Faces of Nepal

Our driver- he has such a lovely smile (& I am going to have to get used to opening car doors myself when I get back!) He wore this traditional Nepalese dress all week and always drove us with his hat on.

An assistant from a shop called Helping Hands which supports blind and deaf people in Nepal by training them in weaving. You can also have a blind massage from the same company. A worthwhile initiative providing employment and dignity to the disabled.

Two ladies begging outside the temple were delighted to get a small monetary donation from me.

My bags being carried ‘Sherpa-style’ by the hotel staff up to the top floor. In actual fact the Sherpas didn’t do the portering up the mountains, they were the guides. Another tribe were the ones who carried the bags, we just call them all Sherpas.

An old lady high up on a mountain road where we had paused. She was curious to know where we were going. Mountain folk are hardy and very healthy.

April is the Nepalese New Year and everyone dresses up for the festivities. This family look splendid.

Many people climb the mountains like this with enormous burdens on their backs. Respect.

A fellow tourist on New Year’s Day when we visited Devi’s falls. The red dot is because they have just been to the Hindu temple to make offerings.

In Nepal married women all wear red. So although it is one of the poorest countries in the world the streets and villages look bright, colourful and vibrant as the colours shimmer in the sunshine.

Above a family is planting rice and everywhere you go you can easily spot who is married and who isn’t.

Interestingly girls marry 3 times. Firstly when they are 5 or 6 they marry the god Shiva. A group of 10 -20 girls are dressed up and decorated as brides. The priest gives each one an apple to signify the marriage because Shiva likes fruit. These are given out randomly but if you receive a large apple then they reckon that your future husband will be a big man and vice versa with a small apple.

Then on her first menstruation the girl is kept indoors in a darkened room for 12 days. Women folk come and dance and party (which is probably not what you want when you have period pains!) On the 12th day the girl is washed and decorated as a bride and taken out to see the sunshine. This is her marriage to the Sun. Finally she may or may not have a human husband. Because of the 3 marriages a woman who is widowed can still wear red as her other ‘husbands’ are still around.

This is our guide (below) She is married and is wearing pink/orange but she also has a red necklace. She told us that in Nepal it is the woman who has all the control in a marriage. Go Nepal!

This lovely lady tried very hard to sell me some necklaces (I had already purchased 2) but she was happy to have a photo taken.

A group of children in a mountain village who were tickled to be photographed by some ‘rare foreign visitors’

Cooking at the roadside cafe using traditional methods.

Children our with their families celebrating the Nepalese New Year at a Hindu shrine. It turned 2075.

Finally, this is a Lama from 1375 who has a beautifully peaceful expression on his face. It made a refreshing change from all the Buddhas.

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