A Glimpse into the Nomadic Lifestyle
Many of us today have adopted a nomadic lifestyle; globe trotters, citizens of the world, nomads and travelers are some titles we have claimed for ourselves. We move from one place to another feeding our cravings for something new and unexplored— our uncharted territories.
Nomads, by definition, are a community of people constantly moving in search of pastures, also known as the pastoral tribes. But as globalization took over and changed the world, the authentic nomadic lifestyle is rapidly vanishing and rarely seen. Bhutan is home to some nomadic communities, who migrate from one village to another as season changes, yearly, for hundreds of years. The Dorikhas are one of the nomadic communities of Bhutan but unlike many people, they change locations between two seasonal villages— Dhorika, the summer village and Dhorithasa, the winter village. Each year, they move through the breathtaking pastures and meadows of Bhutan towards a warmer escape, a tradition that is slowly disappearing.
The annual Nomad Festival, which is usually celebrated around February in Bumthang, brings in together the nomadic highlanders of Bhutan and allows both locals and guests to experience their unique lifestyle. Grand gestures of ceremonial processions, colorful attires, and cultural sports like ‘keyshey’ the traditional Bhutanese wrestling styles, archery with bamboo bows and arrows and other traditional games like khuru and soksum will be displayed. You might just get to experience playing one of them too!
Another highlight of this festival is the cuisine that varies from the delicious Bumthang noodles, the pink rice with ema datshi (chili and cheese) to the more unusual ones such as livers and intestines! Try it for the experience even if you think that they’re too eccentric for you! At least you will remember that you had an authentic nomad’s cuisine once upon a time.