Bhutan is also one of the countries which are abided by ancient age-old cultures. Bhutanese have their own way to do things quite differently from other parts of the world. Bhutan has its own Language, Dress, Architecture, Religion, Food, Sports, etc, which is unique to the outside world.
Men wear a heavy knee-length robe tied with a belt, called a gho, folded in such a way to form a pocket in front of the stomach. Women wear
colorful blouses over which they fold and clasp a large rectangular cloth called a kira, thereby creating an ankle-length dress. A short silk
jacket or tego may be worn over the kira. Everyday gho and kira are cotton or wool, according to the season, patterned in simple checks and
stripes in earth tones. For special occasions and festivals, colorfully patterned silk kira and, more rarely, gho may be worn.
Additional rules of protocol apply when visiting a dzong or a temple, or when appearing before a high-level official. Male commoners wear a white sash (kabney) from left shoulder to the opposite hip. Local and regional elected officials, government ministers, cabinet members, and the King himself each wear their own colored kabney. Women wear a narrow embroidered cloth draped over the left shoulder, a rachu.
Traditional Bhutanese eating habits are simple and, in general, food is eaten with hands. Family members eat while sitting cross-legged on the
wooden floor with food being served to the head of the household first.
It is usually women who serve the food and in most cases, the mother. Before eating, a short prayer is offered and a small morsel placed on the floor as an offering to the local spirits and deities. With modernization, eating habits have changed and in urban areas, people usually eat with cutlery whilst seated at a regular dining table.
Traditionally dishes were cooked in earthenware, but with the easy availability of modern goods, pots and pans have largely replaced their use. A typical Bhutanese meal consists of rice, a dish of Ema Datshi(chili with cheese), the country's favorite dish, pork, beef curry, or lentils.
Until just a few decades ago arranged marriages were common and many married among their relatives. In eastern Bhutan cross-cousin marriages were
also once common, however, this practice is now becoming less common place among the literate masses and most marriages are based on the choice of the
Marriages are simple affairs and are usually kept low-key. However, elaborate rituals are performed for lasting unions between the bride and the bridegroom. As the religious ceremony comes to an end, parents, relatives and friends of the couple present the newlyweds with traditional offerings of scarves along with gifts in the form of cash and goods.
The birth of a child is always welcomed. In Bhutan extended family and guests are discouraged from visiting during the first three days after the birth. On the third day, a short purification ritual is performed after which visitors are welcomed to visit the new born and mother. The child is not immediately named; this responsibility is usually entrusted to the head lama (Buddhist priest) of the local temple. The mother and the child will also receive blessings from the local deity (natal deity) and it was traditional that the name associated with the deity is given. In some cases, the child is given the name of the day on which the child is born. Based on the Bhutanese calendar, a horoscope is written based on the time and date of the birth, this will detail the various rituals to be performed at different times in the life of the child and to an extent predict his or her future.
Death signifies re-birth or a mere passing on to a new life. In keeping with the traditions, elaborate rituals are performed to ensure a safe passage and a good rebirth. The 7th, 14th, 21st, and 49th days after a person's death is considered especially important and are recognized by erecting prayer flags in the name of the deceased and performing specific religious rituals. While the deceased are normally cremated, but Southern Bhutanese typically bury their dead while the Brokpas(Nomads) carry out 'Sky Burials', a process in which the deceased are prepared and left atop mountains to be devoured by vultures. Elaborate and ancient rituals are also conducted on the anniversary of the death with the erection of prayer flags. The relatives and people of the locality comes with alcohol, rice, or other sundry items to attend such rituals.