Culture Passed Down by Generations

The Cultural History of Bhutan

Bhutan has perhaps one of the most unique cultures, practised and passed down by generations, amassed throughout its history; which is the main attraction for most visitors to the country.

Tibetan Buddhism is still at the heart of the community here. For years, its rulers have maintained their policy of isolation; this has preserved the way of life. There are many monasteries (Dzongs) across the country, where Bhutanese monks read and write the ancient variant of the Tibetan language known as chhokey. 

Archery in Bhutan

Archery is the Bhutanese national sport, and you will see men competing in every village, especially during holidays and festivals. It can be great fun to watch, especially when the archers break into their traditional song and dance. The sport is as much a social gathering, as it is, competition. 

Driglam Namzha

It’s the law in Bhutan that requires its citizens to wear the national dress in schools, offices, and especially during the religious festivals or Tshechus. This practice helps preserve, protect and pass down the dress code, known as Driglam Namzha of the country. Bhutanese men wear long scarves/sash known as a kabney and rachus for the women when visiting Dzongs. 

Marriage In Bhutan

Although arranged marriage and polygamy are not so common these days, they are still practiced to some extent in the rural areas of the country. Most commonly the groom moves to the bride’s family home after marriage. There is no dowry custom and the wife does not take the name of her husband upon marriage. 

The traditional eating habits

Most Bhutanese continue with the traditional eating habits, where the food is usually served by the women to the eldest or the head of the family. Before eating they offer a short prayer and offering to the local deities. A classic Bhutanese meal includes red rice and Ema Datshi (a traditional dish). 

The people and government of Bhutan have laid strong importance on the promotion and preservation of its unique culture, and with it, help guard the sovereignty of the country.