My family is helping two people from Nepal to come to the United States to study, and their family will be visiting us temporarily. I was told that their family practices Buddhism, but I find myself somewhat lacking in knowledge on the religion/philosophy/culture that surrounds Buddhism. I don't wish to offend them or to put them into awkward situations, are there any significant things I should know? I've been reading online and I seem to get the impression that Buddhists do not eat beef. But do they eat meat at all?
I have a little statuette of the Buddha that a friend gave to me as a gift once when I was going through a phase with eastern philosophy, due to an inside not quite joke that I share with this friend she had drawn a geometrical symbol on the belly of the statuette. Would this be something they would find offensive?
To sum up my question: What do I need to know about Buddhism to interact with Buddhists from Nepal in a way that is respectful of their beliefs?