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Nepal 2023



Most Kathmandu residents used to get their water from communal stone spouts fed by springs from the nearby hills. The spouts are called hiti in Newari, the language of the historical inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley. Due to urban development and deforestation, most hitis no longer supply water. This one is still heavily used during the rainy season but now is dry for many months. The beautiful traditional brass vessels used to collect and carry water are also slowly disappearing from daily use.

Scott Faiia © 1992
PCV Malaysia 1973–1975
Irrigation Engineering



Southern Asia

Area 57K mi2; 147K km2

Arable 15%

Population 30.4 (538/mi²; 209/km²)

Gov’t Federal parliamentary republic

Capital Kathmandu (1.5M)

GCP/Capita $3,800

Unemployment 3%

In Poverty 25%

Infant Mortality 25/1K live births (68th)

Life expectancy 72 yrs

Median Age 25 yrs

Literacy 68%

Languages Nepali (official), Maithali, Bhojpuri, Tharu, Tamang, Newar, Bajjika, Magar, Doteli, Urdu, Avadhi, among 123 languages, and English, also spoken in government and business

Religions Hindu 82%, Buddhist 9%, Muslim 4%, Kirant 3%, Christian 1%, other/unspecified 1%

Health 5% of GDP

Education 4% of GDP (88th)

Military 1% of GDP (100th)

Labor Force Agriculture 69%, industry 12%, services 19%

PCVs 1962–2004, 2012–present CURRENT: 0, TTD: 3,880

Adult Books

Arresting God in Kathmandu: Stories
By Samrat Upadhyray

Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin: Harper Perennial (2001); Mariner Books (Kindle edition 2014)
ISBN-10: 0618043713
ISBN-13: 978-0618043712

This collection of short stories focuses on the private realm of love and family through characters balancing lives bound by tradition while awakening to the call of modernization and change. In a city where gods are vividly omnipresent and where privacy is elusive and family defines identity, they search for both transcendence and connection, often finding themselves caught between the pull of their desires and the demands of their society.

“Upadhyay's polished, transfixing stories are set in his hometown of Kathmandu, and the particulars of that fabled city and Nepalese culture as a whole infuse each tale...” (Booklist Online)

“These beautiful stories -- about appearance and reality, vanity and compassion, and the temporal and the spiritual -- are full of tender grace, woven in words that are not only perfectly set like beads in a necklace but also flow smoothly from sentence to flawless sentence without a bump. They are immensely enjoyable and insightful....” (World Literature Today)


House of Snow: An Anthology of the Greatest Writing about Nepal
Edited by Ed Douglas, et al. Introduction by Ed Douglas. Foreword by Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Genre: Anthology of fiction and nonfiction
Publisher: Head of Zeus (2017)
ISBN-10: 1784974579
ISBN-13: 978-1784974572

After the devastating earthquake in April 2015, this collection of essays and literary works was conceived as a tribute to Nepal, its mountainous landscape, and the Nepali people’s cultural and artistic heritage. It brings together contributions from travelers, explorers, and mountaineers—some famous, others not; journalists, fiction writers, poets, and literary scholars—both western and Nepali.

“Even as destruction and difficulty run as an unbroken thread through the more than 500 pages of this extraordinary anthology, so too do immense courage and forbearance.” (Times Literary Supplement)

“If you want a book in English that tells you about Nepalese thinking, and gives a taste of the country's contemporary literature, you could hardly do better than House of Snow.” (Daily Telegraph)

“A well-curated sliver of works that highlight the richness and variety of Nepal's literary contribution” (Kathmandu Post) “House of Snow is the biggest, most comprehensive and most beautiful collection of writing about Nepal in print.” (“Five Great Books Set in Nepal,”, May 31, 2020)

Kids' Books

Beyond Possible: One Man, 14 Peaks, and the Mountaineering Achievement of a Lifetime (Young Readers Edition)
By Nimsdai Purja

Format: Hardcover, 168 pp
ISBN-13: 1426374050
ISBN-13: 978-1-42637-405-0
Age Range: 10–14 years
Publisher: Washington, DC: National Geographic Kids, 2022

Nimsdai Purja tells of his accomplishment scaling 14 “Death Zone” mountains in seven months. He shares with young readers how he physically prepared himself and also how his attitude, leadership skills, and willingness to learn from mistakes took him to the top. Purja writes about how his early life growing up in Nepal shaped him and enabled him to go beyond what people thought was possible.

Amazing and Inspirational! This slim book of 168 pages recounts the inspirational story of world-renowned mountaineer Nims Purja written for 5th graders and beyond. I really enjoyed the way the story was told about Nepalese climber Nimsdai Purja as his journey is recounted when he scaled all 8,000 meter “Death Zone” mountains in seven months.

Consider this book for the young readers in your life who may glean some inspiration that all things are possible.”


Film: Uma
Genre: Documentary
Director: Tsering Rhitar Sherpa
Country: Nepal
Release Date: 2013
Filming Locations: Nepal
Language: Nepali
Run Time: 2 hr 20 minutes

Set in the early 2000s, Uma is a story about Uma, her brother Milan, and their widowed mother living in rural Nepal during the Maoist insurgency.

Shreya Paudel of The Kathmandu Post praised the director writing "[he] shot the movie beautifully with stunning camera work and angles." ... The best thing about Uma is its non-partisan approach. It does not have black and white characters, rather it treads in the grey zones of reality. It is not a revolutionary fable, nor it is a piece of anti-Maoist propaganda. It is just a story of the times we lived in. ...

UMA—PERCEPTION FLANKED BY POLITICS (2013): Torn in the prodigal war between 1996 and 2006, Nepal floated as a country divided into three hierarchies: the so-called elites, the ordinary citizens, and the rebellion of the Maoists in a superficial war between the Government and the party for the working class people—as they supposed—the Maoists. Amidst this illusory chaos, a family finds itself torn in the brink of reality—with a touch of revolutionary, a spirit of obligation, and a nature of empathy. ...

.. Flying from the creations of New Wave Nepalese Cinema, Uma is an accomplishment. Despite flaws in the story and minor faults in the exposition, characterization, and dramatics, Uma touches. It occupies—primarily due to astounding performances by the special two and everybody involved, a dynamic and stunning second portion, breathtaking visuals, cinematography, and photography; melodic and just perfect background music, and the splendor of meaningful cinema coming from home, sweet home. —Rey Kissna

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