Dining Etiquette

There are a few rules of etiquette to consider when it comes to dining in Nepal. The kitchen of a home is considered a sacred place, so treat this room and the cooking which comes out of it with the utmost respect. Shoes should be taken off before entering your host’s home, and don’t throw rubbish in an open fire, if there is one. The Nepalese use their left hands for personal hygiene, so never accept or offer any food or drink with the left hand. Using both hands to pass or receive items is a sign of respect.

Any food that has already been tasted, sipped or bitten into is considered polluted, even if you have only touched it with your fork or spoon. This is a good indication of how sacred the ritual of eating is in Nepali culture. Nepalese usually squat or sit on the floor to eat. It is considered rude to stand in front of someone who is eating, where your feet will be close to the food.

It is normal to socialise for a while before actually dining, with the meal being the final event. Always heartily praise the meal and the chef before you leave, as this will really thrill your host. Tipping is only expected in tourist restaurants and hotels, and ten per cent is sufficient.