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People and Language of Bhutan

The people of Bhutan are classified into three main ethnic groups: Sharchops, who live in east of the country believed to be the earliest inhabitants of Bhutan. They are Indo-Mongoloid origin and appear closely related to the people of north east India and northern Burma.

The Ngalongs are of Tibetan descendant migrated to Bhutan in the 9th century and settled west of the country. The third group Lhotsampas is the Nepali origin and settled in the foothills of southern Bhutan in mid 19th century. There are other minority groups in Bhutan such as Layap, Brokpa, Doya, Lhopu, Dhakpa and Lepcha.

The men wear a knee-length garment called Gho which resembles the Scottish Kilt. The women wear a long robe Kira, which is wrapped around the body covering from neck to ankle. Women usually wear heavy silver and gold necklaces with coral, turquoise and other precious stones. Rings and earrings decorated with pearls and turquoise are also popular.

The national language of Bhutan is Dzongkha, which is widely spoken in western region. The eastern region of the country speak Sharchop, where as the people in the south speak Nepali. English has been used as the medium of instructions in schools and institutes. The country’s national newspaper Kuensel is written in English, Dzongkha and Nepali.

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