Revival of Traditional Bhutanese Dining

The Trashiyangtse dzongrab, Lam Dorji, said that since the handicrafts were locally produced, it was found to be relevant for the dzongkhag to use it, especially during official meetings and functions.

Traditional Bhutanese dishes cooked in earthenware. (Source:


To promote and preserve the age-old culture and tradition of Bhutan, Trashiyangtse dzongkhag tshogdu (DT) members have introduced a system of serving meals in the wooden bowl (dapa) and phob.

The DT members were each provided with a dapa and phob procured with the support of the finance ministry.

Finance minister Namgay Dorji, during his recent visit to the dzongkhag, encouraged officials to use locally produced handicrafts like dapa to serve food during official functions.

Following the visit, the finance ministry released Nu 300,000 for the procurement of dapa and phob.

The Trashiyangtse dzongrab, Lam Dorji, said that since the handicrafts were locally produced, it was found to be relevant for the dzongkhag to use it, especially during official meetings and functions.

“It would also encourage local producers and at the same time promote our culture and tradition.”

The dzongkhag procured 60 dapa, 80 phob and six pa-dapa (large wooden serving bowl) and distributed them on March 5.

Promoting Trashiyangtse as a cultural hotspot in Eastern Bhutan

The initiative is one of the several measures in the pipeline to promote Trashiyangtse as a cultural hotspot in the east.

The dzongkhag education sector introduced the use of toray (a white cloth piece used to serve rice) and phob in a few schools last year.

Although the practice was not implemented regularly, Lam Dorji said that during school activities such as sports meet, students are required to come with the toray and phob.

Jamkhar gup, Karma Tshewang, said that as a model town, the dzongkhag strive to develop without undermining its cultural and traditional practices.

“The initiative comes to us as an opportunity to further promote Yangtse as a cultural hub,” he said. “As the representative of the people, it is upon us to show them the way forward in the quest to promote our rich tradition.”

Trashiyangtse is referred as a model town for its architecture of two-storey buildings constructed with local materials.

The action area plan (AAP) for the Trashiyangtse thromde allows the construction of only two storeys, technically known as G+1 buildings, in town.

Curbing the import of plastic plates and utensils

Toedtsho gup, Dechen Wangdi, said the initiative would help curb the import of plastic plates and utensils and also promote local products and encourage entrepreneurship. “This would also set an example to the rest of the dzongkhags on culture promotion.”

Meanwhile, the dzongkhag in the 12th Plan has planned a series of activities that are focused on promoting and preserving tradition.

One of the activities, according to the dzongkhag-planning officer, Sonam Thinley, is to organise indigenous games and sports such as dego, khuru and archery.

He said that until now, the games were organised privately and were played individually on different occasions.

Sonam Thinley said that in the 12th Plan, the dzongkhag has allocated a budget of Nu 100,000 for the promotion of indigenous games and sports.


By Younten Tshedup in Trashiyangtse (This article has been edited for the New Bhutan Times)

This article first appeared in Kuensel.



Related Posts

Techstars Startup Weekend Bhutan (Eco-Tourism): 54 Hours where...

The eventful weekend saw 130 keen people in attendance, of which 56 pitched ideas. This was the fifth time that such an...

Nov 29, 2017 08:46

Indulge in Awesome Japanese Food in Bhutan

On our various visits to the first ramen joint in Thimphu, we have seen Japanese diners as well as Bhutanese families...

Dec 06, 2017 07:40

Savour a Bit of Switzerland in Bhutan

The restaurant owners are a Swiss-Bhutanese couple who hail from Bumthang, where their family owns the Swiss Guest...

Dec 01, 2017 08:29

From Potato to Buckwheat

Phurba, 65, from Gyatsa shifted to cultivating potato recently, after decades of cultivating buckwheat. He now regrets...

Mar 07, 2018 20:29

Farmers in Samtse Ready To Reap Quinoa

Farmers in Samtse are gearing up to harvest quinoa, a new crop which they started cultivating on a small scale as a...

Jan 18, 2018 07:18

Eastern Farmers Cashing In On Watermelon Cultivation

Farmers said that growing watermelons is easier than cultivating other cash crops like chillies and potatoes, since...

Jan 28, 2018 16:34



Bhutan Observes International Day of Happiness

The International Day of Happiness was first observed on March 20, 2013 after the United Nations General Assembly selected the particular...

Mar 21, 2018 22:45

Commemorative bank notes featuring Bhutan's Crown Prince to be sold in Singapore

One million pieces are available worldwide and Singapore will have a "limited allocation".

Mar 20, 2018 17:10


A Malady Called Rural-Urban Migration

Yonten Tharchen went home to Nganglam after 19 years and returned to Thimphu completely bewildered and devastated at how whole villages are...

Mar 23, 2018 23:16

Bhutanese Journal of Agriculture Launched

The journal is published by the Agriculture Research and Extension Division of the Department of Agriculture and will be now an annual...

Mar 18, 2018 22:31


Bhutan out of ASEAN Women’s T20 Open Tournament

Bhutan had the chance of finishing among the top three teams with a total of three points after playing four matches. At the finals,...

Mar 14, 2018 17:22

National Cricket Team Wins First International Title

The National cricket team defeated Thailand by three runs in the finals to win the championship. A total of four countries China, Bhutan,...

Mar 02, 2018 18:14


Top Five Business Ideas Bag Grants at National Start-up Weekend

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said during the prize awarding ceremony that although the government has been promoting entrepreneurship,...

Mar 20, 2018 22:53

Bhutan National Start-Up Weekend Begins

The MoIC Minister DN Dhungyel said that there is a need to change the expectations of youth who thinks that the government is the main...

Mar 17, 2018 12:05


Nyungne - A Fascinating Winter Ritual

“Winters can get real desolate here and nyungne is the only festival that makes the place lively,” he said. “It was so good to see everyone...

Mar 10, 2018 21:25

Pilgrimage to Beyul Langdra - The Hidden Treasure of the Bull Cliff

It is believed that Guru Rinpoche had hidden more than 60 sacred treasures in and around the cliff to be discovered by prophesied treasure...

Feb 24, 2018 13:16


Paday’s Bistro

The menu is quite varied, ranging from continental dishes including pasta and steak to more ‘Asian style’ food such as a variation of the...

Mar 22, 2018 21:01

Schools and Institutes Use Composting to Reduce Landfill Waste

Developed by Koji Takakura, a Japanese national, the composting method has been introduced to more than 60 countries.

Mar 19, 2018 21:54

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!