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Brug rGyal-Khab (Wylie)
Dru Gäkhap
- - - Flag - Emblem Anthem:Druk Tsendhen Capital - Thimphu Official language(s) - Dzongkha People : - Bhutanese Government : - Constitutional democratic monarchy King - Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck Prime Minister : - Jigme Y. Thinley Formation - Early 17th century Wangchuk Dynasty - 17 December 1907 Constitutional Monarchy - 2007 Area Total : 38,394 km
14,824 sq mi) Water (%) - <1 (estimate Population : July estimate in 2009 : 691,141 - 1 ] - - (163rd 2005 census - 634,982 - Density : 18.1/km (154th)
47/sq mi GDP = Purchasing power parity PPP : estimate in 2009 : Total : $3.518 billion
- 3 ] - - Per capita : $5,212 - 3 ] - GDP (nominal) - estimate in 2009 : Total : $1.269 billion - 3 ] - - Per capita : $1,880 - 3 ] - HDI (2007) - - 0.619 - 4 ] - - ( medium - ) (132nd Currency : - Ngultrum (BTN) Time zone : - BTT - (UTC) +6:00) - Summer (DST) - not observed (UTC) +6:00 Internet Domain name TLD - .bt Calling code + 975 - The population of Bhutan had been estimated based on the reported figure of about 1 million in the 1970s when the country had joined the United Nations and precise statistics were lacking. - 5 ] - - Thus using the annual increase rate of 2–3%, the most population estimates were around 2 million in the year 2000. A national census was carried out in 2005 and it turned out that the population was 672,425. Consequently, United Nations Population Division had down-estimated the country's population in the 2006 revision - 6 ] - - for the whole period from 1950 to 2050. - Indian rupee is also legal tender Coordinates: Map Latitude : 27°25′01″N - Longitude : 90°26′06″E -  /  - 27.417°N 90.435°E - 27.417;90.435 - - The Kingdom of Bhutan (pronounced /buːˈtɑːn/ - ) is a landlocked country in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalaya Mountains and bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China. Bhutan is separated from the nearby state of Nepal to the west by the Indian state of Sikkim, and from Bangladesh to the south by West Bengal. The Bhutanese called their country Druk Yul (Dzongkha:འབྲུག་ཡུལ་ 'drug yul - ) which means "Land of Dragon". Bhutan used to be one of the most isolated countries in the world. Developments including direct international flights, the Internet, mobile phone networks, and cable television have increasingly modernized the urban areas of the country. Bhutan balanced modernization with its ancient culture and traditions under the guiding philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH). Rampant destruction of the environment has been avoided. The government takes great measures to preserve the nation's traditional culture, identity and the environment. In 2006, Business Week magazine rated Bhutan the happiest country in Asia and the eighth-happiest in the world, citing a global survey conducted by the University of Leicester in 2006 called the "World Map of Happiness". - 7 ] - - Bhutan's landscape ranges from subtropical plains in the south to the Sub-alpine Himalayan heights in the north, with some peaks exceeding 7,000 metres (23,000 ft). The state religion is Vajrayana Buddhism, and the population of 691,141 is predominantly Buddhist, with Hinduism being the second-largest religion. The capital and largest city is Thimphu. After centuries of direct monarchic rule, the King voluntarily abdicated himself for his son and devolved power to the people. Bhutan held its first democratic elections in March 2008 and Druk Phumtshum Tshogpa (Peace and Prosperous Party) won by a landslide margin (winning 45 out of the 47 seats). Among other international associations, Bhutan is a member of the United Nations and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and hosted the Sixteenth SAARC summit in April 2010. The total area of the country is currently 38,394 square kilometres (14,824 sq mi). 1 - Name - 2.1 - Democratic reform and modernization - 4 - Military and foreign affairs - 5 - Geography - 6 - Economy - 7 - Districts - 8 - Cities and towns - 9 - Demographics - 9.1 - Religion - 11 - International rankings - 12 - See also - 13 - References - 14 - Further reading - 15 - - Name Bhutan" may be derived from the Sanskrit word Bhu-Utthan (भू-उत्थान;highlands). In another theory of Sanskritisation, Bhoṭa-anta (भोट-अन्त) means "At the end of Tibet", as Bhutan is immediately to Tibet's south. Historically Bhutan was known by many names, such as Lho Mon (southern land of darkness), Lho Tsendenjong (southern land of the Tsenden cypress), Lhomen Khazhi (southern land of four approaches) and Lho Men Jong (southern land of medicinal herbs). - 9 ] - - - History - History of Bhutan Stone tools, weapons, elephants, and remnants of large stone structures provide evidence that Bhutan was inhabited as early as 2000 BC, although there are no existing records from that time. Historians have theorized that the state of Lhomon (literally, "southern darkness", a reference to the indigenous Mon religion), or Monyul ("Dark Land", a reference to the Monpa, the aboriginal peoples of Bhutan) may have existed between 500 BC and AD 600. The names Lhomon Tsendenjong (Sandalwood Country), and Lhomon Khashi , or Southern Mon (country of four approaches), have been found in ancient Bhutanese and Tibetan chronicles. - 10 ] - - The earliest transcribed event in Bhutan was the passage of the Buddhist saint Padma Sambhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche) in 747. Bhutan's early history is unclear, because most of the records were destroyed after fire ravaged the ancient capital, Punakha, in 1827. - 12 ] - - By the 10th century, Bhutan's political development was heavily influenced by its religious history. Various sub-sects of Buddhism emerged which were patronized by the various Mongol warlords. After the decline of the Mongols in the 14th century, these sub-sects vied with each other for supremacy in the political and religious landscape, eventually leading to the ascendancy of the Drukpa sub-sect by the 16th century. Until the early 17th century, Bhutan existed as a patchwork of minor warring fiefdoms, when the area was unified by the Tibetan lama and military leader Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal who fled religious persecution in Tibet. To defend the country against intermittent Tibetan forays, Namgyal built a network of impregnable dzong (fortresses), and promulgated a code of law that helped to bring local lords under centralized control. Many such dzong still exist and are active centers of religion and district administration. PortugueseJesuitEstêvão Cacella and another priest were the first recorded Europeans to visit Bhutan on their way to Tibet. They met with Ngawang Namgyal, presented him with firearms, gunpowder and a telescope, and offered him their services in the war against Tibet, but the Shabdrung declined the offer. After a stay of nearly eight months Cacella wrote a long letter from the Chagri Monastery reporting on his travels. This is a rare extant report of the Shabdrung. After Namgyal's death in 1651, Bhutan fell into civil war. Taking advantage of the chaos, the Tibetans attacked Bhutan in 1710, and again in 1730 with the help of the Mongols. Both assaults were successfully thwarted, and an armistice was signed in 1759.

- Map of Bhutan. - A thrikheb (throne cover) from the 19th century. Throne covers were placed atop the temple cushions used by high lamas. The central circular swirling quadrune is the Gankyil in its mode as the "Four Joys". In the 18th century, the Bhutanese invaded and occupied the kingdom of Cooch Behar to the south. In 1772, Cooch Behar appealed to the British East India Company which assisted them in ousting the Bhutanese, and later in attacking Bhutan itself in 1774. A peace treaty was signed in which Bhutan agreed to retreat to its pre-1730 borders. However, the peace was tenuous, and border skirmishes with the British were to continue for the next 100 years. The skirmishes eventually led to the Duar War (1864–1865), a confrontation for control of the BengalDuars. After Bhutan lost the war, the Treaty of Sinchula was signed between British India and Bhutan. As part of the war reparations, the Duars were ceded to the United Kingdom in exchange for a rent of Rs. 50,000. The treaty ended all hostilities between British India and Bhutan. During the 1870s, power struggles between the rival valleys of Paro and Tongsa led to civil war in Bhutan, eventually leading to the ascendancy of Ugyen Wangchuck, the ponlop (governor) of Tongsa. From his power base in central Bhutan, Ugyen Wangchuck defeated his political enemies and united the country following several civil wars and rebellions in the period 1882–1885. In 1907, an epochal year for the country, Ugyen Wangchuck was unanimously chosen as the hereditary king of the country by an assembly of leading Buddhist monks, government officials, and heads of important families. The British government promptly recognized the new monarchy, and in 1910 Bhutan signed a treaty which "let" Great Britain "guide" Bhutan's foreign affairs. In reality, this did not mean much given Bhutan's historical reticence. It also did not seem to apply to Bhutan's traditional relations with Tibet. After India gained independence from the United Kingdom on 15 August 1947, Bhutan became one of the first countries to recognize India's independence. A treaty similar to that of 1910 in which Britain gained power with respect to Bhutan's foreign relations was signed 8 August 1949 with the newly independent India. - The Trongsa Dzong. In 1953, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck established the country's legislature – a 130-member National Assembly – to promote a more democratic form of governance. In 1965, he set up a Royal Advisory Council, and in 1968 he formed a Cabinet. In 1971, Bhutan was admitted to the United Nations, having held observer status for three years. In July 1972, Jigme Singye Wangchuck ascended to the throne at the age of 16 after the death of his father, Dorji Wangchuck. Beginning in 1985 Bhutan expelled nearly 100,000 ethnic Nepalis, the status of whom has been a source of ongoing debate;many claim to be descended from 19th and early 20th century Nepali immigrants, whereas the government of Bhutan claims they are recent illegal immigrants. The Bhutanese refugees were granted refuge in neighboring Nepal. Beginning early 2008 the refugees are being relocated in various countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway and the Netherlands. In late 2003, the Bhutanese army successfully launched a large-scale operation to flush out anti-India insurgents who were operating training camps in southern Bhutan. - Democratic reform and modernization King Jigme Singye Wangchuck introduced significant political reforms, transferring most of his administrative powers to the Council of Cabinet Ministers and allowing for impeachment of the King by a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly. In 1999, the government lifted a ban on television and the Internet, making Bhutan one of the last countries to introduce television. In his speech, the King said that television was a critical step to the modernisation of Bhutan as well as a major contributor to the country's Gross National Happiness (Bhutan is the only country to measure happiness - 15 ] - - ), but warned that the "misuse" of television could erode traditional Bhutanese values. - 16 ] - - A new constitution was presented in early 2005. In December 2005, Jigme Singye Wangchuck announced that he would abdicate the throne in his son's favor in 2008. On 14 December 2006, he announced that he would be abdicating immediately. Bhutan has now entered a new era of democracy, starting with its first national parliamentary elections in December 2007 and March 2008. On November 6, 2008, 28-year old Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, eldest son of King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, was crowned King, thus marking a new era in the history of this Himalayan kingdom. - 17 ] - - - Government and politics - Politics of Bhutan - View of Tashichoedzong, Thimphu, seat of the Bhutanese government since 1952. Bhutan's political system has developed from an absolute monarchy into a constitutional monarchy. In 1999, the fourth king of Bhutan created a body called the Lhengye Zhungtshog (Council of Ministers). The 'Druk Gyalpo' (King of Druk Yul) is head of state. Executive power is exercised by the Lhengye Zhungtshog, the council of ministers. Legislative power was vested in both the government and the former Grand National Assembly. On the 17th of December 2005, the 4th King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, announced to a stunned nation that the first general elections would be held in 2008, and that he would abdicate the throne in favor of his eldest son, the crown prince. - 18 ] - - King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck took the throne on December 14, 2006 upon his father's abdication. Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck was adorned with Bhutan's Raven Crown at an ornate coronation ceremony in Thimphu on Thursday, November 6, 2008, becoming the world's youngest reigning monarch and head of the newest democracy. - 19 ] - - The new democratic system comprises an upper and lower house, the latter based on political party affiliations. Elections for the upper house (National Council) were held on December 31, 2007, while elections for the lower house, the 47-seat National Assembly, were held on March 24, 2008. Two political parties, the People's Democratic Party (PDP) headed by Sangay Ngedup, and the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) headed by Jigmi Thinley, competed in the National Assembly election. The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa won the elections taking 45 out of 47 seats in the parliament. - 20 ] - - Judicial power is vested in the courts of Bhutan. The Chief Justice is the administrative head of the Judiciary. - Military and foreign affairs - Military of Bhutan and Foreign relations of Bhutan The Royal Bhutan Army is Bhutan's military service. It includes the Royal Bodyguard and the Royal Bhutan Police. Membership is voluntary, and the minimum age for recruitment is 18. The standing army numbers about 6,000 and is trained by the Indian Army. - 21 ] - - It has an annual budget of about US$13.7 million — 1.8 percent of the GDP. Being a landlocked country, Bhutan has no navy. In 2007, Bhutan and India signed a new treaty that clarified that Bhutan was master of its own foreign relations, superseding the treaty signed in 1949. The superseded treaty is still sometimes misinterpreted to mean that India controls Bhutan's foreign affairs, but the government of Bhutan handles all of its own foreign affairs, including the sensitive (to India) border demarcation issue with China. Bhutan has diplomatic relations with 21 countries, and with the European Union, with missions in India, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Kuwait. It has two UN missions, one in New York and one in Geneva. Only India and Bangladesh have residential embassies in Bhutan, while Thailand has a consulate office in Bhutan. By a long standing treaty, Indian and Bhutanese citizens may travel to each other's countries without a passport or visa using their national identity cards instead. Bhutanese citizens may also work in India without legal restriction. Bhutan does not have formal diplomatic ties with its northern neighbour, the People's Republic of China, although exchanges of visits at various levels between the two have significantly increased in recent times. The first bilateral agreement between China (PRC) and Bhutan was signed in 1998, and Bhutan has also set up honorary consulates in Macau and Hong Kong. Bhutan’s border with China is largely not demarcated and thus disputed in some places. Approximately 269 square kilometers remain under discussion between China and Bhutan. - 22 ] - - On 13 November 2005, Chinese soldiers crossed into the disputed territories between China and Bhutan, and began building roads and bridges. - 23 ] - - Bhutanese Foreign Minister Khandu Wangchuk took up the matter with Chinese authorities after the issue was raised in the Bhutanese parliament. In response, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang of the People's Republic of China has said that the border remains in dispute and that the two sides are continuing to work for a peaceful and cordial resolution of the dispute. - 24 ] - - An Indian intelligence officer has said that a Chinese delegation in Bhutan told the Bhutanese that they were "overreacting." The Bhutanese newspaper Kuensel has said that China might use the roads to further Chinese claims along the border. - 23 ] - - On 8 February 2007, the Indo-Bhutan Friendship Treaty - PDF (30.6 KB) - was substantially revised. In the Treaty of 1949 Article 2 states:"The Government of India undertakes to exercise no interference in the internal administration of Bhutan. On its part the Government of Bhutan agrees to be guided by the advice of the Government of India in regard to its external relations." In the revised treaty it now reads as "In keeping with the abiding ties of close friendship and cooperation between Bhutan and India, the Government of the Kingdom of Bhutan and the Government of the Republic of India shall cooperate closely with each other on issues relating to their national interests. Neither government shall allow the use of its territory for activities harmful to the national security and interest of the other." The revised treaty also includes this preamble:"Reaffirming their respect for each other's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity", an element that was absent in the earlier version. The Indo-Bhutan Friendship Treaty of 2007 clarifies Bhutan's status as an independent and sovereign nation. Bhutan has no formal relations with the United States, - 25 ] - - Russia, China, the United Kingdom or France. Informal contact with the United States is made through the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. - 25 ] - - - Geography - Geography of Bhutan - Topographic map of Bhutan - Gangkhar Puensum from Ura La, Bhutan The northern region of the country consists of an arc of Eastern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows reaching up to glaciated mountain peaks with an extremely cold climate at the highest elevations. Most peaks in the north are over 7,000 metres (23,000 ft) above sea level;the highest point is claimed to be the Kula Kangri, at 7,553 metres (24,780 ft), but detailed topographic studies claim Kula Kangri is wholly in Tibet ] and modern Chinese measurements claim that Gangkhar Puensum, which has the distinction of being the highest unclimbed mountain in the world, is higher at 7,570 metres (24,840 ft). The lowest point is in the valley of Drangme Chhu, where the river crosses the border with India. Watered by snow-fed rivers, alpine valleys in this region provide pasture for livestock, tended by a sparse population of migratory shepherds. The Black Mountains in the central region of Bhutan form a watershed between two major river systems:the Mo Chhu and the Drangme Chhu. Peaks in the Black Mountains range between 1,500 and 2,700 metres (4,900 and 8,900 ft) above sea level, and fast-flowing rivers have carved out deep gorges in the lower mountain areas. The forests of the central Bhutan mountains consist of Eastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests in higher elevations and Eastern Himalayan broadleaf forests in lower elevations. Woodlands of the central region provide most of Bhutan's forest production. The Torsa, Raidak, Sankosh, and Manas are the main rivers of Bhutan, flowing through this region. Most of the population lives in the central highlands. - Jacaranda trees in Bhutan In the south, the Shiwalik Hills are covered with dense Himalayan subtropical broadleaf forests, alluvial lowland river valleys, and mountains up to around 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) above sea level. The foothills descend into the subtropical Duars Plain. Most of the Duars is located in India, although a 10 to 15 kilometres (6.2 to 9.3 mi) wide strip extends into Bhutan. The Bhutan Duars is divided into two parts:the northern and the southern Duars. The northern Duars, which abuts the Himalayan foothills, has rugged, sloping terra - dry, porous soil with dense vegetation and abundant wildlife. The southern Duars has moderately fertile soil, heavy savannah grass, dense, mixed jungle, and freshwater springs. Mountain rivers, fed by either the melting snow or the monsoon rains, empty into the Brahmaputra River in India. Data released by the Ministry of Agriculture showed that the country had a forest cover of 64% as of October 2005. - Terraced farming in the Punakha valley The climate in Bhutan varies with altitude, from subtropical in the south to temperate in the highlands and polar-type climate, with year-round snow, in the north. Bhutan experiences five distinct seasons:summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. Western Bhutan has the heavier monsoon rains;southern Bhutan has hot humid summers and cool winters;central and eastern Bhutan is temperate and drier than the west with warm summers and cool winters. - Economy - Economy of Bhutan - The Ngultrum is the currency of Bhutan The Ngultrum is the currency of Bhutan and its value is pegged to the Indian rupee. The rupee is also accepted as legal tender in the country. Though Bhutan's economy is one of the world's smallest, it has grown rapidly in recent years, by eight percent in 2005 and 14 percent in 2006. In 2007, Bhutan had the second fastest growing economy in the world, with an annual economic growth rate of 22.4 percent. This was mainly due to the commissioning of the gigantic TalaHydroelectricity project. As of March 2006, Bhutan's per capita income was US$1,321. Bhutan's economy is based on agriculture, forestry, tourism and the sale of hydroelectric power to India. Agriculture provides the main livelihood for more than 80 percent of the population. Agrarian practices consist largely of subsistence farming and animal husbandry. Handicrafts, particularly weaving and the manufacture of religious art for home altars, are a small cottage industry. A landscape that varies from hilly to ruggedly mountainous has made the building of roads and other infrastructure difficult and expensive. This, and a lack of access to the sea, has meant that Bhutan has not been able to benefit from significant trading of its produce. Bhutan does not have any railways, though Indian Railways plans to link southern Bhutan to its vast network under an agreement signed in January 2005. - 26 ] - - Bhutan and India signed a 'free trade' accord in 2008, which additionally allowed Bhutanese imports and exports from third markets to transit India without tariffs. - 27 ] - - The historic trade routes over the high Himalayas, which connected India to Tibet, have been closed since the 1950 military takeover of Tibet (although smuggling activity still brings Chinese goods into Bhutan). The industrial sector is in a nascent stage, and though most production comes from cottage industry, larger industries are being encouraged and some industries such as cement, steel, and ferroalloy have been set up. Most development projects, such as road construction, rely on Indian contract labour. Agricultural produce includes rice, chilies, dairy (some yak, mostly cow) products, buckwheat, barley, root crops, apples, and citrus and maize at lower elevations. Industries include cement, wood products, processed fruits, alcoholic beverages and calcium carbide. Incomes of over Nu 100,000 per annum are taxed, but very few wage and salary earners qualify. Bhutan's inflation rate was estimated at about three percent in 2003. Bhutan has a Gross Domestic Product of around USD 2.913 billion (adjusted to Purchasing Power Parity), making it the 162nd largest economy in the world. - Haa Valley in Bhutan - Per capita income is around $1,400, - 1 ] - - ranked 124th. Government revenues total $272 million, though expenditures amount to $350 million. 60 percent of the budget expenditure, however, is financed by India's Ministry of External Affairs. - 28 ] - - Bhutan's exports, principally electricity, cardamom, gypsum, timber, handicrafts, cement, fruit, precious stones and spices, total 128 million (2000 est.). Imports, however, amount to €164 million, leading to a trade deficit. Main items imported include fuel and lubricants, grain, machinery, vehicles, fabrics and rice. Bhutan's main export partner is India, accounting for 58.6 percent of its export goods. Hong Kong (30.1 percent) and the Bangladesh (7.3 percent) are the other two top export partners. - 1 ] - - As its border with Tibet is closed, trade between Bhutan and China is now almost non-existent. Bhutan's import partners include India (74.5 percent), Japan (7.4 percent) and Sweden (3.2 percent). In a response to accusations in 1987 by a journalist from UK'sFinancial Times that the pace of development in Bhutan was slow, the King said that "Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product." - 29 ] - - This statement appears to have presaged recent findings by western economic psychologists, including 2002 Nobel LaureateDaniel Kahneman, that question the link between levels of income and happiness. The statement signaled his commitment to building an economy that is appropriate for Bhutan's culture and people, based on Buddhist spiritual values, and has served as a unifying vision for the economy. In a survey in 2005, 45 percent of Bhutanese reported being very happy, 52 percent reported being happy and only three percent reported not being happy. Based on this data, the Happy Planet Index estimates that the average level of life satisfaction in Bhutan is within the top 10 percent of nations worldwide, and certainly higher than other nations with similar levels of GDP per capita. - Districts - Districts of Bhutan and Blocks of Bhutan Bhutan is divided into four dzongdey (administrative zones). Each dzongdey is further divided into dzongkhag (districts). There are twenty dzongkhag in Bhutan. Large dzongkhags are further divided into subdistricts known as dungkhag . At the basic level, groups of villages form a constituency called gewog (blocks) and are administered by a gup , who is elected by the people.

- Dzongkhags (districts) of Bhutan
    Bumthang Chukha (old spelling:Chhukha Dagana Gasa Haa Lhuntse Mongar Paro Pemagatshel (Pemagatsel Punakha
    Samdrup Jongkhar Samtse (Samchi Sarpang (old spelling:Sarbhang Thimphu Trashigang (Tashigang Trashiyangtse Trongsa (Tongsa Tsirang (Chirang Wangdue Phodrang (Wangdi Phodrang Zhemgang (Shemgang
- Cities and towns - see Cities, towns and villages in Bhutan Jakar, the administrative headquarters of Bumthang District and the place where Buddhism entered Bhutan. Mongar, the eastern commercial hub of the country. Paro, site of the international airport. Phuentsholing, Bhutan's commercial hub. Punakha, the old capital. Samdrup Jongkhar Thimphu, the largest city and capital of Bhutan. Trashigang, the most populous district in the country. Trongsa, in central Bhutan which has the largest and the most magnificent of all the dzongs in Bhutan. - Demographics - Demographics of Bhutan Bhutanese people primarily consist of the Ngalops, and Sharchops, called the Western Bhutanese and Eastern Bhutanese respectively. The Ngalops primarily consist of Bhutanese living in the western part of the country. Their culture is closely related to that of Tibet. Much the same could be said of the Sharchops, the dominant group, who originate from the eastern part of Bhutan (but who traditionally follow the Nyingmapa rather than the official Drukpa Kagyu form of Tibetan Buddhism). In modern times, with improved transportation infrastructure, there has been much intermarriage between these groups. In the early 1970s, intermarriage between the Lhotshampas and mainstream Bhutanese society was encouraged by the government. - The Taktshang Monastery, also known as the "Tiger's Nest". Bhutan is a predominantly Buddhist country. The national language is Dzongkha, one of 53 languages in the Tibetan language family. The script, here called Chhokey ("Dharma Language"), is identical to classical Tibetan. In the schools English is the medium of instruction and Dzongkha is taught as the national language. Ethnologue lists 24 languages currently spoken in Bhutan, all of them in the Tibeto-Burman family, except Nepali, an Indo-Aryan language. Until the 1980s, the government sponsored the teaching of Nepali in schools in Southern Bhutan. However, after the armed uprising in the south, Nepali was dropped from the curriculum. The languages of Bhutan are still not well-characterized, and several have yet to be recorded in an in-depth academic grammar.

Religions of Bhutan religion percent Buddhism
75% Hinduism
24% Others
1% The literacy rate is 59.5 percent. - 30 ] - - The country has a median age of 22.3 years. Bhutan has a life expectancy of 62.2 years (61 for males and 64.5 for females) according to the latest data from the World Bank. There are 1,070 males to every 1,000 females in the country. - Religion - Religion in Bhutan It is estimated that between two thirds and three quarters of the Bhutanese population follow Vajrayana Buddhism, which is also the state religion. About one quarter to one third are followers of Hinduism. Muslim and non-religious communities account for less than 1% of the population. - 32 ] - - The current legal framework, in principle guarantees freedom of religion;proselytism, however, is forbidden by a royal government decision. - 32 ] - - Buddhism was introduced to Bhutan in the 7th century AD. According to legend, Guru Rinpoche ordered the Tibetan king Trisong Detsen to have 108 temples built all over the Himalayas. Doing so would aid in subduing a demoness and allow for the construction of Samye Temple in Tibet. Two of the 108 temples are in Bhutan, one in Paro and the other in Bumthang and were built around AD 637. ] - Culture - Culture of Bhutan - Bhutanese thanka of Mt. Meru and the Buddhist Universe, 19th century, Tongsa Dzong, Tongsa, Bhutan. Bhutan has a rich and unique cultural heritage that has largely remained intact because of its isolation from the rest of the world until the early 1960s. One of the main attractions for tourists is the country's culture and traditions. Bhutanese tradition is deeply steeped in its Buddhist heritage. - 33 ] - - Hinduism is the second dominant religion in Bhutan, being most prevalent in the southern regions. Both religions co-exist peacefully and receive support from the government, - 34 ] - - and enjoy royal patronage. The government is increasingly making efforts to preserve and sustain the current culture and traditions of the country. Because of its largely unspoiled natural environment and cultural heritage, Bhutan has been referred to as The Last Shangri-la. While Bhutanese citizens are free to travel abroad, Bhutan is viewed as inaccessible by many foreigners. There is a widespread misconception that Bhutan has set limits on tourist visas. ] Another reason for it being an unpopular destination is the cost, which is high for tourists on tighter budgets. Entry is free for citizens of India and Bangladesh, but all other foreigners are required to sign up with a Bhutanese tour operator and pay around $200 per day that they stay in the country. The National Dress for Bhutanese men is the gho , a knee-length robe tied at the waist by a cloth belt known as the kera . Women wear an ankle-length dress, the kira , which is clipped at one shoulder and tied at the waist. An accompaniment to the kira is a long-sleeved blouse, the toego , which is worn underneath the outer layer. Social status and class determine the texture, colours, and decorations that embellish the garments. Differently coloured scarves and shawls are important indicators of social standing, as Bhutan has traditionally been a feudal society. Jewellery is mostly worn by women, especially during religious festivals and public gatherings. To strengthen Bhutan's identity as an independent country, Bhutanese law requires all Bhutanese citizens to wear the national dress in public areas and as formal wear. Rice, buckwheat, and increasingly maize, are the staple foods of the country. The local diet also includes pork, beef, yak meat, chicken, and mutton. Soups and stews of meat and dried vegetables spiced with chillies and cheese are prepared. Ema datshi, made very spicy with cheese and chilies, might be called the national dish for its ubiquity and the pride that Bhutanese have for it. Dairy foods, particularly butter and cheese from yaks and cows, are also popular, and indeed almost all milk is turned to butter and cheese. Popular beverages include butter tea, tea, locally brewed rice wine and beer. Bhutan is the only country in the world to have banned the sale of tobacco.

- Changlimithang Stadium, during a parade. - Chaam , sacred masked dances, are annually performed during religious festivals. Bhutan's national sport is archery, and competitions are held regularly in most villages. It differs from Olympic standards in technical details such as the placement of the targets and atmosphere. There are two targets placed over 100 meters apart and teams shoot from one end of the field to the other. Each member of the team shoots two arrows per round. Traditional Bhutanese archery is a social event and competitions are organized between villages, towns, and amateur teams. There are usually plenty of food and drink complete with singing and dancing. Attempts to distract an opponent include standing around the target and making fun of the shooter's ability. Darts (khuru ) is an equally popular outdoor team sport, in which heavy wooden darts pointed with a 10 cm nail are thrown at a paperback-sized target ten to 20 meters away. Another traditional sport is the digor , which resembles the shot put and horseshoe throwing. Cricket has gained popularity in Bhutan, particularly since the introduction of television channels from India. The Bhutan national cricket team is one of the more successful affiliate nations in the region. Football is also an increasingly popular sport. In 2002, Bhutan's national football (soccer) team played Montserrat, in what was billed as The Other Final;the match took place on the same day Brazil played Germany in the World Cup final, but at the time Bhutan and Montserrat were the world's two lowest ranked teams. The match was held in Thimphu's Changlimithang National Stadium, and Bhutan won 4–0. A documentary of the match was made by the Dutch filmmaker Johan Kramer. Rigsar is an emerging style of popular music in Bhutan, played on a mix of traditional instruments and electronic keyboards, and dates back to the early 1990s;it shows the influence of Indian popular music, a hybrid form of traditional and Western popular influences. Traditional genres include the zhungdra and boedra. Characteristic of the region is a type of castle fortress known as the dzong. Since ancient times, the dzongs have served as the religious and secular administration centres for their respective districts. Bhutan has numerous public holidays, most of which centre around traditional seasonal, secular and religious festivals. They include the winter solstice (around January 1, depending on the lunar calendar), the lunar New Year (February or March), the King's birthday and the anniversary of his coronation, the official start of monsoon season (September 22), National Day (December 17), and various Buddhist and Hindu celebrations. Masked dances and dance dramas are common traditional features at festivals, usually accompanied by traditional music. Energetic dancers, wearing colourful wooden or composition face masks and stylized costumes, depict heroes, demons, dæmons, death heads, animals, gods, and caricatures of common people. The dancers enjoy royal patronage, and preserve ancient folk and religious customs and perpetuate the ancient lore and art of mask-making. Inheritance in Bhutan generally goes in the female rather than the male line. Daughters will inherit their parents' house. A man is expected to make his own way in the world and often moves to his wife's home. Love marriages are common in urban areas, but the tradition of arranged marriages is still common in the villages. Although uncommon, polygamy is accepted, often being a device to keep property in a contained family unit rather than dispersing it. ] The previous King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who abdicated in 2006, has 4 Queens, all of whom are sisters. The University of Texas at El Paso in the United States has adopted Bhutanese architecture for its buildings on campus, as have the nearby Hilton Garden Inn and other buildings in the city of El Paso. - 35 ] - - - International rankings - Organization - Survey - Ranking Institute for Economics and Peace - Global Peace Index - 36 ] - - 40 out of 144 United Nations Development Programme - Human Development Index - 132 out of 182 Transparency International - Corruption Perceptions Index - 49 out of 180 World Bank - Ease of Doing Business Index - 126 out of 183 Reporters without Borders - Press Freedom Index - 70 out of 175 - See also - - - Geography portal - - SAARC portal Outline of Bhutan 2007 South Asian floods Bhutanese art Bhutanese general election, 2008 Buddhism in Bhutan Censorship in Bhutan Communications in Bhutan Foreign relations of Bhutan Index of Bhutan-related articles List of rulers of Bhutan Media of Bhutan Military of Bhutan Postage stamps and postal history of Bhutan Transport in Bhutan Bhutanese refugees - References -
  • a b cCentral Intelligence Agency. Bhutan. The World Factbook. cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/bt.html -
  • a b c dBhutan. International Monetary Fund. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2010/01/weodata/weorept.aspx?sy=2007&ey=2010&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=514&s=NGDPD%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPGDP%2CPPPPC%2CLP&grp=0&a=&pr.x=55&pr.y=11 -
  • ^ Human Development Report 2009. Human development index trends:Table G (PDF). The United Nations. http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/HDR_2009_EN_Complete.pdf - ^ world population prospects the 2008 revision. un.org. 2008. http://esa.un.org/unpp/ - ^ The World's Happiest Countries. Images.businessweek.com. http://images.businessweek.com/ss/06/10/happiest_countries/index_01.htm -
  • ^ www.loc.gov ^ WIAS ::Bhutan. World Institute for Asian Studies. http://www.worldinstituteforasianstudies.org/buthan.html - ^ Buddhist Channel - Buddhism News, Headlines - Travel - Taktshang:a Buddhist legend. Buddhistchannel.tv. http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=18,963,0,0,1,0 - ^ Stephen Cacella – page on Bhutannica.org ^ Hoffman, Klus;(2006) Democratization from above:The case of Bhutan (PDF). http://www.democracy-international.org/fileadmin/di/pdf/papers/di-bhutan.pdf - ^ Larmer, Brook;(2008) Bhutan's Enlightened Experiment. Ngm.nationalgeographic.com. http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/03/bhutan/larmer-text/2 - ^ [Nitasha Kaul (2008) "Bhutan Crowns a Jewel" UPI Asia http://www.upiasia.com/Politics/2008/11/10/bhutan_crowns_a_jewel/1962. ^ Gelay Jamtsho, Keys to Bhutan (2008-10-31). His Majesty the King’s historic National Day Address – 2005. Keystobhutan.com. http://www.keystobhutan.com/bhutan/bhutan_king_speech.php - ^ Royalist party wins election in Bhutan (2008-03-25). Royalist party wins election in Bhutan. NDTV.com. http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20080044949&ch=3/25/2008%2012:28:00%20AM - ^ Dec 19, 2003 (2003-12-19). ''Asian Times''. Atimes.com. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/EL19Df04.html -
  • a b''HindustanTimes.com''. Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2006-08-24. http://web.archive.org/web/20060824075647/http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/7598_1583871,000500020006.htm - ^ ''China.com''. News.china.com. http://news.china.com/zh_cn/domestic/945/20051201/12906175.html - ^ ''The Tribune''. Tribuneindia.com. http://www.tribuneindia.com/2005/20050126/main5.htm - ^ WTO. WTO. http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/countries_e/india_e.htm - ^ Greenwald, Jeff. Yoga Journal. Yoga Journal. http://www.yogajournal.com/views/1332_1.cfm - ^ Report. Devdata.worldbank.org. http://devdata.worldbank.org/external/CPProfile.asp?PTYPE=CP&CCODE=BTN -
  • a bInternational Religious Freedom Report 2007 – Bhutan. U.S. Department of State. 2007-09-14. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2007/90227.htm - ^ Buddha Dordenma Image Foundation. Buddhadordenma.org. http://www.buddhadordenma.org/bdif.php - ^ See UTEP Handbook of Operations http://admin.utep.edu/Default.aspx?PageContentMode=1&tabid=30289 for more details. ^ Vision of Humanity. Vision of Humanity. http://www.visionofhumanity.org/gpi/home.php - - Further reading -
    Osmani, Siddiqur R.;Bajracharya, B.B.;Tenzing, S.;Wangyal, T.;(2007) (PDF). Macroeconomics of Poverty Reduction:The Case Study of Bhutan (2 ed.). Colombo:UNDP. p. 302. ISBN9789551416003. http://www.undp.org.bt/poverty/docs/Macroeco_cs_for_Bhutan.pdf - . - Thinley, Jigme Y.. Bhutan:A Kingdom Besieged. Bhutanica . http://www.bhutannica.org/index.php?title=Bhutan:_A_Kingdom_Besieged - A Country Study:Bhutan. Federal Research Division, Library of Congress . http://memory.loc.gov/frd/cs/bttoc.html - A hidden and mysterious kingdom. Toplum Postasi . http://www.toplumpostasi.net/index.php/cat/9/col/85/art/1026/PageName/English - Border tension pushes MEA allocation. The Tribune, Chandigarh . http://www.tribuneindia.com/2002/20020301/budget.htm - Bhutan. CIA World Factbook . cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/bt.html - Bhutan army sees action at last. Asia Times Online . http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/EL19Df04.html - One Year in the eastern Bhutan. PeerMade.infoTM . http://www.peermade.info/travel/bhutan - BTI 2008 — Bhutan Country Report. Gütersloh:Bertelsmann Stiftung. 2007. http://www.bertelsmann-transformation-index.de/index.php?id=1393&tt_news=&type=98&L=1 - Fast forward into trouble. The Guardian Unlimited (London). 2003-06-14. http://www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,3605,975769,00.html - MoUs with Bhutan on rail links, power projects. The Tribune, Chandigarh . http://www.bhutannewsonline.com/bhutan_china.html - A.P. Agarwala (2003). Sikkim and Bhutan . Nest and Wings. ISBN81-87592-07-9. - Sunanda K. Datta-Ray (1984). Smash and Grab:The Annexation of Sikkim . Vikas. ISBN0-7069-2509-2. - Foning, A.R. (1987). Lepcha, My Vanishing Tribe . Sterling Publishers. ISBN81-207-0685-4. - Rose, Leo. The Nepali Ethnic Community in the Northeast of the Subcontinent . - - - Find more about Bhutan on Wikipedia's sister projects: - - Definitions from Wiktionary - - Textbooks from Wikibooks - - Quotations from Wikiquote - - Source texts from Wikisource - - Images and media from Commons - - News stories from Wikinews - - Learning resources from Wikiversity Government of Bhutan portal Chief of State and Cabinet Members Bhutannica Country Profile and Timeline from BBC News Bhutan entry at The World Factbook Bhutan Links at the National Library of Bhutan Mask Dance in Bhutan Bhutan from UCB Libraries GovPubs Bhutan at the Open Directory Project Wikimedia Atlas of Bhutan Tourism Council of Bhutan official government website Bhutan travel guide from Wikitravel 'Datsi in the Druk Highlands,' An introduction to Bhutanese cuisine in Sunday Mid-Day,01-02-2009, by Arjun Razdan
  • References from:Bhutan from Wikipedia the free encyclopedia Phones and Dial Codes
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