Bhutan is a tiny, land-locked kingdom in South Asia, located between India to the south and China to the north in the Eastern Himalayan Region. It is a mountainous country blessed with good environment system. The Kingdom has a total area of 38,394 sq. km.
Bhutan is a multi-lingual society. Today, more than 20 dialects are spoken all over the country with Dzongkha as its official language. Kuzuzangpo is a greeting amongst equals and for seniors and elders, Bhutanese say ‘Kuzuzangpola’ with their heads little stooped front. Its traditional dress is the most unique in the world. Men wear ‘Gho’, a long robe raised till knee, folded backwards in such a way that forms a pocket in front of the stomach and tied around the waist by a belt known as Kera. Womenwear ankle length dress called a ‘Kira’, made from beautifully colored and finely woven fabrics with traditional patterns. A short silk jacket called ‘toego’ is also worn over the Kira. During special occasions and festivals, colorfully patterned silk Kira and more rarely Gho may be worn.
Bhutan is the only country in the world to retain the Tantric form of Mahayana Buddhism. The Buddhist faith has played and continues to play a fundamental role in the cultural, ethical and sociological development of Bhutan and its people. Annual festivals such as ‘Tsechu, Dromchoe and Losar (new year)’ are some of the occasions that bring people together. One may see stupas line the roadside commemorating places where great saints may have stopped to meditate. Prayer flags dot the hills, fluttering in the wind, believing that they allow people to maintain constant communication with the heavens.
Politically, Bhutan enjoys a Democratic Constitutional Monarchy. It emerged as world’s newest democratic country in 2008 with Druk Phunsum Tshogpa as ruling government and People’s Democratic Party as opposition. Huddled between powerful neighbors India and China, Bhutan has remained hidden for centuries from the modern world, making it one of the least developed countries in the world. It started to open up to the outside world in the 1960s.