The people of Bhutan are called “Bhutanese”. They can be classified into three main ethnic groups comprised of Tshanglas, Ngalops and Lhotshampas.
Tshanglas are also known as Sharchops and they occupy the eastern regions of the country. They have their own dialect known as Tshanglakha and have their own customs and traditions. Drinking local ‘ara’ (rice/potato wine) is customary in these regions and weaving is a popular occupation among the women. Some of the most intricate and beautiful fabrics made out of raw silk are made here and prices for these fabrics can be very expensive.
Ngalops occupy the western regions of the country and are of Tibetan origin. They speak Ngalopkha, a version of our national language, Dzongkha. Agriculture is the main occupation and in these regions dances and songs are quite popular.
Lhotshampas are the settlers of the southern regions of Bhutan and majority of them speak Lhotshamkha (Nepali) and they practice Hinduism. They are mostly employed in agriculture and cultivate cash crops.
There are also minority groups across the country, such as Bumthaps and Khengpas from Central Bhutan, Kurtoeps in Lhuentse, Brokpas and Bramis of Eastern Bhutan, Doyas of Samtse and Monpas of Rukha villages in Wangduephodrang. Each of them having their own unique culture and traditions.