Population and Language in Nepal

The population of Nepal by 2003 was about 25 million people. Of these, only 4% are over the age of 65, and 41% of the population are under 15 years of age. The population growth in Nepal in recent years is about 2.2% per year, so the government of the country is concerned about its decline. The population density is distributed very unevenly throughout the country. The majority (47%) inhabit the fertile Terai Plain, which stretches along the southern border of the country. About 45% of the population lives in the valleys of the middle mountains, and only 8% of the inhabitants inhabit the mountainous part of the country. By 2001, only 12% of Nepal’s population lived in cities, and the population of the country’s largest city, Kathmandu, was about 700 thousand people. However, by this time, the three major cities of the Kathmandu Valley: Patan, Bhaktapur and Kathmandu itself had merged into one agglomerate with a population of over 1 million people.

According to ask4beauty, the population of Nepal is multinational. About 100 different nationalities can be found on its territory, many of which are also subdivided according to caste, and caste division may be different for different nationalities. The bulk of the population (about 50%) are Nepalese, they themselves call themselves Nepali. Their main occupation is flatland and terraced agriculture, in addition, weaving, pottery, blacksmithing and jewelry crafts are developed. The ancestors of the Nepalese were the Khasses who migrated from India to Nepal in the Middle Ages. Mixing with the local population, the Khas people became the core of the formation of the Gurkha people, who later conquered the most fertile and densely populated valley of the country – Kathmandu. Mixing with the population of the Kathmandu Valley, the Gurkhas began to call themselves Nepali and became the dominant people in Nepal. The process of national consolidation has especially intensified since the middle of the 20th century.

The population in Nepal is divided into subgroups not only by ethnicity, but also by caste. The largest group is the Chhetri caste. (Kshatriyas, warriors), about 16% of the population identify themselves with it. The next largest caste is the Brahmins (Brahmins, clerics), it includes 13% of the population. The next largest ethnic groups are: Magars (7.1%), Tharu (6.8%), Tamangs (5.6%), Newars (5.5%), Rai (3.9%), Gurungs (2.8%) and other nationalities. More than 90 groups that identify themselves by religion, caste or ethnicity, have a number of less than 2%, but are nevertheless widely known outside of Nepal. Such ethnic groups include, for example, Gurkhas, the most famous Nepalese warriors who serve in the British forces to this day, as well as Sherpas, famous for their endurance and ability to carry heavy loads.

Tamangs inhabit mainly the Himalayas north of the Kathmandu valley. They have preserved their own language and folklore. Translated from Tibetan, the name tamang means horse trader. They, like the Sherpas, are well versed in the mountains and often earn their living as porters or guides. Most of the Tamangs are Buddhists. Gurungs – another nationality that has retained its own language and customs, inhabits mainly the vicinity of the Annapurna mountain range. Their main occupation is cattle breeding. Tharu – the indigenous people who inhabited the Terai. Their life is connected mainly with the jungle and large, full-flowing rivers, they are often engaged in fishing. Women adorn themselves with tattoos, silver bracelets and rings. In general, despite the diversity of caste, ethnic and religious groups, the Nepalese are a single people who have created a single state.

The official language of Nepal is Nepali., otherwise Parbatia (mountain language) or Khas-Kura (Khas language). Nepal is native to about 50% of the country’s population. Initially, its carriers were the Gurkhas, who inhabited the western middle mountains (the valleys of the western Mahabharat) and captured the Kathmandu valley in the middle of the 18th century. After the seizure of power and the founding of the Shah dynasty by the Gurkhas, the Gurkhali language became the main language for communication between numerous ethnic groups and nationalities and was called Nepali. It belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages and is related to Hindi. The Terai are inhabited by immigrants from India who speak Maithili, Bhojpuri, Avadhi, Bengali, which, like Nepali, belong to the Indo-Aryan languages. The Tibeto-Burmese group includes languages and dialects that are distributed mainly among the indigenous population of the Himalayas: Tamangs, Newars, Gurungs, Magars, Sunwars, thakali, rai and limbu. Sherpas speak a dialect of the Tibetan language. 14 of the languages and dialects of Nepal have their own script, which is mainly based on Hindi.

Despite the abundant flow of tourists that flooded into Nepal in the 90s of the last century, English is not understood everywhere. And if in the Kathmandu valley it will be quite easy to find a person who speaks English, then in villages remote from the capital and major tourist centers, this may be a problem. Usually conductors and guides accompanying tourists speak English quite well. According to estimates, about 5,000 Nepalese speak Russian, mostly graduates from the universities of the former USSR, Russia or the CIS, and education in Russia still remains attractive to Nepalese. Excursions to the most popular tourist places are conducted not only in English, but also in Russian, but, as a rule, they must be ordered in advance, back in Russia.

Language in Nepal