Bhutan

Bhutan

Bhutan

Information about Bhutan:

The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked nation in South Asia.  It is located amid the eastern end of the Himalayan range and is bordered by India to the south, east and west and to the north by the Tibet Autonomous Region of China.  Bhutan is separated from Nepal by the Indian state of Sikkim. The Bhutanese call their country Druk Yul  which means "Land of the Thunder Dragon".  The few visitors who make the rare journey into this extraordinary kingdom will discover that there is no other destination like this land of pure and exotic mysticism.  The fortunate visitors will find a rare combination of harmony and accord, amidst a landscape of incredible natural beauty.  The Bhutanese have succeeded in maintaining their cultural and spiritual heritage and belief that they live in the last Shangri-La by strictly limiting the number of tourists to the Kingdom to a maximum of 5000 each year.

People and Language of Bhutan:

Bhutan has a diverse population.  It is home to four ethnic groups: Ngalop - of Tibetan origin; Sharchop-of Indo-Mongoloid origin; aboriginal, or indigenous, tribal peoples; and Nepalese. In the early 1990s, the first three groups made up about 72 percent of the population.  The Ngalops are thought to be of Tibetan origin, arriving in Bhutan during the 8th and 9th centuries A.D. and bringing Buddhism with them. Most Ngalops follow the Drukpa Kagyupa discipline of Mahayana Buddhism.  In a country that is deeply rooted within the Buddhist religion, many people's sect of religion, as opposed to their ethnic group, characterizes them.  The Sharchops, who live in the eastern section of Bhutan, are considered to be descendants of the earliest major group to inhabit Bhutan. The Ngalops, Sharchops, and the indigenous tribal people are collectively known as Drukpas and account for about 65% of the population. The national language is Dzongkha, but English is the language of instruction in schools and an official working language for the government.  The Lhotsampas are people of Nepali descent, currently making up 35% of the population. They came to Bhutan in the 19th and 20th centuries, mostly settling in the southern foothills to work as farmers. They speak a variety of Nepali dialects and are predominantly Hindu. 

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