Nepal has emerged as one of the most progressive countries in Asia for LGBTQ+ rights. The Nepalese Constitution recognises the fundamental rights of the LGBTQ+ community and has made significant strides since a 2007 Supreme Court decision mandating a third gender category and LGBTQ+ policy audits.
29th June, 2023 – Groundbreaking Development.
In a recent groundbreaking development, the Supreme Court of Nepal issued an interim order directing the government to establish a transitional mechanism for marriage registration of same-sex and non-traditional heterosexual couples. This landmark order calls for necessary amendments to the provisions related to marriage and registered marriages within the current Civil Code. It also mandates the creation of a separate register of marriages for couples from sexual and gender minority communities. Provisional measures will ensure equal treatment until the law is revised.
Nepal has implemented various laws since 2015 that protect individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity. These laws grant the right to display preferred gender on identity cards, prohibit state and private parties discrimination, and ensure access to public services for all genders and sexual minorities.
While the discussion around same-sex marriage is ongoing, societal pressure to conform and marry partners of the opposite sex remains. However, progress has been made towards LGBTQ+ awareness in schools, as Nepal’s education board has incorporated gender and sexuality diversity into the curriculum for students in grades 6, 7, and 8.
Tips and Safety Considerations for LGBTQ+ Visitors in Nepal
Nepal is a much safer destination than its South Asian neighbours for LGBTQ+ travellers. Nepal scores 41 on the Spartacus Gay Travel Index (the joint highest with Taiwan for Asia). This is because the Nepalese are a bunch of welcoming people. There is a saying in Nepal – “Guests are Gods”. All visitors are respected highly. Everyone is welcome as long as some cultural practices (we are very accepting of mistakes) are followed.
Two persons of the same sex holding hands or hugging or even kissing on the cheeks were more acceptable as a sign of great friendship or closeness of relatives amongst the Nepalese. However, a heterosexual couple doing the same caused uneasiness amongst the locals recently.
The younger Nepalese are more expressive and even dress in Western clothing in the cities and towns. However, Nepal is still a conservative nation, and intimate affection causes uneasiness among the locals.
Several International Hotel chains operate in Nepal. They are Crowne Plaza, Hyatt, Marriott group, Starwood group, Taj, and Swissotel, to name a few.
There is an increasing number of small Boutique Hotels, with 10 to 50 rooms constructed in Nepal. They are designed in ways to reflect our cultural heritage through artistic architecture. They also differentiate themselves by providing modern amenities blended tastefully with our artisanal crafts and environmentally sensitive designs.
Nepal is about the size of Austria and Switzerland in size. However, our diversity is extensive, with two significant races and numerous ethnic groups with their clans and sub-clans.
Nepalese Cuisine + Nightlife
Nepalese Cuisine is not as well known as our giant neighbours – India and China. The Nepalese Cuisine is a milder version of Indian food, and they have also adapted Tibetan and Chinese Cuisine.
The Newar Ethnic group of Kathmandu have something similar to Tapas, and their Cuisine is one of the most elaborate Nepalese ethnic groups.
However, we have a pretty healthy diet, primarily organic vegetable-based, superfoods, and herbs used for cooking. Like in most developing nations, almost every part of an animal is eaten.
Nepal has been a leader in International Cuisine since the late 1970s. We have an array of international restaurants. Many travellers in India love the plethora of “Western” meals available in Nepal.
We now have more restaurants to cater to the more affluent Nepalese clientele in Kathmandu and the tourist hub of Pokhara City – 200 km west of Kathmandu.
We have many Restaurants, Cafes, Pubs and Discos in the main cities of Kathmandu, Pokhara and Sauraha (tourist area) in the Chitwan district.
Nepalese love live bands that play rock, heavy metal, reggae and contemporary music. There are also upscale lounges, bars and nightclubs. There are plenty of venues in Kathmandu, Chitwan and Pokhara for Nightlife. In addition, a few outlets started by the LGBTQ community are beginning to spring up in Kathmandu.
Nepal is home to many colourful religious festivals during which life is celebrated.
Read about How we are working on helping the Trans Community in Nepal.
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