Fascinating Bhutan Facts: 11-15
11. For men, the traditional dresses are short and they need to wear high socks. However, during winter, they cannot wear stocking underneath until, the monks are asked to retreat to lower valleys during winter months by the primary Buddhist Abbot of the country. That’s coming down of monks is marked as the official beginning of the winter and that’s when men are allowed to wear stocking. So, during Autumn, men in high altitude areas like Thimphu and Paro need to tolerate freezing temperatures on their bare legs.
12. In the same way, men are not allowed to step out without stocking underneath the national dress until the monks retreat to the high mountains. Monks go back during the spring.
13. In case you are thinking that you can stumble upon a few Buddhist monks on Bhutanese roads, that’s not a possibility unless its winter. During summers, all monks are found in high altitude monasteries. Those that can be seen in some temples and fortresses are actually caretakers. The real ones are hidden somewhere in high mountains and they are very difficult to reach.
14. Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck is the current King of the Kingdom of Bhutan since December 9, 2006. He and his wife (the Queen) is really adored by everyone in Bhutan. The King is known to be very humble and is even popular for allowing private meetings with citizens whenever requested.
15. Did you know why mountaineering beyond 6,000 meters is forbidden in Bhutan? That’s because beyond that level, the mount peaks are located and it is believed by the Bhutanese that those peaks are where the deities live and scaling those peaks will mean disrespect and offence.
Fascinating Bhutan Facts: 16-20
16. Yak Butter Tea is a fascinating beverage in Bhutan and is pretty much staple. It made of yak butter, salt, water and brewed tea. It is oily and thick and is high on calorie. Oh, in case you are visiting a local family, you will be offered this and after every sip you take, the cup will be refilled until it is time for you to leave. However, one good way of avoiding continuous refill, if you don’t want more is to leave the cup when it is full but drink it up all when you are about to leave.
17. King Jigme Singye Wangchuck was the previous King of Bhutan. He was the father of Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. The former king abdicated the throne in favor of his son and set in motion the constitutional monarchy. Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck knew that not all Kings will be good and hence, a government should be there for control.
18. Bhutan’s national flower is a very rare ‘Blue Poppy’ (locally known as Euitgel Metog Hoem). It was originally thought to be of the species Meconopsis grandis. Turns out that it was a wrong notion. The rare flower is now a new species – Meconopsis gakyi diana. The scientific study of this extremely rare flower has been completed only in 2017. Meconopsis elongata and Meconopsis merakensis are two even rare poppy species that have been found in Bhutan.
19. Bhutanese people like to eat spicy and hot food. Ema Datshi is there national dish and is made of local cheese and chilies. Some of the other really popular dishes of Bhutan include spicy minced chicken (Jasha Maru), spicy pork shoulder (phaksha paa) etc.
20. Education is Bhutan is free and the government pays for it. However, Buddhist teachings get a heavy emphasis. English is always there in school curriculum.