Culture and Tradition

Did you know that Bhutan is one of the smallest countries in the world?

Yes, Bhutan is one of the smallest countries, but also a country whose uniqueness and beauty in culture and tradition knows no bounds. Our culture is about how we choose to live, eat and dress. However, it is more about how we think and present our thoughts, act and choose to live.

This is what makes us like rest to world and also different from the rest.

 

Dress

Our national dress for men is called ‘gho’ and ‘kira’for women.

Here is a picture of a man smartly dressed in a gho.

The gho is like a knee length robe tied around the waist with belt called ‘kera’ which is traditionally a hand woven.

Here is picture of a beautiful woman dressed in a traditional hand woven kira. 

Kira is an ankle length dress, which is clipped at the shoulders accompanied by a sleeved blouse called ‘wonju’ and ‘tego’. The wonju is worn inside and the tego outside the kira, making folded sleeves at the end.

The style of the dress doesn’t necessarily change, but the dresses can differ in the texture, color, pattern and presentation according to occasions where the dress is worn.

 

Architecture

If you walk through the fields of a typical village in Bhutan, you will see infrastructures uniquely built in traditional ways using rammed earth and smeared raw construction techniques.

The walls are built with strong stone masonry and complex woodwork around windows and roofs with paintings of religious emblems. The traditional architecture does not employ the use of nails nor any iron foundation.

However in the modern times, things have changed. Along with the traditional buildings we can also find infrastructures with the blend of modern and tradition.

Here is an amazing fact about Bhutan for you.

Did you know that ‘Phallus’ paintings can be found on the walls of most traditional houses in Bhutan?

Phallus paintings are found on the walls of most Bhutanese houses. In some cases, the phalluses are carved out of wood and hung above doorways. According to religious beliefs, it is said that phallus can ward away evil spirits and insidious effects of gossips brewed from jealousy.

 

Eating Habits

Did you know that chili is not a spice but a ‘vegetable’ in Bhutan?

Yes, ema (meaning chilies) and datshi meaning cheese) are two most prominent ingredients in almost every Bhutanese dishes.

A typical Bhutanese dish consists of a bowl of rice with some curry. During older days, people used to eat with their hands after making sure all the members of the family are present for the meal. Now people mostly do not prefer to eat with hands, however the families do eat together.

A typical Bhutanese meal together usually starts with offering of a small prayer and placing a small morsel outside the plate on the floor or the table as an offering to the deities and spirits.

However the practices and habits have changed with time. People have become more health conscious and started incorporating different western diets along with usual Bhutanese diets.