Bhutan, known to its people as 'Drukyul', the Land of Thunder Dragon, is a tiny, land-locked kingdom in South Asia, located between India to the south and China to the north in the Eastern Himalayan Region. It is a mountainous country blessed with good environment system.
Bhutan is a multi-lingual society. Today, more than 20 dialects are spoken all over the country with Dzongkha as its official language. Kuzuzangpo is a greeting amongst equals and for seniors and elders, Bhutanese say 'Kuzuzangpola' with their heads little stooped front. Its traditional dress is the most unique in the world. Men wear 'Gho', a long robe raised till knee, folded backwards in such a way that forms a pocket in front of the stomach and tied around the waist by a belt known as Kera. Womenwear ankle length dress called a 'Kira', made from beautifully colored and finely woven fabrics with traditional patterns. A short silk jacket called 'toego' is also worn over the Kira. For special occasions and festivals, colorfully patterned silk Kira and more rarelyGho may be worn.
Bhutan is the only country in the world to retain the Tantric form of Mahayana Buddhism. The Buddhist faith has played and continues to play a fundamental role in the cultural, ethical and sociological development of Bhutan and its people. Annual festivals such as 'Tsechu, Dromchoe and Losar (new year)' are some of the occasions that bring people together. One may see stupas line the roadside commemorating places where great saints may have stopped to meditate. Prayer flags dot the hills, fluttering in the wind, believing that they allow people to maintain constant communication with the heavens.
Bhutan Fact Sheet
- Location: Southern Asia, between China and India
- Area: total: 47,000 sq km., land: 47,000 sq km., water: 0 sq km
- Terrain: mostly mountainous with some fertile valleys and savanna
- Climate: varies; tropical in southern plains; cool winters and hot summers in central valley's; severe winters and cool summers in Himalayas
- Population: 2,279,723
- Ethnic groups: Bhote 50%, ethnic Nepalese 35% (includes Lhotsampas - one of several Nepalese ethnic groups), indigenous or migrant tribes 15%
- Religion: Lamaistic Buddhist 75%, Indian- and Nepalese - influenced Hinduism 25%Languages: Dzongkha (official), Bhotes speak various Tibetan dialects, Nepalese speak various Nepalese dialects
- Festivals: Tibetan New Year, shoton festival, Bathing FestivalCurrency: BTN; INR