Nepal – begin with a cup of tea
Nepal is a landlocked country located in the Himalayas in south Asia. Bordered by China and India, it has a population of around 27 million. Kathmandu is the nation’s capital and largest city.
The mountainous north of Nepal has eight of the world’s ten tallest mountains, including the highest point on Earth, Mount Everest, called Sagarmatha in the Nepali language.
Hinduism is practiced by about 81.3% of Nepalis, making it the country with the highest percentage of Hindus. Buddhism is linked historically with Nepal and is practiced by 9%. A large portion of the population, especially in the hill region, may identify themselves as both Hindu and Buddhist.
While agriculture and industry sectors are contracting, the contribution by service sector is increasing. Agriculture employs 76% of the workforce and produce – mostly grown in the southern fertile Terai region bordering India – includes tea, rice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, root crops, milk, and water buffalo meat. Industry mainly involves the processing of agricultural produce, including sugarcane, tobacco and grain.
There is a high rate of unemployment causing many Nepali citizens to move to other countries in search of work. Nevertheless, the proportion of poor people has declined substantially recently, halving in only 7 years.
The spectacular landscape and diverse, exotic cultures of Nepal represent considerable potential for tourism but growth in this sector has been slow due to poor infrastructure.
The role of the majority of women is a traditional one. In most areas, especially rural ones, women are seem as caregivers and mothers. In urban areas there are women in the workforce, but salaries are lower and opportunities are limited.
In business, personal relationships are very important and therefore much time is spent on establishing these over endless cups of ‘chai’ (tea). Questions about family, work, life experiences are good ways to establish these relationships. It’s best to allow time for small talk before getting down to business discussions.
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Sources: Wikipedia, BBC, Culture Crossing