There are many different ethnicities in Nepal and each one is unique in its own way. There are around 125 different ethnic groups and 123 different languages making Nepal an interesting place to visit. I experienced the Gurung caste and culture on my first visit to Nepal when I spent a lot of time in Pokhara. Spending several nights in the small Gurung village of Tangting allowed me to spend time with the kind good natured people who were all too happy to teach me about Gurung culture.
According to People of Nepal, they originated in the hills along the southern slopes of the Annapurna range in western Nepal. Gurungs have Mongoloid features, yet they look different from Tibetans. They are close in ethnicity to the Magars and Thakalis who are their neighbors in the Himalaya Mountains.
While Gurungs live all over Nepal these days, the majority of them live in the Gandaki Province which includes Pokhara and the lower Annapurna Conservation Area. This is where their original settlements were, including famous villages like Ghandruk and Tangting.
Gurungs typically practice Buddhism or Bon as a religion. Locals say that not as many people practice the original Bon religion as they used to. Bon focuses on praying to nature and has gods that represent different aspects of nature. Today, Tibetan Buddhism is becoming more popular.
Gurungs have their own language called Gurung. Most Gurungs also speak Nepali except some of the older generation or those who live isolated in small villages. The Gurung language is slowly fading as younger generations fail to learn it, which is a problem with most of the languages within Nepal. Many Gurungs also speak fluent English and can understand Hindi.