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Phallus - Doma - Dress Code
Phallus: Phalluses are commonly painted on the walls of the Bhutanese houses. Some scholars say, the arts of painting phallus started before the arrival of Buddhism in the country. Many guess this was born from bon religion and shamanism which is much older than Buddhism. Present day many say, this is directly linked with Lama Drukpa Kinley of 15th century since most of his works were associated with phallus and which became living culture in some parts of Bhutan. Traditionally symbols of an erect penis painted on the wall have been intended to drive away the evil eye, malicious gossip and negative forces, moreover it is believe to bring good luck and blessed to have healthy child in the family. Therefore the art is still alive, for some guest it became the book of phallus for photographers. 

Doma : Doma/Pan (flavored with lime, green leaves & betel nuts) are extensively chewed in all segments of societies in Bhutan. The trend of chewing and offering betel nuts can be easily seen in religious field and in shamanism practice as well.

J. C. White, the British political officer who attended Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck’s enthronement in 1907, mentions that “three kinds of tea, rice and pan were offered in turn” to the guests.
According to the Driglam Namzhag Manual published by the National Library in Thimphu, in 1637 a huge gathering of people had come with variety of food products to “pay tribute and pledge loyalty” to the Zhabdrung in Punakha. The book says that the Zhabdrung was deeply touched and he instructed everyone to be served with “food items of droma (kaser), drizang (saffron fragrance), suja (butter tea), dresi (fried sweet rice), doma pan, and a variety of fruits”

Currency : Bhutanese currency is called Ngultrum (Nu) and is at par with Indian Rupee. US dollar, US Traveler’s cheques, Euro, Australian Dollar are widely used in Bhutan. Indian Rupee is acceptable all over Bhutan however it is not advisable to carry Rs 1,000/ and Rs 500/ denomination. Few handicraft stores and hotels can accept Amex and Visa cards but cash is preferred by all. No international ATM centers are available.

Language : Dzongkha is national language of Bhutan and a large number of local dialects are also spoken. English is the medium for educational instructions so most people in Bhutan can understand and speak English. Also locals at popular tourist destinations understand and speak Hindi.

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