Can you even imagine a nation where happiness of the people is an index of national growth? A country where instead of GDP, Gross National Happiness is the thing? Yeah! You heard it right! And such a place is the land of the Thunder Dragon, Bhutan.
Having China & us as neighbors, Bhutan sits in the lap of the magnificent fold mountains of the Great Himalayas! Bhutan was an isolated kingdom until it opened itself to the rest of the world in the 1960s. More happy news! In Asia, you won’t find happier dudes in any other country as you will in Bhutan. Also, only folks of 7 other countries are happier than the cute, chirpy Bhutanese! The population of Bhutan ranges between 7 & 8 Lakhs. In Thimpu, you can go rustic traditional as well as ultra-modern! You see? Best of both the worlds. If you’re a peace seeker, then Youth travel in Bhutanis the right decision for you. Just in case you are looking for a place to peace out, then Bhutan is the best suitable option, you should go for. This is because; Buddhism is deeply rooted into the Bhutanese society. So if you want to get away from the daily chaos of your life, try meditation retreats in Bhutan. Bhutan is also home to many Buddhist Monasteries. Besides, no Bhutan travel can be accomplished without making a trek to the Tigers Nest monastery which is nestled 3000 Meters to the north of Paro. Through Youth travel in Bhutan, Moksh offers you some of the fascinating trekking experiences in Bhutan where you can trek through high mountains. It may be challenging for you to climb those hills but it is worth the struggle because of the pristine beauty of nature you will experience later on.
Culture In Bhutan
Usually the sturdiness of a country lies in its national income i.e. GDP but here Bhutan stands out as it is determined by its culture only as to how beatific it is. And speaking of a rich culture, Bhutan is such a sacred prominent place, where Buddhism can be seen in every aspect of Bhutanese tradition which you can feel during your trip to Bhutan.
Vajrayana Buddhism is the predominant religion of the nation with about two-third of the population practicing it, followed by the Hindu Mythology which is practiced by the rest of the people. Moreover, there are certain customs which sets it apart from other nations. For instance, unlike other nations, the legacy is passed through the females and not males. Adding more to your thinking capacity, Bhutan has some of the most incredible traditions too! There is no kind of discrimination in Bhutanese society between a boy and a girl. However, an outsider’s Bhutan visit is restricted in a house for 3 days after a baby is born. Unless a purification ritual is performed, guests can’t enter the house. Moreover, the name of the newborn is kept by combining two traditional names, where the second name usually specifies the gender of the newborn.
Another fact that is capable of arousing and holding the attention is that the death of a person is considered as rebirth. Funerals are organized as well as attended by family members, friends, neighbors and relatives and other rituals are carried out for the same. Speaking of literature, emphasis is given to oral
literature rather than written literature as information regarding culture, festivals and other things are given by the predecessors orally.
The curious factor which makes youth travel in Bhutan popular is, the 13 Bhutanese traditional crafts called the Zorig Chusum that is rooted deep down in the Buddhist ethics. These crafts occur in a large variety such as paper crafts, stone paintings, ornament making, tailoring work, weaving and many more. Moreover, the Bhutanese have a dress code for going to work.
These attires are known as ‘Gho’ for men and Kira; for women. Bhutan is a culturally diversified country and this diversity brings with itself many festivals and celebrations. It would be an eye opening experience for you to witness the traditional Bhutanese mask dances. In addition to this, it is believed that one receives blessings and his sins are washed away if he attends the mask dances as the world’s largest religious roll, namely the Thongdrel is unrolled during the celebration.
Learn The Bhutanese Way Of Life With A Local
Considering the fact that the history of Bhutan is rooted deep down till 8th century, you can explore a lot during youth travel in Bhutan as the country is home to manifold monuments and museums. Therefore, local assistance proves to be very beneficial as you get to learn about the specifics of traditions and culture very closely.
During your youth travel in Bhutan, Moksh organizes assistance of a host family so that you come across the glimpse of lifestyle and customs of a Bhutan from a typical Bhutanese family that has been living there for
years. The Bhutanese people have a very simple lifestyle. Life in Bhutan is very slow as compared to the rest of the world. You will not only engross yourself into their lifestyle but will end up creating a bond with the warm hearted locals who may not treat you like a tourist but as a family. The fact that Bhutan is one of the happiest countries can be easily observed in the smiling faces of the children going to school or the laughing sound overheard in a home or the kind greetings given by women while sitting outside their houses for weaving woolen clothes. Till the 1960s, the only education available in Bhutan was from the monasteries. Students also used to travel to places like Kalimpong and Darjeeling to obtain education. With the start of 1960s, Western style of education was introduced.The revealing fact is, urban settlement in Bhutan took place in 1960s. Surveys further states that around half of the population of Bhutan has wages as their main source of income. You may also be surprised to know that in some regions of Bhutan, Polyandry (the practice of having more than one husband) still exists.
Although, Polygamy is restricted in Bhutan. It has also made a remarkable growth in terms of the Health Sector with more than 90% population having access to clean drinking water. To add on, it has also maintained a system of universal healthcare facilities to all its citizens, providing free healthcare.
What Is A Cultural Tour?
More than sightseeing, it is an exploratory youth travel in Bhutan, where you immerse into a new culture and explore a city, unlike tourists in Bhutan but like a local! When you are on a youth travel in Bhutan, eat the spicy Momos, become a part of a Bhutanese festival, and live the Bhutanese language like it’s your own!
Through a cultural tour, you get a front line view of the native history, art, architecture, religion etc. Typically, a cultural tour may be urban or rural or both. The purpose of youth travel in Bhutanis, you will have a Global exposure all by yourself or with a group of close friends & learn the minute details of the Bhutanese way of Life along with the top tourist destinations in Bhutan!
Bhutanese Language Lessons
Throughout your youth travel in Bhutan, you will get to learn Bhutanese language (or Dzongkha) so that you can interact with the local Bhutanese as well as participate in group activities more effectively. Moreover, this helps you to grasp about the lifestyle and culture in a faster and more enhanced way.
From a 5 star luxurious hotel to a well-furnished and affordable hotel room, Bhutan offers you everything. Unlike any other country, Bhutan provides you with an array of facilities for accommodation. Some of the popular modes of accommodations are as follows:
- Hotels: Just like other nations, the 5 star rating systems are followed by Bhutanese hotels. The hotels in Thimpu and Paro are mainly preferred by tourists for staying as they boast of a blend of unique classical architecture and modern amenities. Speaking of amenities, they provide certain provisions such as television, room service, good ambience, hospitable staff, etc.
Home stays: Through, homestays, you get a glimpse of a daily routine of a Bhutanese family and further enjoy home cooked food in Bhutan. Moreover, all these host families are located in the glamorous sides of Bhutan. However, you may not get electricity and water facilities, yet hot water can be served by the Bhutanese families.
- Guesthouses: You can also find comfort in Bhutanese guesthouses which are classified on the same scale as that of hotels.
- Resorts: Because of the Bhutanese government removing barriers from foreign countries, it has been made possible to build resort-type hotels in Bhutan. Moreover, most of these resorts fit into the budget except the luxury ones. Spa resorts are also popular among the travelers for a stay.
- Farm-stays: These offer a lot of opportunities while your stay as you get an amazing farming experience. These are generally of short duration that offers a glimpse of the lifestyle of a Bhutanese farmer. Food in Bhutan and other facilities are provided during your farm-stay and are equivalent to that of a 3 star hotel. However, there are certain seasons when it is better to go for farm-stays such as January-February season, when the seeds are sown, or the August-September season which is the harvesting season.
FOOD IN BHUTAN
If you’re a spice lover, then Bhutanese cuisines welcome you as spices are an essential element of every Bhutanese dish. The National Bhutanese dish, EmaDatshi, serves as a proof for the above statement as it is a chilli-cheese stew served with rice.
Moreover, you would love to taste the momos of Bhutan which are dumpling stuffed with meat or cabbages and served with spicy sauces. Other Bhutanese dishes which you must taste during your Bhutan travelare as follows:
KewaDatshi: In Bhutanese language, Kewa is known as potato, which makes Kewadatshi a dish of potatoes and cheese. The
- potatoes are cut into thin slices and then fried in cheese and a lot of butter.
- Shamudatshi: Another cheesy dish which Bhutan offers is the ShamuDatshi. The local Bhutanese mushrooms, are again, fried with cheese and butter. The dish is further served with rice.
- JashaMaroo or Maru: In this, diced chicken, onion, garlic, tomato and other vegetables are cooked in spicy curry.
- PhakshaPaa: it is a dish where Pork (one of Bhutanese favourite food item) is sliced and fried with red chillies, ginger and mustard cabbage. Moreover, Paa is a curry with stew.
- Suja: Speaking of beverages, Suja is mostly preferred by Bhutanese. It is a butter tea in which butter is boiled in water along with tea leaves.
- ShakamPaa: It is a dish where beef is cooked with dried chillies and radish.
- YakshaShakam: It is a dish in which Yak meat is used rather than ordinary meat or beef. The meat can be cooked in many different ways, yet the most popular way is to cook it with Yak cheese.
- Juma: It is generally a sausage comprising spices, meat and rice wrapped together.
- GoenHogay: After so many meat and beef dishes in Bhutan, here comes a plain vegetarian dish. The GoenHogay is made by cutting cucumber into small pieces and adding some pepper, chilli flakes, tomato, onions, etc. Sometimes cheese is also added to make it even tastier.
- Tshampa: Tshampa is very heavy and starchy dough made by roasting wheat flour. It is often mixed with butter tea to give it a delectable flavour.
Moksh Overseas is one of the Top Foreign Education Advisor in India, known ubiquitously for its honest, transparent modus operandi. Moksh is equally popular for the innovative and unique approach to any endeavor it takes up. Owing to the rich experience of almost a decade in the field of Foreign Education, Moksh is well versed in the art of blending Education and Travel and thereby, provide the youth in India, a memorable and productive Global Exposure.