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The People of Bhutan

Bhutan holds a population of around 7 lakhs, which live together like a one large family. The places in Bhutan are scattered in the Himalayas and more than 80 percent of the total population depends on subsistence farming to earn their living.

Depending upon the climatic conditions and geographical location of the places, people also have different food habitat.  The people living in hot places have rice as their staple food and those living in the higher altitude regions have wheat and buckwheat as their primary food. As Bhutanese people lived in different locality separated by natural barriers, people developed a sense of self-independence.

Since the Bhutanese people dwelled in different area, they developed their own dialect in the locality and this resulted into the evolution of numerous dialects in the country. Though they have less contact among themselves, they pay hospitality to everyone. In spite of living in this mountainous country, they were physically very strong and mentally very kind.

Presence of mountains and rivers played a vital role in the settlement of the people. As a result it resulted into different groups of people and hence, the total population of Bhutan can be broadly divided in three etic groups.

Nepalese farmers inhabit southern part of the country and they practice both Buddhism and Hindu religion. But unlike in Nepal there is no crisis evolved due to practice of dual religion in the southern Bhutan and these people living in the southern Bhutan are called as southern Bhutanese.

The Drukpa people whose origin traces back to Mongoloids occupy the large central Himalayan region. Here they cultivate the land as well as breed the cattle.

The Northern region of the country is a home for semi nomadic yak herders. These people spent most of their time in their temporary tents along with their Yaks but they do possess dry-stone walled houses where they keep their goods and also escape the cold winter. Since the weather is very harsh they cultivate cereals and vegetables that can grow in cold places and mostly depend on yak’s products like cheese, butter, milk and etc.

The eastern part of the nation is occupied by Sharchops. The true origin of Sharchops are not very clear as some says their origin is from Tibet but others says they are Mongolian type. But at present they are called eastern Bhutanese prior to their geographical location.