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Encyclopedia > Culture of Bhutan
Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and competitions are held regularly.
Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and competitions are held regularly.

Cradled in the folds of the Himalayas, Bhutan has relied on its geographic isolation to protect itself from outside cultural influences. A sparsely populated country bordered by India to the south and China to the north, Bhutan has long maintained a policy of strict isolationism, both culturally and economically, with the goal of preserving its cultural heritage and independence. Only in the last decades of the 20th century were foreigners allowed to visit the country, and only then in limited numbers. In this way, Bhutan has successfully preserved many aspects of a culture which dates directly back to the mid-17th century. ImageMetadata File history File links Bhutan_archery. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Bhutan_archery. ... For the movie Himalaya, see Himalaya (film). ...


Bhutanese culture derives from ancient Tibetan culture. Dzongkha and Sharchop, the principal Bhutanese languages, are closely related to Tibetan, and Bhutanese monks read and write the ancient variant of the Tibetan language known as chhokey. Bhutanese are physically similar to the Tibetans but history does not record when they crossed over the Himalayas and settled in the south-draining valleys of Bhutan. Both Tibetans and Bhutanese revere the tantric guru Padmasambhava the founder of Himalayan Buddhism in the 8th century. Dzongkha is the national language of the Kingdom of Bhutan. ... Sharchop is a collective term for the indigenious tribals of Bhutan, who constitute around 20% of population. ... For other uses, see Guru (disambiguation). ... Guru Rinpoche - Padmasambhava statue - near Kullu, India Guru Rinpoche, the patron saint of Sikkim. ... A statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Tawang Gompa, India. ...

Contents

Religion

Main article: Buddhism in Bhutan

Bhutanese society is centered around the practice of Tantric Buddhism. Religious beliefs are evidenced in all aspects of life. Prayer flags flutter on hillsides offering up prayers to benefit all nearby sentient beings. Houses each fly a small white flag on the roof indicating the owner has made his offering payments to appease the local god. Each valley or district is dominated by a huge dzong, or high-walled fortress, which serves the religious and administrative center of the district. Lands Bhutan â€¢ China â€¢ Korea Japan â€¢ Tibet â€¢ Vietnam Taiwan â€¢ Mongolia Doctrine Bodhisattva â€¢ Bodhicitta Karuna â€¢ Prajna Sunyata â€¢ Buddha Nature Trikaya â€¢ Eternal Buddha Mahayana Sutras Prajnaparamita Sutra Avatamsaka Sutra Lotus Sutra Nirvana Sutra VimalakÄ«rti Sutra Lankavatara Sutra History 4th Buddhist Council Silk Road â€¢ Nagarjuna Asanga â€¢ Vasubandhu Bodhidharma      Mahayana Buddhism is the state... A mandala used in Vajrayana Buddhist practices. ... Prayer Flags are typically related to Tibet and linked to Tibetan Buddhism, but their origin lies in the Tibetan pre-Buddhist tradition of Bön, just as the the so-called Wind Horse which is often found on them. ... Not to be confused with sapience. ... Dzong architecture is a distinctive type of fortress architecture found in the former and present Buddhist kingdoms of the Himalayas, most notably Bhutan. ...


Cultural Preservation

To preserve the indigenous Buddha's Teachings as their long-guarded culture and tradition, Menjong Chöthün Tshogpa, a charitable organization was established in 2002 by The Supreme Dharma King or His Holiness Trulku Jigme Chöda Rinpoche 70th Jekhenpo of Bhutan[1]. The chairman at present is His Eminence Trizin Tsering Rimpoche who also happens to be the founder of Buddha Dordenma Image Foundation, another charitable organization in Bhutan[2]. The Buddha Dordenma statue is a large bronze statue of the Buddha being constructed on the mountainside above Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. ...


National dress code

All Bhutanese citizens are required to observe the national dress code, known as Driglam Namzha, while in public during daylight hours. The rule is enforced more rigorously in some districts (dzongkhag) than others. Men wear a heavy knee-length robe tied with a belt, called a gho, folded in such a way to form a pocket in front of the stomach. Women wear colorful blouses over which they fold and clasp a large rectangular cloth called a kira, thereby creating an ankle-length dress. A short silk jacket, or toego may be worn over the kira. Everyday gho and kira are cotton or wool, according to the season, patterned in simple checks and stripes in earth tones. For special occasions and festivals, colourfully patterned silk kira and, more rarely, gho may be worn. Clothing has various sociological functions, including: conspicuous consumption stating or claiming identity establishing, maintaining and defying sociological group norms Thus wearing specific types of clothing or the manner of wearing clothing can convey messages about class, income, belief and attitude. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Binomial name Bubo virginianus (Gmelin,, 1788) The Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus, is a very large owl. ... Bhutanese women in the kira The kira is the national dress for women in Bhutan. ...


Additional rules of protocol apply when visiting a dzong or a temple, or when appearing before a high level official. Male commoners wear a white sash (kabney) from left shoulder to opposite hip. Local and regional elected officials, government ministers, cabinet members, and the King himself each wear their own colored kabney. Women wear a narrow embroidered cloth draped over the left shoulder, a rachu. Kabney is a silk scarf worn as a part of the Gho, the traditional male costume in Bhutan. ...


The dress code has met with some resistance from the ethnic Nepalese citizens living along the Indian border who resent having to wear a cultural dress which is not their own.


Men and women in society

Bhutanese women have traditionally had more rights than men in surrounding cultures, the most prominent being the presumptive right of land ownership. The property of each extended Bhutanese family is controlled by an "anchor mother" who is assisted by the other women of the family in running affairs. As she becomes unable to manage the property, the position of anchor mother passes on to a sister, daughter or niece. This pattern of inheritance is known by anthropologists as matrilinearity. Matrilineality is a system in which one belongs to ones mothers lineage. ...


Men and women work together in the fields, and both may own small shops or businesses. Men take a full part in household management, often cook, and are traditionally the makers and repairers of clothing (but do not weave the fabric). In the towns, a more "western" pattern of family structure is beginning to emerge, with the husband as breadwinner and the wife as home-maker. Both genders may be monks, although in practice the number of female monks is relatively small.


Marriages are at the will of either party and divorce is not uncommon. The marriage ceremony consists of an exchange of white scarves and the sharing of a cup. Marriages can be officially registered when the couple has lived together for more than six months. Traditionally the groom moves to the bride's family home (matrilocality), but newlyweds may decide to live with either family depending on which household is most in need of labor. Divorce or dissolution of marriage is the ending of a marriage before the death of either spouse. ... Nuptial is the adjective of wedding. It is used for example in zoology to denote plumage, coloration, behavior, etc related to or occurring in the mating season. ... This article is about the marriage ceremony. ... Matrilocality is a term used in social anthropology. ...


Bhutanese names

Except for royal lineages, Bhutanese names do not include a family name. Instead two traditional auspicious names are chosen at birth by the local lama or by the parents or grandparents of the child. First names generally give no indication if the person is male or female; in some cases the second name may be helpful in that regard. Not to be confused with Llama. ...


As there is a limited constellation of acceptable names to choose from, inevitably many people share the same combination of first and second names. To resolve the ambiguity an informal nicknaming system comes into play which recognizes where a person is from. If a certain "Chong Kinley" is from Chozom village in the Paro valley, she is called "Paro Kinley" when she is travelling outside the valley. In Paro valley itself she is identified by the name of her village, thus "Chong Kinley Chozom". Surprisingly, multiple children in a small hamlet of a few houses may have the exact same name, reflecting the inspiration of the local lama. In this case, she is identified by the name of the house she was born in, thus "Chemsarpo" Kinley. location of Paro dzongkhag within Bhutan. ...


Religious festivals

Once a year a dzong or important village may hold a religious festival, or Tsechu. Villagers from the surrounding district come for several days of religious observances and socializing while contributing auspicious offerings to the lama or monastery of the festival. The central activity is a fixed set of religious mask dances, or cham, held in a large courtyard. Each individual dance takes up to several hours to complete and the entire set may last two to four days. Observation of the dances directly blesses the audience and also serves to transmit principles of Tantric Buddhism to the villagers. A number of the dances can be traced directly back to Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal himself, the founder of Bhutan, and have been passed down essentially unchanged since the mid-1600s. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1536x1024, 1494 KB)Trongsa Dzong, Bhutan. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1536x1024, 1494 KB)Trongsa Dzong, Bhutan. ... Dzong architecture is a distinctive type of fortress architecture found in the former and present Buddhist kingdoms of the Himalayas, most notably Bhutan. ... Trongsa, previously Tongsa, is one of the 20 dzongkhag (districts) comprising Bhutan. ... Dzong architecture is a distinctive type of fortress architecture found in the former and present Buddhist kingdoms of the Himalayas, most notably Bhutan. ... In Bhutan an annual religious festival held in each district featuring sacred Cham Dances. ... Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (b. ...


Prior to dawn on the final day of the tsechu a huge tapestry, or thongdrel, is unfurled in the courtyard of the dzong for several hours. The mere sight of it is believed to bring spiritual liberation. The thongdrel is rolled up before the rays of the morning sun can strike it. The highlight of tshechus is the unrolling of the thongdrel of Guru Rinpoche on the last day. ...


The monastery

Monks join the monastery at six to nine years of age and are immediately placed under the discipleship of a headmaster. They learn to read chhokey, the language of the ancient sacred texts, as well as Dzongkha and English. Eventually they will choose between two possible paths: to study theology and Buddhist theory, or take the more common path of becoming proficient in the rituals and personal practices of the faith. Dzongkha is the national language of the Kingdom of Bhutan. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


The daily life of the monk is austere, particularly if they are stationed at one of the monasteries located high in the mountains. At these monasteries food is often scarce and must be carried up by the monks or their visitors. The monks are poorly clothed for winter conditions and the monasteries are unheated. The hardship of such a posting is well-recognized; to have a son or brother serving in such a monastery is recognized as very good karma for the family. For other uses, see Karma (disambiguation). ...


A monk's spiritual training continues throughout his life. In addition to serving the community in sacramental roles, he may undertake several extended silent retreats. A common length for such a retreat is three years, three months, three weeks and three days. During the retreat time he will periodically meet with his spiritual master who will test him on his development to ensure that the retreat time is not being wasted.


Each monastery is headed by an abbot who is typically a lama, although the titles are distinct. The highest monk in the land is the chief abbot of Bhutan, whose title is Je Khenpo. He is theoretically equivalent in stature to the king. Not to be confused with Llama. ... The Je Khenpo (Tibetan: རྗེ་མཁན་པོ།; Wylie: Rje Mkhan-po), formerly called the Dharma Raj by orientalists, is the title given to the highest religious official of Bhutan. ...


The Central Monk Body is an assembly of 600 or so monks who attend to the most critical religious duties of the country. In the summer they are housed in Thimphu, the nation's capital, and in the winter they descend to Punakha dzong, the most sacred dzong in Bhutan, where Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal's mortal body has been kept under vigil since the late 1600s. View of Tashichoedzong, Thimphu Thimphu from Sangey Gang Thimphu (Tibetan script: ཐིམ་ཕུ་) is the capital of Bhutan, and also the name of the surrounding valley and dzongkhag, the Thimphu District. ... Punakha is a dzong in Punakha District, Bhutan. ... Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (b. ...


Radio, television, internet, and movies

In the early 1960s the Third King of Bhutan began the gradual process of introducing modern technology to the medieval kingdom. The first radio service was broadcast for thirty minutes on Sundays (by what is now the Bhutan Broadcasting Service) beginning in 1973. The first television broadcasts were initiated in 1999, although a few wealthy families had bought satellite dishes earlier. Internet service was established in 2000. This article does not cite its references or sources. ... The Bhutan Broadcasting Service is the national radio and television service in Bhutan. ... For the song by James Blunt, see 1973 (song). ... This article is about the year. ... Sky Digital mini-dish Astros mini-dish. Special dish for up to 16 satellite positions (Ku-band) Satellite dish antenna for C-Band Satellite Dishes installed on an apartment complex A satellite dish is a type of parabolic antenna designed with the specific purpose of transmitting signals to and... Year 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full 2000 Gregorian calendar). ...


In 2002 the first feature length movie was shot in Bhutan, the acclaimed Travellers and Magicians written and directed by Khyentse Norbu, the esteemed lama and head of the non-sectarian Khyentse lineage. The movie examines the pull of modernity on village life in Bhutan as colored by the Buddhist perspective of tanha, or desire. Also see: 2002 (number). ... Travellers and Magicians (Dzongkha: chang hup thengi thruel nang) is a 2003 Bhutanese Dzongkha language film written and directed by Khyentse Norbu, a reincarnate lama also known as Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche. ... Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, also known as Khyentse Norbu, is a Tibetan lama and filmmaker. ... Not to be confused with Llama. ... Taṇhā (Pāli: तण्हा) or Tṛṣṇā (Sanskrit: तृष्णा) means thirst, desire, craving, wanting, longing, yearning. Synonyms: 愛 Cn: ài; Jp: ai; Vi: ái Tibetan: The most basic of these meanings (the literal meaning) is thirst; however, in Buddhism it has a technical meaning that is much broader. ...


References

  1. ^ http://dordenma.org/mct.htm
  2. ^ http://buddhadordenma.org/status.html

See also

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Bhutanese proverbs

Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiquote is one of a family of wiki-based projects run by the Wikimedia Foundation, running on MediaWiki software. ... Blessed Rainy Day is the holiday marking the end of the monsoon season in Bhutan. ... Lands Bhutan â€¢ China â€¢ Korea Japan â€¢ Tibet â€¢ Vietnam Taiwan â€¢ Mongolia Doctrine Bodhisattva â€¢ Bodhicitta Karuna â€¢ Prajna Sunyata â€¢ Buddha Nature Trikaya â€¢ Eternal Buddha Mahayana Sutras Prajnaparamita Sutra Avatamsaka Sutra Lotus Sutra Nirvana Sutra VimalakÄ«rti Sutra Lankavatara Sutra History 4th Buddhist Council Silk Road â€¢ Nagarjuna Asanga â€¢ Vasubandhu Bodhidharma      Mahayana Buddhism is the state... Music of Bhutan has traditional genres such as zhungdra and boedra [1], and a modern genre called rigsar. ... Sherubtse College was the first accredited college in Bhutan, founded in 1966. ... Tibetan art refers to the art of Tibet and other present and former Himalayan kingdoms (Bhutan, Ladakh, Nepal, and Sikkim). ...

External links

  • Kuensel - online version of Bhutan's national newspaper
  • Bhutan Times - online private newspaper
  • A hidden and mysterious kingdom - by Alkan Chaglar

  Results from FactBites:
 
Bhutan Culture, Bhutan State Culture, Bhutan Culture, Bhutan Culture Tourism (859 words)
Culture of Bhutan is among the oldest, most carefully guarded and well preserved cultures in the world.
Bhutan has three main ethnic groups: the Sharchop in the east, which originated from the tribes of northern Burma and northeast India; the Ngalops in the west, who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan after migrating from Tibet; and the Lhotsampas in the south, originally belonging to Nepal.
The men in Bhutan wear a "gho," a long knee-length robe that is tied around the waist by a belt and the women wear a "kira," which is an ankle-length dress worn with a short jacket.
Culture of Bhutan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1595 words)
A sparsely populated country bordered by India to the south and China to the north, Bhutan has long maintained a policy of strict isolationism, both culturally and economically, with the goal of preserving its cultural heritage and independence.
The highest monk in the land is the chief abbot of Bhutan, whose title is Je Khenpo.
In the early 1960s the Third King of Bhutan began the gradual process of introducing modern technology to the medieval kingdom.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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