Nepal is a beautiful country rich with history, culture and incredible people. It’s also home to Betterfelt’s company-owned workshop, located in Kathmandu!
As a Fair Trade certified company, we are deeply invested in our artisans, their lives and the amazing country they call home. For instance, during their annual fall festivals, all our artisans get 34 paid holidays and an extra month of salary. We believe in respecting and embracing people’s culture and traditions.
We’ve also learned some pretty cool facts about Nepal over the years. We wanted to share some of them with you so you can learn more about the unique country where your Betterfelt slippers were made.
Here are five cool facts about Nepal that you might not have known:
1. When you’re in Nepal, you're in the future
You read that right.
Nepal is 56 years and 8 months ahead of North America.
How is this possible?
Nepal follows the Bikram Sambat calendar, also known as the Vikram Samvat calendar. It’s the historical Hindu calendar and the official calendar of Nepal! Some other countries that use the Bikram Sambat calendar are India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
Vaisakhi marks the beginning of Hindu Solar New Year and is celebrated on the 13th or 14th of April every year.
2. Nepal is home to most of the world’s highest mountains
Nepal is often revered for its gorgeous mountainous landscape — and for good reason! The country is home to eight of the 10 highest mountains on the planet. The highest is the famous Mount Everest, standing at 8849 meters high and located on the Nepal and China border. The other mountains are:
Kanchenjunga - (8586 meters high)
Lhotse - (8516 meters high)
Makalu - (8481 meters high)
Cho Oyu - (8201 meters high)
Dhaulagiri I - (8167 meters high)
Manaslu - (8156 meters high)
Annapurna I - (8091 meters high)
3. Nepal is the only country with a non-rectangular national flag
Nepal’s flag is unique. It’s the only national flag that doesn’t have the typical rectangular shape. Instead, its bold red flag has a triangular shape.
Red is Nepal's national colour, and it reflects the brave spirit of the Nepalese people. The two triangles that make up the flag symbolize the Himalayan Mountains (much of which are in Nepal). The celestial bodies on the flag represent the hope that Nepal will last as long as the sun and the moon.
4. Nepal is a very diverse country
For its small size, Nepal is incredibly diverse.
It’s a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious country that boasts unity in diversity. Nepal is home to 80 diverse ethnic groups, with people who speak more than 123 different languages. These groups all have different beliefs, traditions and celebrations, yet they show mutual respect and live harmoniously. An example that we think the rest of the world should follow!
5. Elephant Polo originated in Nepal
You know of polo, but have you heard of elephant polo?
It’s just as it sounds. Take traditional polo and replace the horses with elephants!
Elephant polo is said to have originated in Meghauli, Nepal, and the country remains the headquarters of elephant polo and the site of the World Elephant Polo Championships. Other countries that take part in the sport include India and Thailand. Even England and Scotland have been known to field teams!
We. Need. To. See. This.