Bhutanese take their culture very seriously. A law decrees that traditional dress will be worn in daylight hours. Men wear a heavy robe, tied at the waist by a sash (gho) and folded to create a pocket in front of the stomach. Women wear colourful blouses, over which they fold and clasp a large rectangular cloth (kira), creating a long skirt. Men must also wear a white sash from left shoulder to right hip when visiting a dzong or temple.
Bhutan is a Buddhist nation, with a strong monastery system. Decorations, prayer flags, sculptures of deities, all echo buddhist teachings and practices.
Traditions are kept alive by constant practise, so all the old festivals are still held, with dancers in each area joining together to bring health, happiness and prosperity to their homes and farms. Traditional crafts are maintained through a craft school in Thimphu, the capitol city. Artisans are trained in painting, sculpture, textiles, woodwork, and so on. Paper for sacred texts is hand made from daphne bushes that grow on the mountains. Every home has an altar for prayer and practises to maintain harmony and balance in life.
Land and houses are owned by women. On marriage the husband goes to live with the wife’s family. Women have respect equal to that of men in Bhutanese society. Food is simple and delicious, usually red rice, vegetables, lentils, chillies and cheese.
Archery is the national sport, enjoyed by all as a social occasion, s of course we had a chance to try it. Darts is widely played too, here is a photo of young boys playing using stumps of wood as a target. I have tried to illustrate some of the customs of the Bhutanese people, without going into too much detail. If you are interested to learn more try the Wikipedia article. It is a marvellous place to visit, with wonderfully friendly people but you need to take precautions against car-sickness as there are no straight roads, only winding ones!