Customer Reviews: Nepal - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
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Customer Reviews

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on May 30, 2009
I purchased this book before traveling to Nepal on a medical mission earlier this year. If you only have time to read one book about Nepal-this should be the one! Written by a woman who lived in Nepal for two years,Ms.Feller captures everything you need to know to prepare you for the culture of this fascinating country. Had I not read the book, I would have been unaware of the significance of unusual details i.e. extra long fingernail,body language-sideways rocking of the head,etc. The book is small and easy to pack.
May 2009
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on June 13, 2011
I read this book before coming to live in Nepal for 2 years. I brought the book along with me for referencing. However, I would have to say that the book is best used by tourists because it only runs through the basics. If you know nothing about Nepal and you want a beginners guide, then this may be perfect for you, but if you're going to be spending more time in Nepal and need to better understand of the culture, I would suggest something more in depth. While it wasn't a bad overview, I have two main problems with it...

1.) When we buy a book like this we're looking for generalizations, semi-truths that will help us acclimate to an unfamiliar culture. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, however, some of the generalizations made in the book are regional or sub-culture specific. In Nepal, daily life in Kathmandu is a stark contrast to the country side, and the tourist areas seem to be almost a country unto themselves. Many of the generalizations she made may have been truer for the country side than the city.

2.) Frankly, there are some aspects of the book that I simply felt she was mistaken about. If you're going to be spending a short time here it's nothing you really need to worry about, but I do want to mention it. One example of this is her mention of drug use in Nepal. While there is by no means a country wide epidemic of drug use, there is a significant problem amongst young people in poverty situations in the city, and some studies have indicated that marihuana use (apart from more extreme drugs) is actually quite common amongst young people in the city and larger Nepalese towns. I felt she may have been misleading about this by downplaying it and saying that Nepali people don't really do drugs, or that marihuana is only used for traditional, religious purposes only. This is not exactly the case.

MISSIONARIES: This is not the book for you. While there are some missionaries who do a lot of research about Nepal before coming, most of you don't seem to. Many of you know very little about the culture beforehand, and some of you seem to be entirely misinformed. If you're going to be going to another country that you know little about, and you're going to be trying to alter an important aspect of their culture, maybe you should be doing a lot more in-depth research than this little beginner's book.

I should mention that there were a lot of little helpful facts in this book, it's extremely well organized, and is very easy to read, so I would suggest it to any tourist spending a short period of time in Nepal.
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on December 27, 2011
I really enjoyed this book, I have lived most of my childhood in Nepal and I can say that it kept me interested and riveted. I loved reading more about the culture of Nepal and things that I didn't know.
It will be of great help to anyone who is looking to move to Nepal, good buy please read from cover to cover it is useful. Nepal is a beautiful country please don't compare it, take the country for what it is and judge it on its own merits.
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on November 3, 2012
I bought this guide for my first trip to Nepal and found it quite useful. Being culturally sensitive while travelling is a concern of mine, and as I was staying in Nepal for a while, I wanted to have a background in Nepali customs and cultural norms. If you are unfamiliar with Nepali culture, I recommend picking this book up-- there is a lot to learn. I must add however, that during the three years I have been visiting Nepal, a lot has changed, and some aspects of the culture are becoming more Westernized (women's clothing lengths in particular)-- though mostly in Kathmandu.
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on June 29, 2014
I felt like highlighting practically every sentence. This book is just packed with valuable information. If you're planning a trip to Nepal, or just interested in learning about the culture, this is a quick and easy read to get you acquainted.
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on September 21, 2012
I really enjoyed this book as it gave a good insight into life and culture in Nepal.

It is easy to read and I found it very helpful with the insights into everyday life, traditions, values and attitudes of the Nepalese people..

It is a very practical book and covers a diverse range of topics giving the reader a depth of understanding of the values, history and respect for the Nepalese people together with descriptions of the varied landscape.
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on August 25, 2014
Very informative as a general overview of Nepal. It is a little out-of-date as there is a new constitution now so the government seems more stable. This book would be helpful for tourists as it has suggestions regarding appropriate behavior.
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on November 9, 2013
As an elderly female solo traveller who choses unlikely places for the next adventure, this is a wonderful book.
Nepal was not on my "bucket list" but I'm ready to go.
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on February 10, 2013
Found this book to be very interesting and helpful. I have a greater appreciation and understanding of the people's, their history and their struggles. I'll bring this book with me on my trip as there are many helpful bits of info for the traveler.
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on February 10, 2014
This seems to be an excellent history. Yet concise and easy to read. More importantly . . . it will be easy to pack!
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