Cultural Differences – Bhutan

Bhutan is one of the smallest countries in the world, its cultural diversity and richness are overwhelming. As such, strong emphasis is laid on the promotion and preservation of its culture by Government and King of Bhutan. As a tiny country with a very small population the need to preserve culture and tradition automatically gets amplified, and people definitely support this motion.


Bhutanese society is centered around the practice of Buddhism, which is the main religion in the country. Religious beliefs are evident in all aspects of life. The hundreds of sacred monasteries, stupas, religious institutions, prayer flags and prayer wheels make the land of Bhutan highly positive and religious country. However, religion has not created a conservative environment, and people are ready to accept the right things in right ways.

Tip: Don’t be surprised to see phallus drawings and souvenirs in shops, people worship it behind a famous rebellious monk or divine madman, and has a temple called Chime Lhakhang, also known as fertility temple for the same.


Indian food has lot of influence on Bhutanese food, beside this difficult terrain and cold weather has impact on Bhutanese food. Food habits are simple, Potato and Rice makes a staple diet for a normal Bhutanese household. Cheese pepper is a must try along with the yummy pastries. Locals love to indulge on Rice wine, try it at your own risk.

Clothing Style

One of the most distinctive features of Bhutan is their clothing style. While as young Bhutanese people in city are accepting modern clothing styles; traditional dresses, unique garments that have evolved over thousands of years are still visible everywhere in Bhutan. Men wear the Gho, a knee-length robe somewhat resembling a kimono that is tied at the waist by a traditional belt known as Kera. Women wear the Kira, a long, ankle-length dress accompanied by a light outer jacket known as a Tego with an inner layer known as a Wonju.

Bhutan is by far the most interesting and way different country that we have visited. It is mysterious in many ways, but at the same time friendly and open for the visitors. Indian culture has a huge impact of Bhutanese culture, but still both are unique in their own ways.

Our take is to visit Bhutan where Gross National Happiness mean much more to people than anything else, and indulge in raw natural beauty before it gets spoiled by Western influence.

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