SPECIAL REGIONAL CONSIDERATIONS - NEPAL
ADOPTION ALERT from the U.S. Department of State - May 26, 2010
ADOPTION ALERT Nepal Adoption Suspension: Frequently Asked Questions
Adoption Notice: Suspension of Adoptions of Abandoned Children in Nepal - August 6, 2010
Nepal is a landlocked nation in South Asia. It is bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by India. Kathmandu, the nation's capital, is its largest city. Nepal is a country of highly diverse geography. The mountainous north contains eight of the world's ten highest mountains, including the highest, Mount Everest. The fertile and humid south is heavily urbanized. Nearly 85% of the people live in villages, in remote and difficult to access terrain. Nepal experiences five seasons: summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring.
Nepal is a multi-cultural, multi-linguistic and multi-religious country. Nepal's 2001 census enumerated 103 distinct castes and ethnic groups including an "unidentified group". The major caste/ethnic groups identified by the 2001 census are Chetri (15.8%), Bahun (12.7%)(Both are of the very few Caucasian (indo European Aryan) ethnicity), Magar (7.1%), Tharu (6.8%), Tamang (5.6%), Newar (5.5%), Muslim (4.3%), Kami (3.9%), Rai (2.7%), Gurung (2.5%), and Damai/Dholi (2.4%). The remaining 92 caste/ethnic groups (including the world-famous Sherpa) each constitute less than 2 % of the population.
All the languages spoken in Nepal are national languages. Nepali is the official language of Nepal, with almost 60 percent of the population speaking it. According to the 2001 national census, 92 different living languages are spoken in Nepal (a 93rd category was "unidentified"). Based on estimates from 2007, the major languages of Nepal (percent spoken as mother tongue) are Nepali (57%), Maithili (10%), Bhojpuri (7%), Tharu (4%), Tamang (5%), Newari/Nepal Bhasa (3%), Magar (2%), Awadhi (2%), Rai (2.79%), Limbu (1%), and Bajjika (1%). The remaining 81 languages are each spoken as mother tongue by less than one percent of the population. Nepal's constitution, however, guarantees that, irrespective of what the official language is, all languages spoken in Nepal can be used for official purposes and documentation. Many in government and business also speak English.
1 Nepal, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nepal