Nepal is a landlocked country in the Himalayas, the highest mountain range in the world. Nepal has three distinct geographical zones-lowland hills, mountains, valleys and the Great Himalayan Range- with subtropical to alpine-arctic temperatures and wide variations in vegetation and animal life

Most people in Nepal are farmers. They grow grains, fruits and other crops in the lowlands, where temperatures are warmest. Rice and corn are grown in terraced, or stair-like fields in the cooler hilly regions. Potatoes and barely are the staple or chief crops at higher altitudes, where temperatures are the coolest.

The Nepalese raise goats, cattle, and yaks for dairy products. Meat is eaten mostly on special occasions. Religious rules affect which meat people in Nepal eat. Hindus who make up almost 90 percent of the population, do not eat beef. Islam does not allow its followers, Muslims, to eat pork. The Buddhist religion prohibits the killing of birds and animals but allows the eating of meat.

Atypical family meal in Nepal might include Daal Bhat Tarkari (rice with lentil gravy and vegetables) or chapatti (a flatbread), steamed vegetables and  achaar (a paste of spiced pickled fruits).

About 90 percent of Nepalese people live in rural areas. They often lack electricity for refrigerators, so they rely on cereals such as grain, lentils and beans.

People take their traditions and the kinds of food they eat with them when they move from one place to another. You might recognize examples when you look at your classmate’s special foods or at specially restaurants in your community.

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