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Nepal Major ethnic groups of Nepal

Newars
Kathmandu, the capital city has been the homeland of the Newars. The Newars are inhabitants of a Tibeto-Burman origin speaking in Newari(their own dialect) as well as Nepali. The Newars are among the largest indigenous groups of Nepal and Make up the 7% of the total population (/ 800000). Several Newar Families follow Buddhism as well as Hinduism. They are usually inclined towards commerce, trade and farming. The Newars, who have been divided into 64 occupational groups by King Sthiti Malla, are a unique testimony of the richness of Nepali cultural heritages. They have excelled in arts literature, sculpting, casting bronze and silver and fascinating forms of architecture.

Brahmins
Brahmins, the priestly class of Indo-Aryan origin, occupy the highest position in the Hindu hierarchy. They are said to have come to Nepal from different Parts of India. Today they are found in every part of Nepal and have taken up different occupations.

Chhetris
The Chhetris, who like the Brahmins also have an Indo-Aryan origin, have been traditionally classified as warriors and administrators. They are recognized for their bravery and administrative skills. Today, they are distributed in almost all the parts of Nepal and have been working in different fields. They are said to have originally come from northern India during and after the time of the Buddha. The Khas are generally regarded as Bahuns and Chhetris who set up their own kingdoms in the far- western parts of Nepal. Their language, khas-kura (Nepali) which had evolved out of Sanskrit, was later introduced as the state language after the king, Prithvi Narayan Shah, conquered the Kathmandu valley in 1778.

Gurungs
The Gurungs, originally belonging to the Tibet-Burman ethnic group, live mostly in the central region of Nepal in places like the foothills of Kaski, Lamjung and Annapurna Himal. The Gurung villages surrounding the hills of Pokhara have attracted tourists because of their beautifully maintained stone houses. The Gurungs are good farmers as well as warriors. They, like the Rais, Limbus and Magars, have introduced themselves internationally as the brave Gorkha- soldiers. They follow Hinduism or Buddhism.

Kiratis
The Kiratis ( Rais, Limbus and several other minor groups living in eastern Nepal at present) are among the first group of people ruling over Nepal. Ancient Hindu texts like Himvat-khanda, and Mahabharata have mentioned their names. They basically come from eastern Nepal's Tamakoshi, Bhaotekoshi, Arun and Tamor. These people of Tibeto-Burman origin worship their ancestors and at the same time follow Buddhism, Hinduism, Animism and so on. They are very good farmers and warriors. They are rich in culture and have several languages and scripts called the Sri-Jung.

Magars
The Magars, having Tibeto-Burman origin, live in the Kali Gandaki region on the South of Dhaulagiri. They speak the Tibeto-Burman language and are Hindu by faith but they also follow Buddhism. They are mostly farmers but their martial qualities and physical fitness have made them good soldiers.

Sherpas
The Sherpas, who are said to have come from Tibet, speak the Tibeto-Burman language and live in the Himalayan region of Nepal. They are hardworking, friendly, and reliable in nature. The largest Sherpa settlement is in Solu Khumbu at the foothill of Mt.Everest, the worlds' highest peak (8848m). The Sherpas are adventurous mountaineers of international repute. Tenzing Norgay was the first guide, who with Sir Edmund Hillary from New-Zealand, successfully climbed Mt.Everest in 1953. Ang Rita, Babu Chiri(late), Pasang Lhamu(late) are a few well known Sherpas in the field of mountaineering.

Tharus
The Tharus are the only people living in the forests of the hot Terai along the southern base of the Shivalik hills. Their age-old religion has been Animism, which often reflects their mixed belief in Hinduism and Buddhism. The Tharus, who are said to be descendants of the Rajput(ruling class ) of India, have spread from eastern to western part of Nepal. We have many Madesi or Terai people living along the border Between India and Nepal. They speak Languages like Maithali in the eastern Terai, Bhojpuri in the central Terai and Avadhi in the western terai.

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