On May 25, 2008, after 240 years of reign, the only Hindu monarchy in the world became the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. A few days after the king left the palace, it was transformed into the Museum Narayanhiti.

The people lived for a long time in an atmosphere of tension. There were ongoing disputes between the old monarchy and the country’s Maoist rebels, who wanted to establish a Communist regime.

Today the country is still in its infancy for a multi-party democracy, but a significant step was taken on September 20th, 2015 when the first Constitution of Nepal was promulgated. The political time is one of new beginnings.

The culture is a reflection of the ethnic diversity that makes up Nepal, however Hinduism has much influence on customs, since 80% of the population is Hindu. Buddhism also influences and blends with Hindu practices (around 10% of practitioners). Buddhism holds that the Buddha was born in Nepal.

The Nepali year begins in mid-April and is divided into 12 months. Saturday is the official day of rest. The official currency is the Nepali rupee and the language is Nepali, but English is considered a second language.

The capital is Kathmandu. The population are more than 29 million, making Nepal one of the world’s biggest population densities – over 200 inhabitants per square kilometer.

It is considered a poor country, approximately 25.2% of the Nepali population lives below the poverty line, according to data released by the World Bank. The HDI (Human Development Index) is considered one of the lowest in the world, matching up with many African countries.

Recent statistics indicate that 69% of Nepal’s labor force is in agriculture, 12% in industry and 19% in services. The average annual income is USD 2,700 per capita.

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A place of contrasts

Nepal has many contrasts. The diversity of languages, ethnic groups and castes is impressive. While the country features beautiful mountain scenery, the Himalayan chain that has the largest and highest mountain in the world, the Everest, and animal diversity, especially birds, Nepal has shortages of water and electricity. This shortage is not due to natural conditions, but rather to political and structural issues.

There is not enough hydroelectric power to capture energy or a water distribution system that meets all needs, nor are there good roads to stimulate the flow of production. Nepal is famous for its herbs, fruits and honey, but does not export successfully.

There is not developed industry and most of the production is applied to a subsistence crop. Nepal is a lovely country in its natural surroundings, but its urban landscapes fall short due to the poor infrastructure and tremendous amount of dust. It is important to note that Nepal continues continue to rebuild both in urban and rural areas after the devastating earthquake in 2015.

Nepal has a very low rate of violence regarding theft and murder. However, it has high rates of domestic violence, child abuse and human trafficking.