Countries » Did You Know?

Welcome to Utpalasia’s Did You Know? page. Here we explore some of the lesser known tidbits of information about South and Southeast Asian countries, their cultures, and lifestyles. We also take a look at a variety of topics ranging from dance trivia to manners and etiquette. Have a question you’d like answered? Let us know what you would like to see featured via Twitter, Google+, or email!


» The Himalayan Monal, also known as the danphe, is the national bird of Nepal. It has a beautiful and shimmering variety of colors as its plumage and lives in the forests. The bird is generally not hunted or eaten.

» Most animals have a special significance in Nepal. The crow, for example, is the messenger of death. The cat is seen to be the servant of a witch and when a dog howls, people believe that someone will be dead the next day.

» Cows are sacred in Nepal. They move when they like, where they like. It is quite common to see traffic being diverted around a resting bovine and people will affectionately touch the animal's forehead as a sign of reverence. Injuring or killing a cow may be considered a worse offense than killing a man, since the animal represents the embodiment of Kamadhenu and is a mother figure to all Hindus. Devotees see her as a selfless creature, because she asks for little else other than grass and water and, in return, produces milk, which can sustain a human being via many different forms (e.g., milk, yogurt, butter, cheese, and whey).