Newar people (Newa) of Nepal

Newars are a traditional merchant and trading caste that are prominent in old urban areas of Nepal; like Kathmandu. Before the “unification” of Nepal, Newari kingdoms existed throughout the hills of Nepal along major trade routes and Newari kings were renown for their pagoda style temples and crafts. Many of the old palaces and temples in Kathmandu are the work of Newaris and their rich traditions of woodcarvings and stonework continue to this day. Newaris are less than 6% of the population and speak Newari, a Tibeto-Burman language that is unique and difficult to learn.  Newaris have many sub-castes to represent their various crafts and artisan groups and can be Buddhist, Hindu or a mixture of both. Newaris are some of the last practitioners of Vajracharya Buddhism which died out in India several centuries ago. They have many unique festivals that they alone practices; many of which involve carrying chariots and palanquins of their deities around their towns. Newari cuisine is also known for being some of the best food in Nepal – just beware of it’s spicinessnewar2

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