Journal of Bhutan Studies Volume 28, Summer 2013

1. The Role of English in Culture Preservation in Bhutan by Dorji Thinley & T.W. Maxwell

This study explores issues surrounding the preservation and promotion of culture in the context of the secondary school English curriculum in Bhutan. The languages of Bhutan carry a rich and diverse tradition of oral literatures, but these genres and the cultural values they embody may disappear if they are not promoted. In Bhutan, schools are an active culture preservation site. For this reason, and also since English is the language of curricula for most subjects taught in school, we assumed that one of the ways in which Bhutan’s diverse cultures can be honoured and enlivened is through the study of folk literature in the English curriculum.

2. Diversity in Food Ways of Bhutanese Communities Brought About by Ethnicity and Environment by Kunzang Dorji, Kesang Choden & Walter Roder

This article tries to document traditional food systems in five ethnically distinct communities in Bhutan (all located in lower mid hills of the country with subtropical climate), especially focusing on: 1) Ethnobotanic information, 2) Crop diversity, 3) Cultivation practices, and use of crops.

3. Exploring Bhutan’s ‘Natural Democracy’: In Search of an Alternative View of Democracy by Katsu Masaki

This paper seeks to make an alternative translation/ interpretation of Bhutan’s democracy, in place of the mainstream view that the country has recently made a decisive transition toward democracy. It calls our attention to the country’s time-honored ‘natural democracy,’ which rests on monarchical authority and cohesive rural communities. Both of them represent vernacular forms of freedom and equality, contrary to their widely held image as being averse to democracy. This research was made possible by funding from the Japanese Government’s Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research.

4. Wangdü Chöling Dzong: The Masterpiece of Gongsar Jigme Namgyel by Gengop Karchung

This paper attempts to figure out the significance and role of this well-known historical structure besides throwing some lights on establishment of the dzong and its renovation. It also tries to present other information related to this Dzong through available written and oral sources. Besides researching on written sources, interviews were conducted with Lam Jampel Dorje, Wangdü Chöling Lam, Agäy Rinzin Dorje, 84 (2010) and Agäy Sherub Wangdü, 76 (2010) who shared valuable information.

5. The Old Man ‘Mitshering’ at Nyima Lung Monastery by Tenzin Jamtsho

This article documents the significance and  meaning of an easily distinguishable performer ‘Mitshering’ (the old man) which is seen in some monastic festivals of central Bhutan like Nyima Lung.