Culture of Bhutan

Bhutanese culture dates from the ancient period of 17th century and is jealously guarded by the pristine souls of the country. The gentle people use their geographic isolation to great extent and remain wary of external cultural influences.

Buddhist faith and spirituality are prevalent in all the activities undertaken by the Bhutanese. Art, music and dances are completely steeped in ethos of the national religion. Witness the country's scintillating religious festivals, renowned as Tsechus and get a feel of the overwhelming grandeur. Bhutanese citizens, comprising of both Government officials and the people, always wear the national dress. Men are expected to wear a Gho, a long robe tied at the waist and pouched over the belt in order to form a pocket. Women, on the other hand, dress in a Kira, an ankle-length robe tied at the waist with a wide sash and then fastened at the shoulders with silver broaches.

The country's culture is highly influenced by historic Tibetan culture. Even the languages, Dzongkha and Sharchop bear resemblance to Tibetan. Bhutanese monks practice the language chhokey; a historical segment of the Tibetan language fold. Guru Padmasambhava - founder of Himalayan Buddhism is held in great esteem by both the Tibetans and Bhutanese masses.

The state religion, Buddhism exerts great control over the country and religious freedom is highly controlled. The majority of the populace, i.e. 70% embraces Buddhism whereas Hindus form 25%. Small percentages of Muslims or Christians are also found.

Grand festivals are celebrated during the spring and autumn seasons which honor the Guru Rimpoche. Beautiful ceremonies are held while the Tsechus continue for five days. Religious places and dances usually witness grand social gatherings. These festivals also provide exceptional Buddhist teaching while the people are dressed in beautiful clothes. By intermingling in the tsechus, one can understand the culture to the utmost extent.

List of Bhutan Journeys