Specificities of Daily Life in Bumthang

The daily life in Bumthang still revolves very much about agriculture and livestock rearing with weaving as a supplementary activity. However since the 1980s, with the development of the West-East road across Bhutan and telecommunications, of potato cultivation mostly as a cash crop, and of tourism, the life of people of Bumthang has undergone tremendous changes. They are better off and live in more comfortable and hygienic conditions. But till today in the villages, taking bath is a luxury.

Used to harsh weather and hard life, the people of Bumthang are industrious and family oriented. The whole family share the outdoor work burden: fieldwork and tending cattle, but women have the additional task to deal with household chores, including brewing ara, and do the weaving.

Weaving woolen cloth on pedal loom is done in almost every household whenever girls and women find the time.

In the evening, everybody assembled in the large kitchen which was the only room heated by the earthen stove. Bokharis, iron stove manufactured in Bumthang, are nowadays very popular although consuming a lot of wood.

Due to the religious specificity of Bumthang men do not need to be monks to conduct religious ceremonies. Any man with a proper religious background can go and perform rituals in village houses and this task keep them busy, often the whole day.

Indeed, another important aspect of life in Bumthang is the religious practice. People feel privileged to live in a Buddhist holy place where temples dot the landscape. Besides conducting ceremonies at home for different purposes, they also visit temples and monasteries on auspicious days, meet for religious teachings given by high lamas and for annual village festivals.

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