tea party

No, I’m not talking about the political movement going on in the US.  I’m talking about the way of life here in Nepal.

Anytime you visit someone in their home, have a meeting, or sit in a shop for more than a few minutes tea is offered (even if the person just met you that two minutes before).  Most of the time it is chiya (spiced milk tea) that is brought to you.  If you want something else, such as black tea, you have to make sure to request it (but if you wanted something without a lot of sugar, most likely you are out of luck).

a woman enjoying tea at a bead market stall while waiting for her jewelry to be made

Offering chiya is a common courtesy and it gives time to sit and chat (which is always imperative before getting down to business).  The general rule is that you accept it, though if you say no, more than likely they will be quick to offer you something else—maybe you will even be lucky enough to be offered a coke.

This is definitely different than the way business or shopping is conducted in the US and I quite like it—definitely going to miss it once I leave.  If I ever open up a shop, I will definitely bring this tradition along with me!

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