image Pakistan, a friend of Korea image Uzbekistan, a friend of Korea

Nepal, a friend of Korea

Do you know the Himalayas, also known as the roof of the world?

In Nepal, home to the Himalayas, over 80% of its population are Hindu, but they respect different spiritual beliefs. Some say that there are more gods than its people to describe its generous religious tolerance.

Swayambhunath Temple in its capital Kathmandu is a mecca for Buddhists and one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the world, built over 2,000 years ago. In Buddhism, monkeys are considered sacred because the Buddha is believed to have once been a monkey in his past lives. Due to the hundreds of monkeys at the temple, it is also called “the Monkey Temple.”

Have you heard of Bhaktapur, one of the three kingdoms along with Kathmandu and Patan during Nepal’s golden age of the Malla Dynasty (12th – 18th century)?

Bhaktapur is a part of the Kathmandu Valley, which was inscribed as a UNESCO cultural heritage in 1979 for its well-preserved Nepalese medieval architecture. The Kathmandu Valley consists of the royal palaces of the three kingdoms, the two Hindu temples of Pashupati and Changu Narayan, and the two Buddhist temples of Swayambhu and Bauddhanath.

The Baekje Historic Areas, inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2015, are Korea’s equivalent to Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley. The areas consist of eight archaeological sites in today’s Gongju, Iksan, and Buyeo, which were the capital cities of Baekje (18 BC – AD 660).

Baekje, one of Korea’s three ancient kingdoms along with Goguryeo and Silla, made significant contributions to East Asia’s cultural development. The Baekje Historic Areas exemplify its unique culture and tradition.

With rich cultural heritage, both countries are dedicated to eradicating global illiteracy.

September 8th of each year is International Literacy Day, proclaimed by UNESCO. Korea created the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize in 1989 to honor King Sejong’s goal of creating the Korean alphabet Hangeul and contribute to eradicating illiteracy in the world. The 2020 UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize was awarded to Ageing Nepal, a Nepalese NGO, for its ‘Basic Literacy Class for Older Persons.’