GAPNepal – 3I Model of Cultural Immersion:

When staying in a foreign country for an extended period of time, it is important for a person to fully immerse oneself in the culture. The ability to experience cultural immersion can be a useful skill. When one can truly immerse themselves into another culture, it makes it easier to connect and understand the people in that culture and gain more practical knowledge. It can also make your stay more comfortable and enjoyable. GAPNepal has a simple model to help the participants experience full cultural immersion.

            Introduction

When you first arrive to Nepal, you will have a period to adjust. Nepal is quite different from other countries, especially those in the Western world. Participants will be given a broad introduction to the Nepalese social system. This includes an explanation of the pros and cons of the both the social system and the common practices found in Nepal.

 

Once you’ve been introduced to the country, hopefully you will be more open to the other aspect of the culture and ready to enjoy the full Nepal experience!

            Integration

Integration is about moving you, the participant, into the culture. This can be achieved through experiencing traditional Nepali food – including learning how to cook some of it – and learning some simple Nepali words and phrases. It’s also suggested to participants to try and experience the common Nepali fashion. Experiencing the culture is different from simply reading or learning about it in some way, and can help increase your understanding and acceptance of the cultural practices. The homestay is an important aspect of this integration, as it allows for more opportunities to experience and participate in the Nepali culture.

Immersion

Once the integration has begun, from there it is a seamless transition into full immersion. Once you begin integrating yourself into your homestay, you will eventually see a change in yourself. There comes a point where you will simply start to follow the traditions in the home without needing to be reminded of them. You will start using simple words and phrases in your everyday conversations. You will not question when people act a certain way. The Nepalese people are very open and welcoming, and once you can see and recognize that and understand that they are more than willing to share not only their culture, but their homes and their lives with you – and once you are able to do the same – you will be able to fully immerse yourself in Nepal and Nepali culture and enhance your experience(s) here!

It is important for you to remember that full immersion can take time, and trying to rush your understanding can be detrimental to that understanding. Take your time and go at your own pace. There are many differences between Nepal and other countries, and culture shock can take a little time to get over; there may be times when you feel some dissonance between what you are used to and what you are actively experiencing, and that’s okay! Take as much time as you need; the important thing is that there comes to be a mutual understanding between you, the participant, and the host country. The speed at which this understanding is reached is not critical to the understanding itself.

Final Note to the Participant

Any participants who feel that they have fully experienced and benefited from the full cultural immersion experience are encouraged to share their experiences with the Cultural Immersion team to help assist future participants with the experience!

Top 10 reasons to travel Nepal in 2017

Nepal, the dream destination for the Himalayan lovers has the best of the life time experiences that anyone is looking for during their vacation trips. There are so many unique experiences that makes Nepal as the most valued travel destination in the world:.

  • Cultural wonders of Nepal

Nepal has living Goddess, one of such which doesn’t exist in any part of the globe. And Nepal has array of unique cultures which for the travelers to experience and explore.

  • Ancient world heritages

The capital city houses the seven world heritage sites in within 20 Kilometers. All these heritages gives you the feeling of middle age civilization and also the city planning in the ancient time.

  • Landscape

From 60 meters of the sea level to the 8848 meters of the sea level, Nepal has unique beautiful landscape of rivers, flat lands, hills, mountains and Himalayas.

  • Village life

More than 70% of the total population lives in the villages and the life style is simple. They work in the field for their living and also resemble the simplest form of living where you feel the real happiness. Apart from the modern amenities, the pure form of life makes you feel that you are the part of the nature.

  • Adventures with Nature

Trekking, river rafting, Canoeing are the best adventure moments that can be experienced in Nepal. These all adventures go with the nature. So anyone willing to be in nature for the adventures, Nepal is the ultimate choice.

Views from Thokla Pass 4830m.
  • Beautiful weather

Monsoon, from June to August ist the rainy season. Apart from that weather remains good throughout year. You enjoy the best of the sun shines, free from the weather extremities. Its neither too much cold nor too much hot.

  • Guest Friendly Culture

ATITHI DEVO BHAVA is the quotation written in the holy books. This means that the Guests are God. So, born up with this tradition and the culture, they make you feel that you are with the people of friendly nature.

  • The people of Nepal

Nepal houses more than 90 ethnic communities People of Nepal greet always with the smiles in their face. They are well known for the best hospitality in the world. Their welcoming nature during the trip makes you feel that you are in the world beautiful travel destinations of the world.

Responsible travel
  • Responsible travel and value of money

Tourism stands as the third major sector of the National economy. Every trip you make to Nepal create the jobs to the people working in tourism. So your travel is creating the added value to the economically backward communities.

  • Safe to travel

Nepal is one the safest destination in the world. Nepal neither has any sorts of racial violence nor any forms of discrimination based on religion. Nepal is free from the terrorism and any other forms of global unrest.

So, the travel decision waits in your hand. Plan either during your GapYear or your sabbaticals or during your holidays. GAPNepal will maximize the best of Nepal experiences for you.

Day Tour around Patan Durbar Square

Patan, called as the city of fine arts is the small and beautiful artistic city near from the main center of Kathmandu and has remained a masterpiece and one the best cultural tour destination inside Kathmandu Valley.

As soon as we reach the square, at first the parallel view of the cultural city is spectacular from the roof top opposite of the main entrance. This gives the sense of the civilization that evolved in ancient Kathmandu. The iconic Krishna Temple is the supreme combination of arts with the religion. The whole epic Mahabharat and Ramayana has been inscribed in this beautiful stone temple. Hats off to the Artists.

Equally praiseworthy is palace and palace museum. And this is so amazing to pass by the local elders who just stay in the resting places and share their memories with one another. The locals use this place as the best hang outs zone as well.

Beside Durbar Square, it’s recommended to go to Golden Temple, which is one the sacred Buddhist temple in Kathmandu valley. The oldest temple of Patan is Kumbheswor which is said to be erected in 12th century. The statue of GAJALAXMi which is the oldest one in Nepal is also in Patan, near Chyasal. This is the symbolic manifestation of the Ganesh and Laxmi being together, both the icons of prosperity.

The narrow allies, called as Gallies are also worth passing through. The temple of Mahaboudha is also one the Shikhara Style Buddhist Temple which is inspired from the Temple of Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya.  Mahaboudha is the corner to see the Buddhist sculpture.

Now still there are lots more to see exclusive of Patan Darbar Square. We can visit Ashokan Stupa at Pulchowk. This is one of the four Stupas that the great emperor Ashoka erected around 3rd century B.C in a mission to make 84000 Stupas all over the world in order to spread the teaching of Buddha. There are four other stupas in Patan of such type.

 

 

Patan has lot to offer.

If You’ve Got the Time, We’ve Got the Place. We have our expertise to give the best glimpse of the civilization of the middle age.

My date with the Baba Sadhus at Pasupatinath

The cultural tours in Nepal are most probably the best experiences in lifetime and among them the funeral tour in Pashupatinath is the one of the best heartbreaking moment that one can have in his lifetime. Going into Pashupatinath this morning with my guide Shiva was unforgettable to say the least. I would be lying if I said I was not a little bit nervous.

 

 

 

The previous thoughts I had of the burial site, my position and privilege as an observer and nevertheless, a western tourist disappeared in the back of my mind as I embraced death, dying, and life up close. Instead, a sense of calmness overcame me as I entered the site. Things I had only seen in documentaries or read about in my past became reality.

As a cultural tour for me, It was beautifully tragic to watch families mourn their loved ones but also a regain sense of closure of a human being’s life. As my guide puts it, death is a universal truth. It is inescapable. It is inevitable. Yet, it brings us together. The beauty in the architecture, placement, and the detailing in the stones of the temples is something that you will notice right away, let alone the historical and ancient feel of the atmosphere.

However, the juxtaposition in the atmosphere and location of human activity was noteworthy. Just above, on the second level, one can see gatherings of people chanting religious songs about life and the living while below, families prepare ceremonial rituals for their passed loved ones according to either their buddhist or hindu faith. The complete emotional contrast between the two levels was stunning and ironic, leaving me lost for words.

During your tour to Nepal, the babas in Pashupatinath Temple are the real miracles of renunciation who have no desire with them , still love have a short modeling with the western tourist, with which they are content and get something to serve their belly. After watching a these death rituals I thought it would be fun to pose with some of the Sadhus and Shiva joked that this was my opportunity at speed dating to which I took him upon that offer.

After all, they are beautifully detailed pieces of living art. I truly admired the lengths that some Sadhus would go to, making sure that you leave with a smile on your face as well as incredibly silly and beautiful photos. Pashupatinath was a remarkable experience to experience the cultural tour in Nepal and I would recommend anyone that is visiting Nepal to not overlook it. I can easily say that it is one of the few and most genuinely honest places that you will visit in this world.

 

Boudhanath Back to the Shape: Resilience in action

Visit to Boudhanath Stupa is the true symbolization of Nepalese power of resilience. The regular visitor to Boudha may see the change, Boudhanath back to the shape.

Earthquake 2015 was a devastated the UNESCO world heritage sites badly, among them was this Stupa, one the  biggest and greatest for the followers of Tibetan Buddhism. One would simply burst into tears to see the beautiful Stupa converted into rubbles.

The massive reconstruction campaign done by BADC is going to make it the first successful reconstruction project of heritage sites after the earthquake 2015. Unbelievable! 30 kg gold has already been used and more still required.

This Stupa is supposed to have the relics of the Kashayapa Buddha, and also connected with the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, Guru Rimpoche! Thus is a sacred site for all.

 Now it’s time again to be there to observe this beautiful creation of devotion and dedication on its same original form, a true Buddhist experience in its original form.