Adventure Land Nepal

People, Lifestyle, Dress of Bhutan

PEOPLE:-

Early records suggest scattered clusters of inhabitants had already settled in Bhutan when the first recorded settlers arrived 1,400 years ago. Bhutan's indigenous population is the Drukpa. Three main ethnic groups, the Sharchops, Ngalops and the Lhotsampas (of Nepalese origin), make up today's Drukpa population. Bhutan's earliest residents, the Sharchops reside predominantly in eastern Bhutan. Their origin can be traced to the tribes of northern Burma and northeast India. The Ngalops migrated from the Tibetan plains and are the importers of Buddhism to the kingdom. Most of the Lhotsampas migrated to the southern plains in search of agricultural land and work in the early 20th century.

Bhutan's official language is Dzongkha. Given the geographic isolation of many of Bhutan's highland villages, it is not surprising that a number of different dialects have survived. Bhutan has never had a rigid class system. Social and educational opportunities are not affected by rank or by birth. Bhutanese women enjoy equal rights with men in every respect. To keep the traditional culture alive Bhutanese people wear the traditional clothing that has been worn for centuries. Bhutanese men wear a 'gho,' a long robe tied around the waist by a belt. The women's ankle length dress is called a kira, made from beautifully colored and finely woven fabrics with traditional patterns. Necklaces are fashioned from corals, pearls, turquoise, and the precious agate 'zee' stones which the Bhutanese call 'tears of the gods'.

WAY OF LIFE: -

While urban settlements have sprung up with the process of modernization, the majority of Bhutanese people still live in small rural villages. The Bhutanese diet is rich in meat, dairy, grain (particularly rice) and vegetables. Emadatse, dish made of chili, cottage cheese and herbs) is considered, unofficially, the national dish with many interpretations to this recipe throughout the country. Meat dishes, mainly pork, beef and yak, are lavishly spiced with chilies, and it is common to see bright red peppers drying on rooftops in the sun. Salted butter tea, or suja, is served on all social occasions. Chang, a local beer, and arra, a spirit distilled from rice, maize, wheat or barley, are also common and widely favored. Doma or betel nut, is offered as a customary gesture of greeting. The Bhutanese way of life is greatly influenced by religion. People circumambulating the chortens with prayer beads and twirling prayer wheels are a common sight. Every Bhutanese home has a special room used for prayers - a chosum.

BHUTAN DRESS

All the citizens of Bhutan, whether Government officials or the common public, wear the national dress at all times in public. The national dress for men is called a Gho, which is long robe tied at the waist and pouched over the belt to form a pocket. Government senior officials wear a sword on ceremonial occasions. Women, who enjoy equal rights with men and play an active part in national affairs, wear an ankle-length robe called Kira, which is tied at the waist with a wide sash and fastened at the shoulders with silver broaches.

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