Friday, 16 April, 2021

Nepal Democracy

Author: Raissa Pinto Pereira


Squirrels in Nepal are said to be the least studied species of mammal because squirrel sightings are rare, as only a few wander far from their natural habitats. Perhaps, if squirrels in the United States are afforded with similar living conditions as those in Nepal, the small mammals will not seek shelter and protection in human homes, particularly in attics.

Known Facts About Squirrels in Nepal

Nepal is home to 11 species of squirrels, out of the 248 species found across the globe. The most common of which is the hoary-bellied squirrels, to which only 39 were sighted during a study launched in October to September in 2018. Squirrel sightings occurred mostly on roads and other low altitude areas and in fewer occasions in agricultural lands located near bodies of water.

Squirrels in Nepal are distributed in different geographical locations, across plains, mid hills, and even in the alpine areas of the country’s Trans-Himalayan region. Their natural habitats are typically in mountainous areas, with elevation levels ranging between 70- 4000 meters above sea level; many of which are outside of Nepal’s protected wildlife areas. These species of wildlife mammals are known to use oak trees and tall bamboos as their nesting sites. The preference for these trees are likely due to the protection provided against predators.

Still, like squirrels in other parts of the globe, the existence of squirrels in Nepal are threatened by mankind’s high-use of natural landscapes, which often lead to habitat loss. High use include not only road and infrastructure constructions but also for agricultural purposes, small scale logging activities and in some parts, establishment of human settlements.

As the different species of squirrels are forced to look for other places in which to seek shelter, they are chanced upon by local hunters looking to make money by way of fur or pet trades. In some areas inhabited by indigenous folks, squirrel skin is believed to be an effective protection against evil spirits.

Nonetheless, animal conservationists conduct studies about squirrel as a way to collect data to have a better understanding of the small mammals and the ecology in which they thrive. Doing so will help wildlife agencies introduce future conservation and management programs.

The overall impression we get from brief overviews about squirrels in Nepal is that these small animals are not considered as wildlife nuisance. Except in cases where they stumble into villages in which the people mistake them for wild civet cats. The latter are the leading wildlife pests in mountainous regions. As a result, some squirrels become victims of retaliatory killings like those that transpire in villages near the Makalu Barun National Park in the district Sankhuwasabha.

Squirrels in the U.S. are Protected by Animals Laws

Apparently, habitat loss is a common major problem encountered by squirrel species distributed in different parts of the world.

One major difference though is that in some countries like the U.S., squirrels and other wildlife regarded as nuisance animals are protected by animal laws. Handling of wildlife creatures found invading human homes including those that use attics as nesting places must employ ethical and humane methods in the removal of animals.

As an example, the AAAC Wildlife Removal of San Antonio in Texas will entrust captured nuisance animals to the local Animal Control Officer. The ACO in turn will be responsible for bringing the creatures back to their natural environments that can provide them with safe shelter, food sources and freshwater.


Marriage is regarded as an institution and its origin dates as far back as 4,350 years ago. The first evidence of a ceremony that formally arranged a union between a man and a woman, was found by anthropologists in Mesopotamia; estimated to have taken place in 2350 BC.

Earlier discoveries showed that back then, marriage had nothing to do with religion or love. It was more of a system developed to divide into smaller units, loosely organized groups of 30 or so members that included women and children. It is quite interesting, therefore that in different parts of the world, such unions had evolved into an institution called marriage. The rites and celebration of which, can be largely influenced by love or religion or both.

In Nepal, in which most members of the population practice either Hinduism or Buddhism as religion, marriage rituals largely depend on the beliefs of the couple being formally united. Regardless of faith, Nepali marriages are founded on the conviction that a union made under traditional rites will lead to success and happiness that will last a lifetime. Both religions emphasize the importance of mutual respect, whilst discouraging married couples from entertaining thoughts of breaking up their marriage.

In comparison to countries where the people are not so religious, like in the Netherlands, love is the main reason why Dutch men and women marry. The customary practices in traditional Dutch weddings in Netherland are more focused on strengthening the romance that binds the wedding couple. Dutch weddings are a celebration of a successful courtship leading to a happy marriage and a fruitful future.

Differences between Nepali and Dutch Traditional Marriages

First off, Nepal marital laws allow child marriages. Many young girls in Nepal become brides before they reach the age of 15. According to popular opinions, the reasons why child brides are common in Nepal include poverty, gender inequality, arranged marriages as a family practice, or even adolescent love.

On the other hand, the Dutch government does not encourage forced marriages. Eligible Dutch citizens who are at least 18 years of age can marry anyone they choose, including a member of the same gender or a foreign national. The most important requirement is that at least one of the marrying couples is a Dutch citizen.

Traditional Hindu marriage rites in Nepal begins with a “puja,” which is a daily prayer ritual performed by both bride and groom days before and up to the actual day of the wedding ceremony. Traditional pre-wedding practices in the Netherlands, are mostly parties for different sets of guests; including a visit to the bride’s house to eat traditional sweetmeat and drink spiced wine with the bride’s family.

Another interesting difference between Nepal and Netherlands traditional marriages is the customary wedding walk. In Nepal, the groom and bride in a Hindu marriage will have to walk around a fire while performing other activities suggested by the officiating priest. Whereas in the Netherlands, the bride and her groom walk on a bed of flowers on their way to the altar.

Still, traditional marriages in Nepal and Netherlands share similar elements with other countries. Flowers especially marigolds, and blinking lights, are the main adornments of a Nepali wedding venue.

Since the Netherlands is a country famed for its abundance of colourful flowers, it is but natural for traditional Dutch wedding organizers to bedeck venues with flowers, particularly tulips. Although not counted as a customary wedding decor, most Dutch couples nowadays, rent light letters (lichtletters huren) to symbolize and highlight their love for each other.