Participation in religious festivals is an integral part of growing up in the Kathmandu Valley. In several of the great festivals grand wooden chariots are pulled through the medieval cities. In the Bisket Jatra festival in Bhaktapur there are two chariots, one for the adults and one for the youngsters. Here, young boys practice for the big day. One boy stands on the chariot’s front end as the others prepare to show off their strength. They have this one chance each year and they make the most of it. They are learning to carry on a centuries-old tradition, and they have great fun as well.
Photo © 2009 Scott Faiia
Nepal/Sanghiya Loktantrik Ganatantra Nepal
Southern Asia, landlocked between China and India, has eight of world’s 10 highest peaks. 147,181 km2 (slightly > AR), 16% arable.
Capital Kathmandu (pop. est. 990 K)
Population 29.8 M (6.7/km2)
Life expectancy 67 years
Lang(s) Nepali (OFFICIAL) 48%, Maithali 12%, Bhojpuri 7 %, Tharu 6%, Tamang 5%, Newar 4%, Magar 3%, Awadhi 2%, other 12%
Religions Hindu 81%, Buddhist 11%, Muslim 4%, Kirant 4%, other 1%
Ethnic Groups Chhettri 16%, Brahman-Hill 13%, Magar 7%, Tharu 7%, Tamang 6%, Newar 5%, Muslim 4%, Kami 4%, Yadav 4%, other 34%
Gov’t Federal Democratic Republic
PCVs 1962-2004, 2012; small business & youth development, education, environment, health and HIV/AIDS education/awareness
Nat’l holiday Republic Day, 29 May (2008)