A serene place which has holy monasteries, lush valleys, rocky mountains and pristine rivers holds a lot more than what meets the eye. The Culture of Bhutan fascinates every person who comes across it. And even the better part is the people and the government’s determination to preserve and promote their cultural values. This is why we can still see its essence in every nook and corner of the country. Some of the most important things that entail Bhutan’s Culture are its festivals, architecture, food and traditional dress.
The predominant religion in Bhutan is Buddhism, followed by Hinduism. As a result, Bhutanese culture is very much influenced by sacred Buddhist values. Bhutanese live by their religious values and respect their gods and deities a lot. Hence, there is no dearth of monasteries, chortens, lhakhangs etc in the country. There are colourful prayer flags on hillsides, at the entrance of monasteries etc, which are considered sacred. The Dzong, a unique combination of a fortress and a monastery is present in every district or Dzongkhag of the country.
Buddhist monks reside in monasteries located high in the mountains. They lead a very simple life, with no luxuries. A monk is generally admitted in the monastery at the age of six to nine and takes his lessons under a headmaster. In common families, a small morsel is kept on the floor as an offering to deities before eating. So, religion plays a very important role in deciding the lifestyle of people.
Culture of Bhutan is quite festive when it comes to the birth of a child. It is one of the very few countries in the world which does not discriminate between a boy and girl. However, no outsider is allowed to enter the house for 3 days after a baby is born. It is only after a purification ritual that the guests can enter. Name of the baby is kept by a local lama, and there is no family name as such. Instead, the name is a combination of two traditional names, and the gender is usually indicated by the second name.
Death of a person means passing on one life to another, i.e re-birth. Prayer flags are erected in the memory of the departed person and the relatives and neighbours come to attend the funeral and other rituals with simple eatables and souvenirs.