Nepali Words For Winter Clothes: 5+ Awesome Outfits For The Himalayas


Winter in Nepal is a magical time when the Himalayan peaks glisten with snow, and the crisp, chilly air calls for cozy clothing to brave the cold temperatures. Nepali culture has a rich history of adapting to harsh mountain climates, which is reflected in unique Nepali words for winter clothes.

So let’s snuggle down and explore words in the Nepali language for various winter garments, each with its own significance and cultural context.

Nepali Outfits

Let us take you to a walkthrough of a traditional Nepalese wardrobe.

The Classic Men’s Outfit – Daura Suruwal (दौरा सुरुवाल)

The Daura Suruwal is a national outfit worn by Nepali men, especially in rural areas. Similar to the loose-fitting Kurta Suruwal, it consists of a long shirt called the Daura, which has a unique wraparound design, and Suruwal, the tapered trousers. The Daura is fastened with eight strings known as Astamatrika Singini and each string represents a goddess: Byagini, Barahi, Kumari, Brahmayani, Maheswari, Indrayani, Byasnabi, and Mahalaxmi.

During the winter months, these outfits are often made from thicker fabrics like wool or cotton blends to provide extra warmth and are commonly worn with jackets. Daura Suruwal represents the cultural heritage and identity of Nepali men and was made popular in the 19th century after Nepalese Prime Minister Janga Bahadur Rana traveled to the UK for an audience with Queen Victoria.

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The Classic Woman’s Outfit – Gunyu Cholo (गुँयु)

The Gunyu Cholo consists of a colorful blouse and a long skirt. The outfit is presented to girls aged seven or eight years old along with jewelry as a sign of their transition into womanhood. Although not considered formalwear, it is common to see the outfit worn during daily life to keep out the cold weather and for cultural events.

The Elegant Dress – Bakhu (बखु)

The sherpa people living in the Himalayas certainly know something about keeping warm during the chilly winter months. Bakhu are elegant, traditional dresses worn by women in many parts of Nepal, especially in the hilly and mountainous regions.

This traditional clothing is worn over a long-sleeved blouse called wan-Ju (वान-जु). During the winter months, Bakhus are often made from heavier fabrics like wool or silk to provide extra warmth. A patterned apron called Pangden is worn by married women (the rainbow patterns on the Pangden differ from region to region) and both married and unmarried ladies wear rear aprons called Matil or Gyaptil. The outfit is topped off with a hat called Shyamu (शयामू).

The Shawl – Bakka (बक्का)

Bakka, or shawls, are versatile and essential winter garments in Nepal. They are made from various materials, including wool, pashmina, and acrylic blends. Bakka serves multiple purposes, from keeping the neck and shoulders warm to providing an extra layer of insulation on particularly cold days. These shawls often feature intricate embroidery and vibrant colors, reflecting the region and ethnicity of the wearer.

The Brimless Cap – Topi (टोपी)

The topi is a quintessential accessory for staying warm during Nepali winters. These woollen or cotton hats are also a snazzy addition to the Daura Suruwal. The cap became popular after King Mahendra of Nepal made it a mandatory accessory for government events and official photographs. In many communities, the Topi is also a symbol of social and cultural identity.

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The Black Cotton Sari – Haku Patasi (हाकु पटसी)

Worn by the farming women of the Kathmandu Valley, Haku Patasi is a black cotton sari with a bright red border. A blouse with cotton fasteners known as a Misalan (मिसालं) is worn with the Haku Patasi, and a shawl, Ga (गा), adds extra warmth when it is wrapped around the upper body.

The Delicate Handwoven Shawl – Khasto (खस्तो)

Khasto, or handwoven shawls, are not only functional but also a symbol of craftsmanship and artistry. These scarves are meticulously woven from fine materials like pashmina, silk, or muslin. Khasto can be worn as a stylish accessory to keep cool in the summer, or used to protect the face from the biting cold winds in the winter.

The Versatile Scarf – Dhaka (ढाका)

The Dhaka is a versatile and practical winter accessory in Nepal. Similar to the Khasto, it is a long, rectangular scarf made from cotton or wool, often featuring traditional patterns and designs. Dhakas are worn to protect the neck and face from the cold, and they can also be used as a headwrap or shawl in a pinch.

Nepal’s diverse and unique vocabulary for winter clothes reflects the country’s rich cultural heritage and its ability to adapt to the harsh mountain climates. Nepali winter clothing is not only functional but also deeply rooted in the cultural identity and fashion of its people. As you bundle up to face the cold Himalayan winters, remember that each garment tells a story and represents the resilience and creativity of the Nepali people.

Explore More Nepali Words For Winter Clothes With Ling

If you are tempted to take a trip to the Himalayas, learning Nepali words and phrases is a great way to mingle among the locals. Ling has everything you need to complete your journey to fluency if you are a beginner or a Nepali speaker looking to improve your proficiency.

Learning with Ling app is fun and there are plenty of interactive games and quizzes to keep things interesting. Ling’s AI chatbot means you can practice your conversation whenever you have a spare moment and will have you speaking like a local in no time. Give Ling a go today by clicking on these links to Google Play or the App Store.

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