Faces Of Bhutan. I was a guest of Raven Tours and Treks. All opinions are expressed are my own, and I would recommend you travel with Raven Tours and Treks.
Part of the magic traveling to Bhutan is the people. They are friendly and easy going. And very photogenic.
Buddhist monks are a ubiquitous site in Bhutan, whether crossing the street in Thimpu or visiting one of the many monasteries in the country. The monks are wrapped in a deep burgundy robe with their heads shaved.
Approximately 75% of the population is Buddhist with Hinduism being the second most popular religion. Boys can join the monastery as young as 6 years old. Life in a monastery can be quite austere, especially at more remote monasteries with lack of heating, poor clothing, and inadequate food. Part of the process of a monk’s study is a silent retreat, traditionally lasting 3 years, 3 months, and 3 days. Ja Khenpu is the Chief Abbot of the Buddhists in Bhutan who oversees the Central Monastic Body.
Many Bhutanese still wear their traditional dress. The men wear a Gho. It is a knee-length robe that extends to the knee. The Gho, similar to a bathrobe, is tied at the waist with a traditional belt called a Kira. This belt forms a pouch which historically held a dagger and a bowl for food. Today, it is more common to find a wallet or a mobile phone. This is accompanied by knee high socks. The women wear a long ankle-length dress known as a Kira in conjunction with an outer jacket called a Tego.
Men also are required to don a long, flowing scarf when entering a Dzong (monastery/fort). The color of the scarf represents their status in life. So for instance, the King’s scarf is yellow. A commoner wears a white scarf.
The government require that the Bhutanese wear the traditional dress when at school or entering a government building.
Faces Of Bhutan.