Music is an integral part of Nepali life
and Nepali culture. None of the cultural, social or religious event
is complete without musicians and without the sounds of music in
Nepal. Traditionally, there is special caste of people in Nepal
called the 'Damais' and the 'Gaines' whose main duty in life is
playing musical instruments and singing in all kinds of functions
and celebrations. Going side by side with their ethnic diversities
the people of different ethnic groups have their own musical instruments
and dances viz. 'Lakhe' dance of the Newars and 'Rodi' of the Gurungs
to name a few. 'Ropain'(Rice planting) is also considered a special
occasion that is always accompanied by songs and dances.
The influence of Indian and other forms of oriental
music in Nepal has been always very strong due to the cultural and
religious affinities that exist between the people of these two
countries. So don't be surprised if you hear Hindi film songs being
aired on FMs, T.V. and discothèques. The shops are full of
CDs of Indian music including 'Bhajans', Film Songs and Classicals.
But of late, it is the western music that has
been able to appeal and influence the young minds of Nepal. Like
elsewhere in the world, western modern music like pop, rock and
rap are the latest craze. It is no wonder that a large number of
clubs and musical bands have mushroomed up in every nooks and corners
of not only Kathmandu but in other big cities as well. '1947 A.D.'
and 'Robin and the New Revolution' are amongst many other popular
musical bands. You can also listen to classic Nepali songs sung
by well known singers like Narayan Gopal, Tara Devi and Natikaji.
If you are interested in pop music you can always listen to Nima
Rumba, Nabin K. Bhattarai and Sabin Pokharel. Or if you are a die
hard classical music fan, then Sur Sudha is the best choice.
To get a taste of western music you can always
visit Thamel - the tourist center of Nepal. Restaurants in Thamel
come alive with all kind of music ranging from Blues, Rock, Heavy
Metal and Rap.
Night life is another great opportunity to indulge
yourself in the course of your stay in Nepal. Major cities like
Kathmandu, Pokhara and Dharan come alive with night clubs, discos,
lounges and bars that stay open till the wee hours of the night.
Discos are becoming extremely popular among the younger generation
and there are a number of restaurants with dance floors. You might
also be surprised with the number of dance restaurants in the city.
Many areas in the city are also known for its infamous dance bars
and dance restaurants that are often under police raid.
But if you want to get a feel of the local or
ethnic taste, book your seats at the 'Bhanchaghar' or the 'Bhoechen'
that hosts live cultural shows every night with ethnic music, dance
You must take extra prevention to ensure safety.
Do make sure you do not travel alone at night. During night time
it's always best to go to a restaurant or a pub that is just a walk
away from the hotel you are staying at. You do not get public transportation
after certain hours during night time. Taxis are always stand by
but can be very expensive.
With these few points in mind, dance away to the
tunes of Nepali folk as well as modern day music that is so welcoming
and entertaining for all ages and time.
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