Bhutan Cultural Heritage


Culture and religion are strongly integrated that live of every Bhutanese is always associated with religion. National flag of Bhutan is diagonally divided, upper half yellow and orange lower half with white dragon in the middle holding jewels in its claws. Upper half yellow signifies the secular part of the government and the King and lower half orange the spiritual part of religion. White Dragon is the symbolic figure of the country with purity and jewels the wealth.

People still wear traditional dresses in the offices and schools. Best range of dresses could be seen during festivals worth more than thousand dollars. Long outfit which is pulled up to the knees and tied around the waist is called ‘Gho’ for men and boys, and ankle length dress down from neck similar to Kimono is called ‘Kira’ for women and girls.

Festivals (Tsechus) are great events in the country where people get socialized from all around the country. This is time for one to experience the Bhutan’s living culture that the mask and folk dances would be performed by the monks and other lay men.  The festival would be held every year in every district in dzongs (fortresses) and temples varying the dates and months from one another. Basically, it would be on tenth day of a month of the lunar calendar.

Bhutan is the only country in the world following Mahayana Buddhism in the form of Vajrayana, tantric Buddhism. The state sponsored religious schools are Kajyupa and Nyingmapa. According to the historical events, Buddhism was introduced to Bhutan since 2nd century. Many saints from India and Nepal meditated in various caves in Bhutan but Buddhism was never flourished in the country. Later in 7th century, great Tibetan religious King, Songtsen Gempo built two Buddhist temples in Bhutan; Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro and Jampa Lhakhang in Bumthang. When Guru Rinpoche, a great Tibetan master visited Bhutan from Tibet in the 8th century, he taught Buddhism to the people of Bhutan and converted them. Even at present, the existence of many Buddhist temples, monasteries, fortresses, monks and lamas and their reincarnations are the paradigms of religion role in the nation.

Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal is still regarded as the founder of the nation in the 17th century, unification of the country was achieved only in the early 20th century after many internal strives and turmoil.

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