Bhutan Aims To Reinforce And Promote Its Cultural Identity And Traditions


Bhutan’s culture and tradition has been identified as one of the National Key Result Areas (NKRA).

A boy wearing the traditional Gho and a girl, the traditional Kira of Bhutan. (Source: Facebook/Wangsel Institute for the Deaf)


By Damchoe Pem The Bhutanese

With the aim of strengthening Bhutan’s identity and sovereignty, the preservation and promotion of the country’s culture and tradition has been identified as one of the National Key Result Areas (NKRA).

What constitute a nation’s culture and tradition?

Culture and tradition encompass intangible aspects of a nation such as knowledge, skills, attitudes, beliefs, music, oral traditions and festivals.


 Royal Laya Highlands Festival of Bhutan.

Photo: Druk Asia


These values exist in addition to tangible culture which includes dzongs (monasteries), lhakhangs (temples), arts, antiques, antiquities, indigenous food and sports.

Strategies to be undertaken for the sustenance and continuity of Bhutan’s cultural heritage

Therefore, in order to address the challenges of preserving and promoting Bhutan’s heritage, and to achieve the NKRA, the government has identified a few strategies such as: preserving age-old traditional festivals, highland traditions and culture.

On top of that, the government also has various programs which they will implement to achieve the NKRA such as the sustenance and continuity of Bhutan’s cultural heritage. 

Tangible cultural heritage sites such as the community lhakhangs (temples) and chortens (stupas) in the respective Dzongkhags (Districts) will be maintained.


The Memorial Chorten (Stupa), also known as Thimphu Chorten or National Memorial Chorten, is one of the most iconic religious landmarks of Thimphu Bhutan.

Photo: Druk Asia


While intangible cultures such as local songs, dances, folk stories and local festivals will be preserved. Contemporary arts such as film and music will also be promoted.

Based on requirements, new Dzongs and Lhakhangs will be constructed and existing ones will be maintained and restored. Support can also be given to important historical community-managed lhakhangs.

The program co-ordinators will register cultural properties, conduct research and document in order to safeguard Bhutan’s cultural heritage. Museums and cultural library services will be also be enhanced.

Furthermore, the disaster management capacity of cultural heritage sites will also be improved. The program will be implemented by the Ministry of Home and Culture Affairs.

Promotion of the national language and local indigenous languages

This program aims to promote the use of Dzongkha - the national language and other local dialects.


 Monks learning how to read in Dzongkha at a monastic school in Bhutan. 

Photo: Markus Wild


The program will conduct research, organise national events such as awareness programs and the improvement of language contents.

Local indigenous languages, culture and traditions will also be preserved and promoted. The program will also specifically document 18 indigenous dialects native to Bhutan. It will be implemented by the Dzongkha Development Commission.

The language of Dzongkha can be made more user-friendly by promoting Dzongkha through computing. It will be implemented by the Dzongkha Development Commission.

In order to enhance spiritual values, programs such as meditation, monkhood and spiritualism will be implemented by the Dratshang Lhentshog - the Commission for the Monastic Affairs of Bhutan.


This article first appeared in The Bhutanese and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.


Related Posts

Aku Tongmi: A Song For Bhutan Launched To Revive Traditional...

The book consists of 10 Bhutanese songs including the National Anthem.

Dec 05, 2018 07:04

Lhop Community Of Bhutan Tries To Save Their Traditional Songs...

Started by the Tarayana Foundation, the local radio programme which plays recorded Lhop songs, has given new hope for...

Dec 31, 2018 23:47

Exploring The Usage Of Minerals In Traditional Bhutanese Medicine

One of the challenges in the usage of minerals as ingredients in traditional medicine is the rarity of minerals.

Nov 16, 2018 15:58

Efforts Made To Preserve Bhutan’s Unique Tradition Of Zhey

Zheys are described as traditional Bhutanese folk songs. They are also sometimes referred to as classical dances.

Nov 06, 2018 15:13

More Than A Language – Dzongkha Is A Vital Element Of Bhutan’s...

Dzongkha is our national language – one of the binding forces that will ultimately define our destiny as a nation.

Jan 01, 2019 08:01

Haa Develops Tourism Action Plan To Promote Its Rich Cultural...

Haa had the 6th highest visitor arrivals among the dzongkhags in the country, according to the Bhutan Tourism Monitor...

Jul 26, 2018 08:23



Korean International Cooperation Agency Contributes US$4m To WFP Bhutan, In Support Of School Feeding Programme

It seeks to assist the transition and scaling-up of the school feeding programme to a national school nutrition programme.

Dec 13, 2019 14:18

Canadian Delegation Held 1st Biennial Consultations, Set To Foster Closer Ties With Bhutan

The two sides exchanged views on the recent political, economic developments and bilateral cooperation in Bhutan and Canada.

Nov 26, 2019 23:38


Civil Servants Sponsored Festival In Remote Village Of Bhutan, Brought Joy To Many

The tshechu draws devotees from across the dzongkhag, and even the neighbouring Indian town of Tawang.

Dec 11, 2019 13:18

Five High End Hotels From Bhutan Bagged International Awards

The five award winning hotels are: dusitD2 Yarkay, Terma Linca Resort and Spa, Zhiwaling Heritage, Le Meridien Thimphu and Taj Tashi hotels.

Dec 02, 2019 22:38


Karma – Female Archer From Bhutan Qualified For Tokyo 2020 Olympic Quota

Karma has been specialising in Olympics-style archery since 2009.

Nov 30, 2019 13:18

Bhutan’s Pelden Wangchuk Wins 10th Edition Of Tour 0f Dragon Mountain Bike Race

This year, the race also saw the highest number of female participants compared to past years.

Sep 10, 2019 01:08


Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Namgyle Dorji & Nagendra Kafley Of

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Dec 09, 2019 14:38

India, Singapore And Thailand – Top 3 Asian Foreign Direct Investments In Bhutan

The total number of FDI projects in Bhutan stands at 83 as of November this year.

Dec 07, 2019 19:28


Bhutan’s Black-Necked Crane Festival Drawing More Foreign Tourists

Some 500 tourists from around the world came to Bhutan to see the Black-Necked Crane festival, exceeding the number of locals.

Nov 14, 2019 23:18

Bhutan Bird Festival Set Bird Watching Haven Of Zhemgang Abuzz

Zhemgang is home to more than 500 species of birds, which is an area much sought after by bird watchers from around the world.

Nov 13, 2019 12:48


Catch Glimpses Of Bhutan Through Ballpoint Pen Artworks

The artworks are on display at the Nehru Wangchuck Cultural Center in Thimphu.

Dec 15, 2019 11:08

Bhutanese Textiles To Be Exhibited In Paris Trade Fair 2020

The exhibition is an initiative of the EU-Bhutan Trade Support project.

Nov 10, 2019 12:48

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!