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Health Hospital SystemNational Medical Conference 2012 Bhutan – Learning and Growing amongst the Beauty and Tranquility By Katherine Rodriguez
Who We Are Health Hospital System (HHS), is a US Based National Organization that promotes the finest Healthcare the United States has to offer. Putting patients first, has been our motto since our inception. As we continue to grow, we are learning to take care of our employees as well.
A Change in Atmosphere The National Medical Conference (NMC) has been the ultimate source of Team Building for the past 20 years at HHS. NMC allows skills to be honed, knowledge to be shared and the building of relationships for our executive teams. The location for the National Medical Conference should promote this as well.
The Land of Peaceful Thunder Dragon
Bhutan is a serene country with strong traditional values which are based on religion, respect for the royal family and concern for the environment. It is located in the Himalayas. Bhutan offers stunning mountain views, incredible scenic beauty, exciting wildlife and a rich culture and lifestyle
Formal etiquette and public behavior The Bhutanese adhere to a strict code of etiquette (DriglamNamzha) which is officially taught to all government employees and students. People are expected to behave in a formal and respectful manner, especially towards their superiors and elders. The head is considered to be the most sacred part of the body and the foot the most impure, which means that you must never touch another person's head nor point your feet at anyone or towards a holy object.
Formal etiquette and public behavior When people of the same rank are together, they behave in a relaxed and informal manner. Respect for superiors and older people are an important part of everyday Bhutanese life which is shown in many ways. The body inclined slightly forward when standing, legs held straight against a chair and knees covered with a ceremonial scarf when seated, right hand placed in front of the mouth to avoid defiling the air with one's breath when speaking, looking at the ground instead of at someone's eyes and not smoking, all indicate respect. Using the word "la" at the end of a sentence, even in English, is another sign of respect
Invitations, Visits and Drinks The Bhutanese are warm, open-hearted, tolerant and kind people. Whether rich or poor, they are very hospitable and always make a guest feel welcome. Doma, or betel nut, which used to be offered as a traditional greeting, has mostly been replaced by tea or ara. When taking tea with a superior, the cup should be held in the hand and not put on the table. Chang, a local beer, and ara, a spirit distilled from rice, maize, wheat or barley, depending on which crop is grown in that area, are also popular drinks. In the East, instead of tea, chang or ara may be offered. Again, it is polite to have at least two glasses. If you really dislike it, a few sips will be acceptable. Sometimes ara is served hot with a raw egg broken into it. This is a good drink on a cold winter's evening.
When invited to a meal If you are offered food or drink, it is considered polite to decline at first. Your host will not take your refusal too seriously and will continue to offer refreshments. Similarly, if you are entertaining a Bhutanese guest, be more insistent in offering food or drink than you would be in your home country. The Bhutanese eat with their right hand. Guests will often leave as soon as the meal is finished. At an official dinner, the guest of honor will indicate when it is time to leave; normally nobody will leave before s/he does for this is disrespectful
Dress Code When Visiting Dzongs and Temples As a non-Bhutanese, you are not expected to wear the Gho and the Kira. Nevertheless, one should remember to dress up correctly while visiting the many Dzongs. Follow when visiting the smaller monasteries and temples, a tie is not necessary. Must wear: Collared shirt (either full or half sleeve) Full-length pants / skirt Shoes with socks Ties are not necessary You will not be allowed to enter if you are wearing: Hats / caps Shorts / short skirt Slippers / flip-flops T-shirts
Visiting a Dzong or a Temple When you visit a temple or monastery it is appreciated if you take a gift of incense sticks or a packet of dalda for the butter lamps and leave a small offering of money. Remove your shoes before entering and speak quietly as a sign of respect for the sanctity of the place. Umbrellas and hats are not allowed inside monasteries or Dzongs and cameras should never be taken into a temple. It is acceptable to take photos in the courtyard but not inside the temple..
Visiting a Dzong or a Temple Always step over doorsteps, not on them, when entering temples or Dzongs. In the temple you will usually find a monk or lama to show you around. If he offers you holy water, accept it in cupped hands, drink (or appear to drink) some and wipe the rest across you head from front to back. Give the incense to the monk or leave it on the altar. To make an offering of money, fold the note lengthwise, press it to your forehead and then place it on the altar. If you are invited into the altar room of a house in which you are a guest, it is acceptable to ask your host if you may make a small offering. Proceed as in a temple. Always remember to walk around a chorten, prayer wheel or temple in a clockwise direction
Displaying of Emotions Bhutanese people are generally good-natured and it is easy to make friends. They are invariably cheerful and accept life as it comes, an attitude due partly to their Buddhist traditions. They are polite and courteous and expect the same from others. It is considered unacceptable for anyone, Bhutanese or foreigner, to publicly show strong emotion. Public displays of anger bring shame on both the person displaying it and on the recipient
Greetings Shaking hands is not a Bhutanese tradition but it is becoming quite common, especially in the towns. Women may prefer to say the customary greeting of "KuzuZangpo" to children, acquaintances and subordinates and "KuzuZangpola" to older people or superiors. The hierarchical social structure plays a very important part of the culture. When a senior person enters a room, everyone is expected to stand until the person sits down. When it is time to leave, everyone waits until the senior person or the guest of honor stands, indicating that he or she is about to go.
Eating Habits Traditional Bhutanese eating habits are simple and generally eat with their hands. The family members eat sitting cross legged on the wooden floors with food being first served to the head of the household. It is usually women who serves food and in most cases the mother. Before eating, a short prayer is offered and a small morsel placed on the wooden floor as offerings to the spirits and deities. With modernization, eating habits have changed and in urban areas, people usually eat with spoons and make use of dining tables and chairs.
Food Food of Bhutan is simple, yet delicious. On first impression, the cooking method would suggest that the food is bland, but the reality is just opposite. The Bhutanese are passionate about chili. The species of chili used here is Capsicum onum, a fluffy red variety. The Bhutanese prepare yummy appetizing food with their simple methods. With their food, they can make the guests licking their fingers. The Bhutanese are also fond of eating Tibetan specialties such as momo and noodles. They eat fruits like watermelon as dessert with their meals.
What to Wear in Bhuthan Comfortable clothing and sturdy, soft-soled shoes are essential for travel in Bhutan. Warm clothing is recommended; and except for summer months, down jackets and woolen sweaters are suggested. In summer, heavy cottons and lightweight woolens will be acceptable. Altitudinal differences account for a wide range of temperatures from day to night the year round. It is, therefore, suggested that clothing be layered so that you can adapt to the changing conditions
Festivals Bhutanese people celebrate different festivals like the Bhutanese New Year and other seasonal festivals like the summer solstice. But the most common festival is known as Tshechu. It is in fact a religious festival, and is celebrated all over Bhutan, usually after the end of the harvest season.