The people of Bhutan are known for their warmth and hospitality towards visitors. Bhutanese society is deeply rooted in Buddhist principles of compassion and kindness, reflected in how locals interact with one another and foreigners.
Here are some key facts about the people and hospitality of Bhutan:
• The population of Bhutan is relatively small, estimated at around 750,000 people.
• Bhutan is a multi-ethnic society, with several different ethnic groups living within its borders. The largest group is the Ngalops, descendants of Tibetan immigrants who comprise around 50% of the population.
• The Bhutanese are known for their strong sense of community and family, with many people living in extended households with multiple generations.
• Hospitality is a key part of Bhutanese culture, with visitors often greeted with tea and snacks upon arrival. Refusing an offer of food or drink is regarded as disrespectful.
• Visitors to Bhutan are often struck by the genuine warmth and friendliness of the locals, who are happy to share their culture and way of life with others.
• However, it is important for visitors to respect Bhutanese customs and traditions and to be mindful of local businesses, such as removing shoes before entering homes or temples.
• Bhutanese society is relatively egalitarian, strongly focusing on social welfare and community development. It is reflected in the government's "Gross National Happiness" philosophy, which seeks to balance economic growth with social and environmental well-being.
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