Nepal is known as a country with a distinctive and strong cultural heritage. It is therefore little wonder that Nepal's folklore plays a large role in society. Nepali folklore and mythology provides readers and listeners with extensive insight into the lives of the various ethnic groups as well as Nepal as a whole. Such folktales can reveal much about tradition, activities, emotion, superstitions, customs and inhibitions.
Tales and stories are typically based upon reality and religious belief, with narration on love, war, gods, demons, ghosts, animals and so on. A single folktale in Nepal may have several variations from region to region. Nepalese folklore is often recreated through music and dance, particularly by the Newar people who act out stories about gods and heroes through masked dances.
A world renowned figure in Nepal’s folklore is the legendary Abominable Snowman also known as the Yeti which is said to live in the Himalayas and is similar to North America’s Bigfoot or Sasquatch. Several reports of sightings of the Yeti have been made in Nepal as well as in China, Siberia and other Asian countries. The Yeti or Abominable Snowman is described as a large apelike creature who uses grunts, whistles and cries to communicate. Various individuals have attempted to find out if there is any truth in the stories. They have carefully considered Nepal’s folklore as well as making efforts to gather casts of footprints, even going so far as to create devices to capture the elusive Yeti. Even the famous Sir Edmund Hillary from New Zealand set about probing reports such as one made by Tensing Norgay’s father regarding the Yeti. Despite all these efforts no tangible evidence has been found that confirms the existence of an Abominable Snowman. Thus, the Yeti remains an element of Nepalese folklore.
When visiting Nepal or surfing Nepal.com’s forums, why not ask a local from Nepal to tell you more about Nepalese folklore and mythology. If you come across any folktales, consider the meaning behind them and what they can teach you about Nepalese society, life and religion, it will be a truly rewarding experience.