When you travel to a foreign country, there is the risk of offending people of another culture. Even though you have the best intentions as a humanitarian aid worker and you’re there to help. To avoid uncomfortable situations for you and the people you meet, it is important to understand and respect the local customs.A typical Nepalese local custom is namasteAs part of your preparations when going abroad for a humanitarian mission, it is important to learn the local customs. In Nepal, different ethnic groups coexist, each with their own complex customs.As a foreigner in Nepal, you’re likely to draw attention from the local population as an object of curiosity. There is a chance you’ll be joined in the street or on the trail by someone who just wants to chat. Nepalese will constantly try to interact with you, wanting to exchange addresses, take photos and try to befriend you.One of the most attractive of Nepalese local customs is giving the greeting, namaste (‘I salute the god within you’), where your palms are held together as if you were praying. Namaste isn’t used casually. You can think of it as ‘how are you?’ Rather than a simple ‘hello’. Say namaskar if you want to show great respect. It is a more formal variant.The gestures for ‘yes’ and ‘no’ often are confusing to foreigners. To indicate you are in agreement, tilt your head slightly to one side and then back the other way. To politely decline, hold one hand up in front of you, palm forwards, and subtly swivel your wrist, as if you were adjusting a bracelet. Shaking your head as is common in the Western world, is too similar to the Nepalese gesture for yes. Pointing with your finger is considered rude, rather use the chin.