The Land of The Thunder Dragon is overflowing with myth, legend and folklore. From demon spirits to powerful emperors, Silk Road traders to scholars and diplomatic emissaries, Bhutan has been a confluence of cultural influences for centuries, yet it retains its own cultural identity and authenticity.
For the first time visitor, it’s like taking a step into a different world altogether, a gentler, kinder and slower pace of life where every action is undertaken with wisdom and a deep sense of mindfulness.
Bhutan is one of the last surviving monarchies in the Eastern Himalayas, that has retained its sovereignty.
The royal family plays a vital role in preserving Bhutan’s rich cultural heritage, integrating it with the rest of today’s world.
Most Bhutanese wear local dress and adhere to traditional forms of holistic healing, diet and everyday life. Bhutan is unique and has been spotlit on the global platform as the only country that places a premium on Gross National Happiness, i.e. the degree of contentment among its citizens.
Having lived in the mountains for centuries, the Bhutanese are rugged and strong, not only physically, but also spiritually, drawing on Buddhist philosophy and beliefs that prevail in several aspects of everyday life.
One gets a sense of this aspect of Bhutanese spirituality during its festivals, which are vivid, colourful narratives of ancient myth and legend. Each monastery holds its own tsechu or festival, based on the lunar calendar, which are popular events for locals and visitors alike.
The Bhutanese have a deep-rooted faith in Karma, and you will often find that even the smallest actions are driven by an individual’s belief in cause and effect.
Mindfulness and gratitude are deeply ingrained in everyday life, and as a result, you’ll find that Bhutanese people are inherently warm, pleasant and smiling. The Bhutanese believe that the practice of mindfulness and gratitude in everyday life leads to a life free of disease and suffering. Bhutan has several active monasteries, where monks are brought up from childhood.
An interaction with the Rinpoche, the sacred leader of a monastery, is considered sacred. Many people from across the world go to seek out a Rinpoche’s blessings.
Several monks as well as local healers are well-versed in Bhutan’s traditional medicinal sciences.
Bhutan’s healing science is world-renown and its medicinal plants and herbs are one of its chief exports. If you like your culture with a dose of wellbeing thrown in, then Bhutan is ideal, in order to truly appreciate the broader culture of mindfulness, gratitude and karma that are so integral to everyday life.