The People of Nepal

On April 25th, 2015 an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 hit Nepal causing more than 7000 deaths and an immeasurable amount of injuries. The world watched in horror as reporters showed images of treasured UNESCO World Heritage sights in Kathmandu reduced to rubble and people sleeping on the street for either fear of aftershocks or simply had no home to go back to.

View of the city of Kathmandu from the Koplan Monestary

View of the city of Kathmandu from the Kopan Monastery

As we watched the coverage of this massive earthquake that triggered two avalanches, one of which was on Mt. Everest, we remembered our visit to Nepal only a few years prior. Suddenly, we began looking through pictures remembering locations we had visited and the Nepalese people we had met, hoping that each and every one of them is ok.

During our Nepalese journey we observed several qualities of the people of Nepal that we feel will help the country rebuild.

Spiritual Leadership

During our Nepalese trip we encountered several spiritual leaders of the community, including Buddhist monks of varying schools as well as Suffis, a sect whose members take on the pain and suffering of society. We have no doubt that these leaders will carry the people of Nepal through this very trying time.

Buddhist monk

Buddhist monk in Durbar Square showing respect to the Buddha

People of Nepal - Monk Playing Instrument

Tibetan monk in the Monkey Temple in Kathmandu

People of Nepal - Suffi Elders

Hindu religious leaders

People of Nepal - Suffi Elder

Hindu religious elder at Durbar Square

Compassion

Even during the short time we stayed in Nepal we witnessed many random acts of compassion. Not only were people very kind to us by helping us find Asan Market, for example, and by being patient with our lack of Nepali, but we also witnessed kindness towards others:

People of Nepal - Young Boys

Schoolboys showing affection for each other in the streets of Kathmandu

People of Nepal - Girl with Pigeons Compassion

Young girl feeds the birds in front of a temple at Durbar Square

People of Nepal - Young Monks

Novice monks at Kopan Monastery outside of Kathmandu

People of Nepal - Community Friendship

A woman stops to listen to a friend at Durbar Square

People of Nepal - Woman with Cow

Woman who stops on the street to pet and hug a cow

Strength and Determination

One of the first things we noticed about the Nepalese was how physically strong they are. We observed numerous men and women carrying over-sized and heavy loads long distances.

People of Nepal - Men Carrying Bushels

Workers along the mountainous road outside of Kodari

People of Nepal - Man Carrying Food

Vendors selling greens in the streets of Kathmandu

People of Nepal - Rickshaw

Rickshaw drivers spend all day schlepping folks from one location to another

We also remembered an elderly woman climbing the many steps up to Swayambhunath Temple (commonly known to Westerners as “Monkey Temple”) to pray, despite having to stop several times due to exhaustion and most likely aching muscles. We believe it is this type of perseverance that has kept the country going in the wake of the earthquake.

People of Nepal - Woman at Monkey Temple

An elderly woman is almost at the top of the 365 steps leading up to the Swayambhunath Temple in Kathmandu

We wish Nepal continued strength and determination, abundant compassion and great leadership during the reconstruction of this wonderful country.

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4 thoughts on “The People of Nepal

  1. Mo Orr

    You have shown me their world, thank you. Your photos are alive with colour and depth, I can’t quite find the words, but they speak to me. Absolutely beautiful post.

  2. Laura @Travelocafe

    It can happen to all of us. One day everything is fine and the next… That’s way we have to make the most out of the present. Something that is not always easy to do… Great photography. Thank you.

  3. Yash Agrawal

    Those people in photographs indicated as Sufis are not Sufis. They are Hindu religious people. The writing on their clothes makes it clear. Even then, Sufis are likely to wear white or black clothes, while Hindu priests are likely to wear orange clothes.

    1. Bounding Over Our Steps

      Hi Yash and thank you the information. We are still learning about the various religions and the complexities of those religions in the region and clearly we still have a lot to learn. Thanks again for identifying the religious people represented in the pictures as well as providing information regarding the clothing each group is likely to wear. 🙂

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