Art and Culture in Bhutan Bhutanese art and culture is
a unique and special one. People from Bhutan practice the religion of Buddhism.
There is a very small population that practice the Islam religion. The most
popular sport in Bhutan is archery. Archery is a traditional sport and competitions
are normally arranged between towns and villages. Another sport that is popular
among the residents is digor. The sport is like horseshoe and shot put.
Experience the mid 17th Century Culture of a Himalayan Kingdom
Bhutan (officially referred to as the Kingdom of Bhutan) is beautifully located in the folds of the gigantic Himalayas. The country shares its borders with China, India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Due to its unique geographical location, the country has been able to preserve its cultural heritage and independence. A cultural tour of Bhutan is quite popular with tourists from all parts of the world because it lets them experience age-old customs, traditions and rituals. The cultural heritage that you get to explore is reminiscent of the mid 17th century. Foreigners were not allowed to visit the country until the last decades of the 20th century. That's why the ancient culture of Bhutan is quite well-preserved even today. Buddhism is the main religion in Bhutan, and almost every aspect of life is greatly influenced by the same.
Video: Cultural Tour Of Bhutan - Max Holidays
The staple foods in Bhutan are red rice, maize and
buckwheat. Bhutan’s culture is defined by its traditional arts and crafts. The
arts and crafts are classified into several categories, and the following are a
few of them; 1. De-zo This was paper-making. Traditional paper was made from a
bark of a tree called Daphne tree. The paper was then used in religious
scriptures and texts writing. They used a traditional form of Bhutanese ink for
writing on the paper. With the advent of new technology and new quality of
paper, the use of traditional Bhutanese paper did not stop. It is now used as a
wrapper for gifts or even at times used as carrying bags.
2. Troe-ko This was the traditional form of ornament
making. Ornaments are made from materials such as gold, silver, turquoise and
corals. From these materials ornaments like brooches, necklaces, amulets, rings
and earrings were made. Many of these products were used by women for beauty
3. Tshem –zo This is the art of tailoring. Tshem-zo is
a broad art and can be divided into several arts and this includes i. Tsho
lham. The art of traditional boot making in Bhutanese. ii. Tshem drup. The art
of embroidery. iii. Lhem drup. The art of appliqué.
4. Gar-zo This is the art of ironwork. The art is
believed to have been introduced in the 14th century by Dupthob Thangtong, a
Tibetan saint. Blacksmithing is an art that is slowly disappearing but works
that were done centuries ago from the art can still be seen. Like for example
the remains of bridges at the National museum in Paro, and the one on your way
from Paro to Thimphu.
5. Lug-zo This art used bronze as the material. Bronze
use in Bhutan began in 17th century. Bronze was useful in the manufacture of
weapons and armor.
6. Jim-zo This was the art of clay work. The statues
of gods, goddesses and deities in Bhutan are a good example of how clay was
used. Modelling of statues was reserved for men and pottery was left to the
7. Par-zo This is the art of carving. The materials
for carving were slate, stone and wood. The carvings were distinctively
beautiful and unique.
8. Do-zo This is the craft of masonry. There are few
examples of beautiful works of masonry in Bhutan such as Chendebji Chorten
found at the central Bhutan. The farm-houses and temples were also constructed
using the craft of masonry.
9. Lha-zo This is the art of painting. The paint used was from natural pigmented soils. The soils have many different colors. This art was used to produce large scrolls that showed religious icons.
The Preservation of Bhutan tradition and Culture is known as Driglamnamza. It is a manner and etiquette as what to wear, how to eat, talk and bow down before the government officials and the clergy. The Driglamnamza was imposed on all citizens from 1990. The people of different ethnic heritage for example the Lhotsampas (Bhutanese citizens of ethnic Nepali origin - they were not Bhutanese citizens and they were not Lhotsampas) resented this and revolted against this imposition, thereby getting kicked out of the country to the refugee camps. About 20% of the country's population currently live in exile because of this Bhutanization policies of the Royal Government followed by land expropriation and persecution.
Video: Culture and traditions of Bhutan : Driglam Namzhag
The craftwork of Bhutan, much like the rest of the country, is very much rooted in tradition. In order to keep the Bhutanese culture alive, and pass down the skills through generations, schools like the Institute of Zorig Chosum are responsible for training students to create various traditional pieces of art.
Video: Bhutanese Craft
Heritage & Future
I say luck is when an opportunity comes along and you're prepared for it.
- Actor -