BHUTAN –

Culture and tradition A living Past

Bhutan is a unique blend of the old and the new. Here is a country that is slowly opening up to the modern world in a fine balance with its ancient traditions. Bhutan is often described as a unique, deeply spiritual and mystical kingdom. Religion and faith play a fundamental role and permeates in all aspects lives of the people.

Rituals and Music

The religious dances, rituals, folk music and dances form an integral part of all celebrations and social activities. No functions begin without a ritual to seek blessings.The Royal Academy of performing arts institutes by the government to professionals in the field of Bhutanese music, dances (both religious and folk) and song.

Festivals

The Buddhist festivals or Ttsechus are one of the prime example of living culture of Bhutan that many have come to admire and treasure. The tsechu is a festival in honor of Guru Rinpoche, the saint who brought Buddism to Bhutan and Himalayan world. Tsechus are held in almost every district attracting hundreds of Bhutanese people in a spirit of festivity, celebration and deep faith. Held on the tenth day of the Bhutanese month they festivals last up to four days in which a series of highly stylized masked dance rituals are performed. Bhutanese come dressed in their best for the very special social occasion. Tshechu take place throughout the country in every district at different times of the year. The smaller Tshechu are often more interesting as visitors get a close and better perspective of a local festival.

Apart from Tsechus, flock festivals exist on a smaller, community scale that provides fascinating insight into local beliefs.

Architecture

The architecture of Bhutan is one odd the kingdom most visible distinctive features. From the ordinary dwelling houses to the most impressive public structures such as dzongs, all architectural structures such as dzongs, are strictly based on the unique architectural designs of Bhutan, thereby preserving them in their finest forms. The massive dzongs (fortresses), the ancient monasteries and humble farm house stand out as an important part of the country’s landscape.

Textiles & Handicrafts

The contemplation and visualization of colors and patterns in arts and crafts is considered an integral part worship and spiritual practice. Thus all forms celebrate colors and patterns in its most vivid and expressive form.

Bhutanese textiles are renowned for their distinctive patterns inspired by nature and the textile are now prized among collectors as rare art form that is being practiced only among a very small community in the remote kingdom of Bhutan, because of its importance, weaving receive Royal patronage and in order to help keep the tradition alive, competition are held and prizes awarded. A textile museum ha s recently been established to generate interest and display the rich collection of most intricate fabrics over different periods.

Bhutan’s arts and craft also reflect the unique spirit and identity of the Himalayan kingdom. The art of zorig Chusu or the thirteen arts and crafts of Bhutan remains very much alive today. There are two institutes of Zorig Chusu where these traditional arts and crafts are being taught today –one in the capital and the other in Trashi Yangtse in the Eastern Bhutan.
Most handicraft emporiums and shops in towns display hand woven textiles and other hand crafted artifacts, arts, crafts and souvenirs.

 

Traditional Medicine & health care

The free health care system in Bhutan is blend od modern and traditional medicine. The two systems co-exist and are complementary, starting from the basic dispensaries to the national hospitals. The institute of traditional medicinal Services in Thimphu has its own production unit and the hospital for indigenous treatment.

Trekking & day hikes

Trekking in Bhutan can involve treating through passes as high as 5,500 m with spectular landscape and breath-taking views of the mighty Himalayan mountains. Possibilities for day hikes are also enormous all over Bhutan. Whether it is a short one or two hours walk, or a strenuous full day hikes.

Flora & Fauna

The country’s forests have 7000 vascular plants, 360 orchid species, 46 species of rhodendron and about 500 species of medicinal plants. Bhutan is home to 770 birds species that include 16 globally threatened species. Rare and endemic species like the golden langur also roam the jungles of Bhutan and the country is a true biodiversity for nature lovers and specialists.

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