Bhutan is one of the least densely populated countries in the world , with 79 percent of 672,425 people living in rural areas.
The kingdom’s independent history explain the nature of its people who are natural , confident, and gentle . Bhutanese people share a good sense of humour and are widely accepting of different cultures.
People from the western region of the country are often referred to as “Ngalops” descendents of Tibetan immigrants who arrived in Bhutan from the 9th century. In the east, are the scharchops , widely believed ti be the original inhabitants of the country . To the south are the Lhotsampas , largely descendents of immigrants from who settled in Bhutan in the 19th century.
Bhutanese people are strongly Independent in spirit and outlook . Not ever having been colonised, traditional Bhutanese society was characterised by small scattered communities living in isolation with little contact with one another . The first motorable road was built in Bhutan only in 1961 , linking Bhutan to India in the south and eventually developing into a national highway that stretches across the country.
Bhutanese communities, therefore, retain a strong sense of individualism . We have the “Bumthaps” or the people from Bumthang, and the “Mandheps” in Trongsa, the Khengpas in the central regions of Zhemgang, the nomadic “layaps” in the north west , the “Brokpas” in the eastern villages of Merak and sakteng , the “Doyas” or “Lhops” in the southern district of samtse, and the “Samtse” in the south.
While Dzongkha is the national language , and english is widely spoken, Bhutan has registered 19 language and dialects. This diversity in language and culture is an indication of the culture richness and heritage of the small country.
People in Bhutan , no matter how simple their rural lives are, have a welcome smile for every visitor. The Bhutanese people are gracious hosts and treat all visitors as guess. Bhutanese hospitality is even more evident in the rural villages where the local people genuinely welcome visitors as honoured guests.