Buddhism & Bhutan’s Daily Life

A monk looks over his charges as they plant agricultural crops for the summer.

 

Editorial and Travel Photographer Alyson Smith is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this travel photography documentary. These images are from her project ‘Bhuthan‘.  To see Alyson’s gallery of works click on any image.

 

Kowtowing in prayer at a remote monastery. Prayer beads lie to the left on a piece of clothe. The lady is wearing traditional dress and cloth of Bhutan.

Kowtowing in prayer at a remote monastery. Prayer beads lie to the left on a piece of clothe. The lady is wearing traditional dress and cloth of Bhutan.

 

A Bhutanese lady in traditional dress stands in front of the fields that she has been harvesting by hand.

A Bhutanese lady in traditional dress stands in front of the fields that she has been harvesting by hand.

 

Young monks dressed in traditional ruby red robes rush at the last minute to make prayers. At the time they were practicing for the Rhododendron festival that took place two days later. This Punakha Dzong monastery sits on the confluence of the Pho Chhu (father) and Mo Chhu (mother) rivers in the Punakha–Wangdue valley.

Young monks dressed in traditional ruby red robes rush at the last minute to make prayers. At the time they were practicing for the Rhododendron festival that took place two days later. This Punakha Dzong monastery sits on the confluence of the Pho Chhu (father) and Mo Chhu (mother) rivers in the Punakha–Wangdue valley.

 

Shopping for hard yak cheese that is bought on strings in the market in Uma Pharo

Shopping for hard yak cheese that is bought on strings in the market in Uma Pharo

 

Spinning prayer wheels. This is normally done clock wise as is circumnavigating the monastery and shrines. In this instance this teenage boy spun multiple wheels progressing slowly round the outside of the monastery.

Spinning prayer wheels. This is normally done clock wise as is circumnavigating the monastery and shrines. In this instance this teenage boy spun multiple wheels progressing slowly round the outside of the monastery.

 

Our guide Hanging prayer flags behind Paro Dzong, or Monastery, on the outskirts of Uma Pharo.

Our guide Hanging prayer flags behind Paro Dzong, or Monastery, on the outskirts of Uma Pharo.

 

Traditional dress at market in Uma Pharo

Traditional dress at market in Uma Pharo

 

Swing bridges over the rivers of Bhutan are common often decorated with prayer flags. This older man dressed in traditional male outfit was overlooking the tourists loading them selves into river rafting boats to raft down the rapids of the river.

Swing bridges over the rivers of Bhutan are common often decorated with prayer flags. This older man dressed in traditional male outfit was overlooking the tourists loading them selves into river rafting boats to raft down the rapids of the river.

 

Young monks play football using goals covered in Prayer Flags. While the monks spend significant time in religious studies and prayers, these grasped the opportunity to rush out and play a quick game of football. All of these monks were orphans and belong to a remote monastery where the abbot at the time was only 30 years old relying on donations to maintain the operations of the monastery in Bumthang and to provide food and clothing for the boys.

Young monks play football using goals covered in Prayer Flags. While the monks spend significant time in religious studies and prayers, these grasped the opportunity to rush out and play a quick game of football. All of these monks were orphans and belong to a remote monastery where the abbot at the time was only 30 years old relying on donations to maintain the operations of the monastery in Bumthang and to provide food and clothing for the boys.

 

Being served traditional ‘popped’ rice and butter tea by our guide and driver (socked legs) prior to lunch at a farmer’s house in Paro. The farmer still conducted traditional farmning but had been upskilled by new 5 star hotels as part of social responsibility and local development programmes, to produce fresh vegetables and herbs that were required to serve meals on their menu.

Being served traditional ‘popped’ rice and butter tea by our guide and driver (socked legs) prior to lunch at a farmer’s house in Paro. The farmer still conducted traditional farmning but had been upskilled by new 5 star hotels as part of social responsibility and local development programmes, to produce fresh vegetables and herbs that were required to serve meals on their menu.

 

Horses are sued for transport purposes and farming activities. This is on the path to the monastery outside Uma Pharo

Horses are sued for transport purposes and farming activities. This is on the path to the monastery outside Uma Pharo

 

Overlooking the valley, the monastery named Paro Dzong and the small town of Paro.

Overlooking the valley, the monastery named Paro Dzong and the small town of Paro.

 

Young girl dressed in traditional but festival wear. She was weaving flowers while her parents and her uncle, a monk, were preparing food for a picnic. We were invited to join for tea and food as we were hiking past.

Young girl dressed in traditional but festival wear. She was weaving flowers while her parents and her uncle, a monk, were preparing food for a picnic. We were invited to join for tea and food as we were hiking past.

 

A young boy celebrates his birthday. We were the only non-Bhutanese invited to join the festivities, obviously crowned by the serving of a triple tiered birthday cake.

A young boy celebrates his birthday. We were the only non-Bhutanese invited to join the festivities, obviously crowned by the serving of a triple tiered birthday cake.

 

Main road of Paro with traditional architecture that now houses traditional shops next to modern shops. There is a strong influence of both Chinese and Indian cultures, including goods in the shops, as there are the direct economical strong neighbours that cover most of the borders of Bhutan, leaving the country squeezed from both sides.

Main road of Paro with traditional architecture that now houses traditional shops next to modern shops. There is a strong influence of both Chinese and Indian cultures, including goods in the shops, as there are the direct economical strong neighbours that cover most of the borders of Bhutan, leaving the country squeezed from both sides.

 

See also:

Journeys

By Alyson Smith

 


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