Society was traditionally divided into the Zhung (Monarchy and Bureaucracy), Dratshang ( Religious Community) and Mesey ( People ) without a caste system.
During the medieval period, when a loose form of feudalism prevailed, people working for the king and lords in the different dzongs ( forts ) were categorized by their professions. But the division was not rigid since anyone could rise to the highest position. All people were tax payers.
People and their living
Bhutanese people are friendly and hospitable people. Large majority of Bhutanese are a homogenous group divided linguistically into three main ethnic groups the Sharchops, Ngalong and Lhotshampa (Nepalese origin) make up today Ddrukpa population.
Sharchops reside predominantly in eastern Bhutan. Their origin can be traced to the tribes of northern Burma and northeast India. The Ngalops migrated from the Tibetan plains and are the importers of Buddhism to the kingdom. Most of the Lhotsampas migrated to the southern plains in search of agricultural land and work in the early 20th century. The national language is Dzongkha and international language is English.
Almost eighty percent of the population lives in villages and small hamlets, many located a few hours or even a day from the road head. They live off the land, following agrarian practices established many generation ago.
Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan and important cities are Paro, Punakha, Bumthang, Trongsa and Ura. Although Bhutan cannot be deemed a rich country, the fourth king Jigme Singye Wangchuck introduced a unique philosophy of governance which seeks another kind of prosperity, a high Gross National Happiness (GNH), rather than following only the conventional GNP.
If you are looking for a spectacular destination within a living culture that goes back centuries, head to this enthralling Land of the Thunder Dragon.
The staple diet of the Bhutanese people is red rice, buckwheat, wheat, Corn, Pork, Beef, Chicken, Yak meat, Cheese, and chilies which are taken as a vegetable and not as spice.
Bhutanese men wear Gho which are longish robes tied around the waist by a cloth belt called Kera. The women's ankle length dress is known as Kira which is made of bright colored fine woven fabric with traditional patterns.