OK. It’s official! We have hit sensory overload.
Oh my, what a beautiful little country. Sandwiched between huge China and overwhelming India, it manages to capitalize on the best of both. Here in the land of the grand Himalayas, Mt Everest, scrappy Sherpas, and ancient temples, life is slower than India and gentler at heart than China.
As compared to India, the streets and shops are clean and modern. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has a mobile phone (and probably one or more TVs); even the people in remote villages. Cell phone and plans (usually including worldwide calls) are only dollars per month.
While India overpowers and drains you, Nepal draws you in with its underlying charm. Maybe it is the altitude and the beautiful snowcapped mountains, but one seems to walk lighter and breath easier here.
I have not spoken about religion on this trip, because here, and in India, it means EVERYTHING and yet NOTHING! Both India and Nepal are secular in that they are open and accepting to all religions. You often see Hindu, Buddhist and Moslem shrines on the same holy sites. Even Christian churches are present, if they wish.
At every turn, one sees and walks among Hindu priests and Buddhist monks. Serenity absolutely oozes from the soil.
Also, just like in India, the ritual cremations happen along the holy rivers here in Nepal. However, unlike India, we were allowed to observed at a closer range (and photograph) the ceremonies in progress. We chose to photo from across the river, but these photos show as the dead are being carefully prepared for cremation, and some in the process of the cremation itself.
In the end, however, it always comes back to the people. The features of these people are a unique blend of Indian and Chinese. They are subtly friendly, unlike the Indians who are demonstratively open and joyous. They are more reserved and on the surface appear less carefree. And so, via photos, I share with you the Faces of Nepal!