture.

  • They have beautiful gompas or "monasteries" in every main village.

  • Then there's other people groups like the Tharu people in the south,

  • known for having one of the most famous cuisines in all of Nepal.

  • They're known for generally being immune to malaria, due to the genetic structure of most Tharu people having Thalassemic blood.

  • Wait, Thala-What?

  • Thalassemic. It's like a condition that can be inherited and helps prevent against certain diseases like malaria.

  • So is this gonna be like a new segment, like in the Namibia episode where I asked what the definition is and you explained what it is?

  • Possibly yes.

  • And finally, even though they make up only about 5% of the population,

  • the one group that is kind of regarded as like the originals of Nepali national identity

  • might be considered the Newar peoples found in pockets all over, mostly in cities.

  • They are known for being the most politically, economically and socially advanced community in Nepal.

  • In a nutshell, with culture though, in the shortest way I can put it:

  • You kind of see like this interesting Indian-Tibetan influence fusion with Nepal.

  • And here's random Hannah to explain!

  • Amongst all these groups, certain traditions are shared universally, and most are either rooted in Hinduism or Buddhism or both.

  • The Himalayas are in themselves considered the "Abode of Lord Shiva", and the Hindu God plays a huge role here

  • Many Nepalese follow a deep-rooted Tantric tradition of Hinduism or Buddhism which allows five animals for ritual sacrifice.

  • Every town has a Jatra, or celebration of main god or goddess, usually follow with a procession of the statue around the town.

  • The 15 day long festival Dashain is celebrated by everyone in the country.

  • It's a huge deal.

  • Many of you have also mentioned the Kumari, little girls that are worshipped as living goddesses until they hit puberty, and the Kumari changes.

  • And like many other South Asian countries, marriages are usually arranged and celebrated with lavish colourful weddings.

  • And speaking of which, that brings us to History!

  • Thank You Hannah. I'll take it from here.

  • In the quickest way I can put it:

  • Kathmandu Valley Neolithic age

  • Early records of Nepal mentioned in the Vedic Hindu texts

  • Kirati King period

  • Clans and small kingdoms period

  • This prince guy becomes a Big-shot

  • Vassal states under these empires

  • Mala kingdom state period

  • This dude pieced it all together and what would become modern-day Nepal

  • Anglo-Nepali war

  • Treaty of Sagauli

  • Kot massacre

  • Slavery abolished in 1924

  • Years of drama between the Royals and the Democratic Experiments

  • Massacre in the royal palace

  • New inherited King steps down, ending Nepal's title as the last Hindu kingdom in the world

  • Unified communist party wins most seats in the assembly elections

  • Earthquake

  • First female president voted in

  • And here we are today.

  • Now keep in mind, although the ruling party is called the "Communist Party"

  • and they do hold Marxist Leninist tenants in their policy outlook,

  • the country is not classified as a "Communist country", at least in the traditional unilateral sense