Nepal Nepali: नेपाल [neˈpal]), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia with a population of 26.4 million.It is a multiethnic nation with Nepali as the official language. Kathmandu is the nation's capital and largest city. Modern Nepal is a secular parliamentary republic. Its economy depends on tourism, handicrafts, garments, carpets, tea, coffee, IT services, banking and hydropower.
Nepal is bordered by China to the north and India to the south, east, and west. It is separated from Bangladesh by a narrow Indian corridor and from Bhutan by the Indian state of Sikkim. Nepal is located in the Himalayas and is home to eight of the world's ten tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Its southern Madhesh region is fertile and humid.The country has an area of 147,181 square kilometres (56,827 sq mi), making it the world's 93rd largest country by area.It is also the 41st most populous country.
Nepal is first recorded in texts from the Vedic Age, the era that founded Hinduism, the country's predominant religion. Nepal was the world's last Hindu monarchy. Siddharta Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, was born in Lumbini in the country's Rupandehi District. Buddhism is the country's second largest religion, with Tibetan Buddhism being the chief sect. The country also has minorities of Muslims, Kiratans and Christians.
Established in the 18th century, the early modern Kingdom of Nepal was led by the Shah dynasty, after Prithvi Narayan Shah unified many principalities in the region. The Rana dynasty administered Nepal's government as hereditary Prime Ministers until 1951. A multiparty democracy evolved until King Mahendra enacted the panchayat system in 1960. In 1990, a parliamentary government was permitted by King Birendra. Nepal faced a decade-long Communist Maoist insurgency and mass protests against the authoritarian King Gyanendra in 2005, which led to the abolition of the monarchy in 2008. Its 2nd constituent assembly promulgated a new constitution in 2015.
The Nepalese government works in the framework of a representative democracy with seven federal provinces. Nepal is a developing nation, ranking 145th on the Human Development Index (HDI) in 2014. The country struggles with the transition from a monarchy to a republic. It also suffers from high levels of hunger and poverty. Despite these challenges, Nepal is making steady progress, with the government declaring its commitment to elevate the nation from least developed country status in 2022.
Nepal has friendship treaties with India and the United Kingdom. It is a founding member and hosts the permanent secretariat of SAARC. It is also a member of the United Nations and BIMSTEC. Nepal is strategically important due to its location between Asia's great powers, China and India.Folklore is an integral part of Nepali society. Traditional stories are rooted in the reality of day-to-day life, tales of love, affection and battles as well as demons and ghosts and thus reflect local lifestyles, cultures and beliefs. Many Nepali folktales are enacted through the medium of dance and music.
Most houses in the rural lowlands of Nepal are made up of a tight bamboo framework and walls of a mud and cow-dung mix. These dwellings remain cool in summer and retain warmth in winter. Houses in the hills are usually made of unbaked bricks with thatch or tile roofing. At high elevations construction changes to stone masonry and slate may be used on roofs.
Nepal's flag is the only national flag in the world that is not rectangular in shape. The constitution of Nepal contains instructions for a geometric construction of the flag. According to its official description, the red in the flag stands for victory in war or courage, and is also the colour of the rhododendron, the national flower of Nepal. Red also stands for aggression. The flag's blue border signifies peace. The curved moon on the flag is a symbol of the peaceful and calm nature of Nepali, while the sun represents the aggressiveness of Nepali warriors.
Holidays and festivals
Main article: List of festivals in Nepal The Nepali year begins in 1st of Baisakh in official Hindu Calendar of the country, the Bikram Sambat which falls in mid-April and is divided into 12 months. Saturday is the official weekly holiday. Main annual holidays include the National Day, celebrated on the birthday of the king (28 December), Prithvi Jayanti (11 January), Martyr's Day (18 February), and a mix of Hindu and Buddhist festivals such as dashain in autumn, tihar in mid autumn and Chhath in late autumn. . During Swanti, the Newars perform the Mha Puja ceremony to celebrate New Year's Day of the lunar calendar Nepal Sambat. Most of the festivals in Nepal are Hindu.
Main article: Nepalese cuisine The staple Nepali meal is dal bhat. Dal is a lentil soup, and is served over bhat (boiled rice), with tarkari (curried vegetables) together with achar (pickles) or chutni (spicy condiment made from fresh ingredients). It consists of non-vegetarian as well as vegetarian items. Mustard oil is a common cooking medium and a host of spices, including cumin, coriander, black pepper, sesame seeds, turmeric, garlic, ginger, methi (fenugreek), bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, chilies and mustard seeds are used in cooking. Momo is a type of steamed dumpling with meat or vegetable fillings, and is a popular fast food in many regions of Nepal.
Main article: Sports in Nepal Association football is the most popular sport in Nepal and was first played during the Rana dynasty in 1921. The one and only international stadium in the country is the Dasarath Rangasala Stadium where the national team plays its home matches.
Cricket has been gaining popularity since the last decade. Since the establishment of the national team, Nepal has played its home matches on the Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground. The national team has since won the 2012 ICC World Cricket League Division Four and the 2013 ICC World Cricket League Division Three simultaneously hence qualifying for 2014 Cricket World Cup Qualifier. They also qualified for the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh. On 28 June 2014, the ICC awarded T20I status to Nepal, who took part and performed exceptionally well in the 2014 ICC World Twenty20. Nepal had already played three T20I matches before gaining the status, as ICC had earlier announced that all matches at the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 would have T20I status. Nepal won the 2014 ICC World Cricket League Division Three held in Malaysia and qualified for the 2015 ICC World Cricket League Division Two.
Nepal finished fourth in the 2015 ICC World Cricket League Division Two in Namibia and qualified for the 2015–17 ICC World Cricket League Championship. But Nepal failed to secure promotion to Division One and qualification to 2015–17 ICC Intercontinental Cup after finishing third in the round-robin stage. Basanta Regmi became the first bowler to take 100 wickets in the World Cricket League. He achieved this feat after taking 2 wickets against Netherlands in the tournament.
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