Transformation is apparent in Nepal, a country that underwent a decade of civil war 1996–2006, abolished the monarchy to become a republic in 2007, agreed on a new constitution in 2015 and is currently struggling to implement federalism. Decentralisation and minority repre-sentation are being put on the political agenda alongside efforts to rebuild infrastructure dam-aged through two major earthquakes. Beyond this, Nepal appears to have developed into South Asia’s beacon of gender equality. Since 2016 Nepal has had a woman president, a woman chief justice and a woman speaker of parliament.
This paper is an attempt at expanding and problematizing the Japan-German comparison of “nation state” in terms of religion, language, and ethnicity, by using Nepal as the third reference point. The main question raised concerns the translatability and effects of actual translation of four western concepts in the process of the spread of nationalism and the nation state: “nation state”, “religion”, “ethnicity” and “language”.