The People

In Bhutan there are three main ethnic groups known as Sharchop, Ngalop and Lhotshampas. Sharchop largely live in eastern Bhutan and the Ngalop of western Bhutan were people of Tibetan descent who immigrated as early as the fifth century. People of Lhotshampa origin settled in the south of the country toward the end of the nineteenth century. However, the ethnic division is becoming blurred with increasing intermarriage, migration, and settlements. This ethnic diversity of the Bhutan people has resulted in numerous dialects and languages that are spoken throughout the country. Dzongkha is the National language. English is the medium of instruction in schools and is widely spoken.

Traditionally society was divided into the zhung (monarchy and bureaucracy), dratshang (religious community), and miser (people) without a caste system.