Barter System in Bhutan during the Covid-19 Pandemic

By Dorji Bidha (Drukgyel Farmers), also published on Bhutan Network Until the 1980s people throughout Bhutan practiced a barter system. Following the introduction of our currency, the Ngultrum, in 1974 by the RMA (Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan), shops mushroomed even in remote parts of the country and villagers started shopping as though they were in Walmart. Nevertheless, aside from such business transactions and trade, the Bhutanese still enjoy barter, jetshong as we call it in the National language, Dzongkha. … Read More

The Mysterious Sey “Rauw” Dzong

by Jamyang Lekshey (cultural and trekking guide) If you do the Jomolhari Loop trek and descend after climbing Bonte-La Pass (4902 m), the highest point of the route, you start to walk downstream and eventually reach a small hamlet called Soi Yaksa. Located towards the north of your campsite, one needs to take a detour and hike for about two hours further to reach the mysterious ruins of Sey Dzong. According to oral legend, sometime before the 19th century there … Read More

The Egg-Headed Beast to Rescue

By Needrup Zangpo As the greatly perplexed demon stood before the man muttering to himself ‘this is a fish-bodied, egg-headed pig-like beast’, the man sprang up and thrust his hard penis into its mouth saying, ‘If you don’t know what it is, this is what it is.’ The demon gave a sharp squeal like a pig struck unaware by an arrow and stumbled away with the front teeth smashed in. A group of travellers had just emptied a pot of … Read More

Immortal: The Story of a Bhutanese Bull

By Dendup Chophel This is the story of a beloved bull that lived long before the monstrous Japan made power tillers displaced others of his kind from their position of pride as a Bhutanese farming household’s chief preoccupation. His name was Bjan Ka Zeb (bjan dkar dzerb), named after the white furs that lined his dewlap and brisket. He was bought by my grandmother from a herd of bulls that was put up for sale by cattle traders from the … Read More