People

Bhutan is a country of over 700,000 people, living in harmony and sharing a strong sense of community. A majority of the people lives off the land scattered in sparsely populated villages in the rugged terrains of the Himalayas.

Bhutan’s demography is diverse ethnically and culturally. The people of the West are known as Ngalops and are of largely Tibetan origin.  Those from the East, closer to Burmese-Mongoloid origin, are known as Sharchops or Tshanglas. The people from the South, dominantly of Nepali origin, are known as Lhotshampas.

Although a tiny country, Bhutan boasts of over 19 different local dialects. In olden days, Bhutanese settled in different valleys with limited communication, which gave rise to different sub-cultures and dialects. The national language of Bhutan is Dzongkha. A large section of Bhutanese also speaks and writes English since it’s the medium of instruction in schools and colleges.

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