CULTURE: GENERAL INFORMATION
According to aparentingblog, the forms of Nepalese culture are many and different for a double order of reasons: on the one hand, the stratification of influences and traditions linked to the peoples and religions that have settled here; on the other hand, the division of the population into castes, introduced by Hinduism, is the cause of divisions which are reflected also and above all in customs and ways of life. The rich cultural heritage of the two great widespread religions, Hinduism and Buddhism, therefore presents within it particular facets and imprints depending on the geographical, ethnic and economic characteristics that distinguish the various regions of the country. Very present suggestions in Nepalese culture are then those of Tibetan derivation: in the pictorial works of the Thangka culture, pottery, iron or clay, and again in music and literature. In addition to the many temples scattered throughout the country, there are several interesting destinations from a cultural point of view. The capital, which rises in the Kathmandu valley of the same name, a site included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 and reconfirmed in 2006, is a true example of syncretism, not only religious but also, in a broader sense, cultural, reigning in Nepal. Durbar Square is suggestive, the heart of the city with about 50 temples and Newari- style architectural constructions. Lumbinī, the birthplace of Buddha (since 1997 the second UNESCO cultural site in the country), is the destination of numerous pilgrimages, and is at the center of an extensive restructuring and enhancement program of the entire monastic and archaeological area. Traditional music owes its origins to ancient Sanskrit compositions contained in one of the sacred texts of Hinduism, the Vedas. These texts were then transformed into a series of hymns recited in the form of mantras, with a musical form acquired over time and were passed down from generation to generation over the centuries. Today they are the traditional musicians, the gaines, to carry these musical forms around the country, with stringed, wind and percussion instruments, accompanied by dancers with masks of demons with rather disturbing shapes.
HISTORY: FROM ITS ORIGINS TO INDEPENDENCE
The name of the Himalayan state appears for the first time in this form (previously the name was “Valley of Kathmandu”) in 876 BC. C. to signify the beginning of a new era. There are various legends about the origin of Nepal, but the first historical fact seems to be considered the reign of the Kiranti (700 BC-100 AD), under which the Buddha was born in Lumbini. Perhaps subdued by Aśoka (3rd century BC), then included in the Licchavi domains (350-630), Nepal became independent under the Thākurī dynasty (7th century), also of Indian origin, and maintained excellent relations with India, China and Tibet. After an obscure period, in the mid-century. XI the second Thākurī dynasty took power, which around 1200 was overthrown by the Malla. These in 1475 divided the country into four small kingdoms, three of which lasted until 1768-69, that is, until the conquest of Prithvi Narayan, king of the Gorkhali. A population of great and proverbial warrior value, the Gorkhali tried to extend their territories but clashed with China, to which they were forced to pay tribute for a long time. Their expansionism also impacted the British in India, with whom they entered the war in 1814. The Treaty of Segauli (1816), which ended the conflict, reduced Nepal to its current borders, recognized its independence and established an English resident. in Kathmandu. The king, meanwhile, was losing his power by the minister Bhimsena Thapa (1802-37), then by Jang Bahādur (1846-78), who reorganized the state on the model of the Marāṭhā and began the dynasty of the Rana, hereditary prime ministers (mahārāja), who dominated uncontested until the middle of the century. XX.
ECONOMY: GENERAL INFORMATION
Nepal is a very poor country and has always had a very underdeveloped economy. With a GDP per capita of only US $ 459 (2008), which places it at the bottom of the world ranking, and a GDP of US $ 12,698 million, Nepal bases its economy almost exclusively on the primary sector, which absorbs 92.9% (2005) of the active population and contributes around 38%. to GDP (2005), and above all on pastoralism. To a lesser extent, the tertiary sector (which constitutes 40% of GDP) and manufacturing industries participate in the formation of national wealth. The real wealth of the Nepalese secondary sector is represented by the hydroelectric industry. In addition to the problem of freeing the country from its chronic underdevelopment, the problem of removing it from Indian protection remains alive, a problem that is not easy to solve due to the close ties existing between Nepal and India. Calcutta provides Nepal’s only outlet to the sea. Nonetheless, foreign aid continues to be decisive – provided above all by India, China and the European Union etc. -, on which investment capacities in the field of infrastructures largely depend. Furthermore, political instability, especially since the beginning of the 21st century, has compromised the already precarious attempts to plan and implement the necessary economic reforms. Investments in the various sectors, in particular in the direction of a modernization of agriculture and industry, the exploitation of hydroelectric energy and tourism, are priority but Nepal is called above all to address the situation of widespread poverty, mainly in the areas rural. In addition to the fundamental openness to local and foreign investments, it is important that the country invests in the technical and professional training of future operators in the leading sectors.