Language and Religion


Communication plays a vital role in shaping one’s culture and culture is itself a communication. Bhutan has several languages and each is unique in their own ways. Dzongkha, which seems an auxiliary of the Tibetan language, is Bhutan’s national language. The written Dzongkha shares the Tibetan alphabets. Other popular dialects are tshanglakha (or Sharchokpa kha) which is spoken by the people in the east, lotshamkha by the people in the southern foothills and bumthap kha, mangduep kha and khengkha by the people in the central parts of Bhutan.


Bhutanese people can be generally categorized into three main ethnic groups. The Tshanglas, Ngalops and the Lhotshampas. The other minority groups are the Bumthaps and the Khengpas of Central Bhutan, the Kurtoeps in Lhuentse, the Brokpas and the Bramis of Merak and Sakteng in eastern Bhutan, the Doyas of Samtse and the Monpas of Rukha villages in Wangdue Phodrang. Together the multi-ethnic Bhutanese population number slightly more than 6,00,000.


Buddhism in Bhutan has a complex and rich visual traditional that can be seen over whelming. The bright and intricate mandalas decorating temples, porches, wrathful protective deities and the wheel of life all serve the same purpose.In the 8th century, Guru Padmasamhba (the chief protagonist of the Vajrayana teachings of Buddhism), introduced Buddhism in Bhutan.

Buddhism is followed by almost seventy percent of population which the rest follows Hindu, specially people of south,Lhotshampas (southern Bhutanese),the descendants of Nepalese migrants.Bhutan’s landscape is studded with a profusion of majestic dzongs, beautiful Goenpas (monasteries) and Chorten (stupas or pagodas), that are evidence of living spiritual culture. In addition we can see colorful prayer flags on the valleys, near Dzongs, temples and also on the top of the roofs.

Moreover in every household has its own prayer room or altar (chosum) and generally celebrates an annual rituals (chogu). This is when prayers of thanksgiving are offered for the past as well as for the future well being of family.It does, however, recognize the importance of Bhutan’s Buddhist heritage to Bhutan’s cultural identity.

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