The birth of the nation is dated to Prithvi Narayan Shah's conquest of the Kathmandu Valley kingdoms in 1768.The expansionist reigns of Shah and his successors carved out a territory twice the size of modern Nepal.This situation puts certain groups at a disadvantage in terms of education and civil service positions.Since the institution of a multiparty democracy in 1990, linguistic issues have emerged as hotly debated topics. The culture has many symbols from Hindu and Buddhist sources.However, territorial clashes with the Chinese in the late eighteenth century and the British in the early nineteenth century pushed the borders back to their current configuration. To unify a geographically and culturally divided land, Shah perpetuated the culture and language of high-caste Hindus and instituted a social hierarchy in which non-Hindus as well as Hindus were ranked according to caste-based principles.Caste laws were further articulated in the National Code of 1854.
Resentment in recent years has led to the organization of ethnopolitical parties, agitation for minority rights, and talk about the formation of a separate state for Mongolian ethnic groups. Nepal is named for the Kathmandu Valley, where the nation's founder established a capital in the late eighteenth century.Nepali culture represents a fusion of Indo-Aryan and Tibeto-Mongolian influences, the result of a long history of migration, conquest, and trade. Nepal is a roughly rectangular country with an area of 147,181 square miles (381,200 square kilometers).Nepali is an Indo-European language derived from Sanskrit with which it shares and most residents speak at least some Nepali, which is the medium of government, education, and most radio and television broadcasts.For many people Nepali is secondary to the language of their ethnic group or region.