Nepal has a population of about nineteen million, made up of an assortment of races and tribes living in different religions, wearing different costumes and speaking different languages and dialects. They live under quite diverse environmental conditions, from low plain border of India, northward through the middle hills and valleys and up to the flanks of the great Himalayan range where there are settlements at altitude up to 4800 meters. The Himalayan settlements of Tibetan speaking peoples are found perched precariously on mountain ledges and slopes. Life here is a delicate balance of hard work and social merrymaking, tempered by a culture steeped in ancient religious traditions. The best known of the high mountain people are Sherpas who inhabit the eastern mountains of Nepal. The midland is inhabited by various Tibeto- Burman and Indo – Aryan peoples, such as Brahman, Chhetri, and Newar. The Rai, Limbu, Tamang, Sunwar, Jirel, Gurung, Thakali, and Chepang are other Tibeto- Burma speaking Mongloid peoples living in the middle hills. They each have their own distinct social and cultural pattern. The Dun valley and the Terai are inhabited by the Brahmin, Rajput, Tharu, Danuwar, Majhi, Darai, Rajbansi, Satar, Dhimal, and Dhanger. Though Nepal is a veritable mosaic of dozens of ethnic groups, they are bound together by ideas of peace, democracy and nationalism.
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