Bhutan Fun Facts: Chillies of Bhutan

Today we’re letting you in on something that is a key component of Bhutanese life – chillies! Chillies are incorporated into many dishes in Bhutan, and can be found at breakfast, lunch, and dinner as a vegetable, not as a means of spicing. Some believe that Bhutan’s obsession with the vegetable traditionally stemmed from the need to keep warm, but even with modern heating chillies still remain a favourite!

Red chillies drying outside. Photo Credit: M-J Adelman
Fresh green and red chillies. Photo Credit: Paulandton
And of course when talking about chillies, you can’t forget Bhutan’s most popular dish, Ema datse, which is composed of chillies (large green, or sometimes red, but always very hot) accompanied by a cheese sauce, yum! 

Bhutan Photo of the Week: Captivating Chorten

Photo Credit: Caroline Blake

Along with prayer flags, “chorten,” Bhutanese stupas, are seen all across Bhutan. These structures come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from simple rectangular “house” styles to complex edifices with ornate steps, doors, domes, and spires. They contain Buddhist relics and are used as a place of worship. Chortens are always to be passed on the left and are to be circumambulated three times in a clockwise direction to gain merit. 


Do you have a photo of Bhutan that you would like to share on our blog? Send your pictures to info@bhutancanada.org. Make sure to include photo credit information.

Applications to teach in Bhutan in 2013 are now open!
Apply online at www.teachinbhutan.org

Teacher Blog of the Week: Bhutanese Vacation

After lots of hard work, BCF teacher Ashley Huffmon received a much-deserved, five- day vacation break. Little did she know that she would be spending her time off with her students! When one of Ashley’s students invited her to attend a religious festival with his family, she couldn’t refuse!


Photo Credit: Ashley Huffmon
Although she didn’t know what to expect, she approached the situation with open arms and made some amazing memories that will last a lifetime!

“The masked dances, the people, the food, and Kezang’s family were more than I could have expected. Days like these in Bhutan make me feel so blessed and privileged to be here.”

Applications to teach in Bhutan in 2013 are open!
Apply online at www.teachinbhutan.org

Bhutan Fun Facts: Weird and Wonderful Animals of Bhutan

Today we’re introducing a new blog series – Bhutan Fun Facts. Over the next four weeks, we’ll let you in on some interesting facts that you might not know about Bhutan! To start, we’ll be highlighting some of Bhutan’s weird and wonderful animals!

Takin

Bhutan’s national animal, this strange looking creature has a mythical story. It is believed that in the 15th century, the “Divine Madman,” Saint Drukpa Kuenley, created the takin while at a congregation of his devotees. After being mocked about his supposed magical powers, the saint decided to show off his skills, and asked for a whole goat and cow to eat for lunch. After eating the entirety of both animals, leaving only the bones, he placed the head of the goat onto the body of the cow, snapped his fingers, and from the pile of bones rose a strange looking animal – the takin. Don’t believe the myth? Taxonomists today still have trouble categorizing the animal – in fact they’re so stumped they’ve had to give it a class of its own, Bu-dorcas taxicolor. Pretty neat, huh?    


Migoli
Another mythical creature, the migoli (or yeti) is described as a human-like creature that walks upright, with long, dark hair all over its body except for its face. Commonly agreed to exist, the migoli is most often spotted by Himalayan climbers and can also be identified by its giant footprints in the snow. Although many believe in the creature, some scientists have suggested that it could actually be a strange species of primate, or even a descendant of the Neanderthals.

Black-Necked Crane
Photo Credit: Bhutan Journals
The rare and endangered black-necked crane occupies a special place in Bhutanese hearts and folklore. Its arrival every autumn from Tibet inspires songs and dances; it usually heralds the end of the harvesting season and also the time when families start migrating to warmer climates. Like other cranes, these have an elaborate mating ritual, a dance in which pairs bow, leap into the air and toss vegetation about while uttering loud bugling calls. It can be difficult to distinguish the sexes because the colouration is so similar, but the females are slightly smaller. Their migration is on of the most difficult in the world. To reach their winter grounds in Bhutan the birds must traverse the highest Himalayan peaks. 


Hornbill

In the tropical forests of southern Bhutan you’ll find the beautiful hornbill. These black and white birds with brightly coloured beaks are know to be very picky when it comes to food. They usually choose their food right at the perfect moment of ripeness – late enough to avoid bitterness, and soon enough to ensure someone else doesn’t steal it. Their survival with such picky attitudes is an indication of the health of the forests in Bhutan. Amazingly, male hornbills have been known to swallow as many as 70 small fruits which they then carry back to their young.

Check out this site for more information on Bhutan’s weird and wonderful animals:


Applications to teach in Bhutan in 2013 are open!
Apply online at www.teachinbhutan.org

Reminder: Teach in Bhutan Informational Webinar – Tonight!

This is a reminder that the Teach in Bhutan Informational Webinar is happening tonight!

Interested in living and teaching in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan but have some questions that need answering? Join us to learn how you can work in an education system that is in the midst of an exciting and innovative transformation in a country virtually untouched by the modern world.




Today, Tuesday May 22nd at 6:00pm EST, BCF will be hosting an online webinar to answer all your questions. From finances to the application process, from accommodations to curriculum, this interactive information session will allow participants to ask their questions and get all the details needed to prepare for this unique opportunity.

If you’re interested in teaching in Bhutan in 2013, this is the perfect chance to learn more!


It’s not too late to RSVP – email jenna@bhutancanada.org to confirm your spot!

Applications to teach in Bhutan in 2013 are open!
Apply online at www.teachinbhutan.org

Teacher Blog of the Week: Monsoon Football

In Bhutan, football (or soccer) is played just as in any other country – with one interesting exception. As teacher Dave Green recently found out, the Bhutanese are not afraid of the weather – in fact they play football during monsoons! Check out Dave’s blog below to read all about “the most bonkers game of football” he’s ever played – complete with video and pictures.

Photo Credit: Dave Green

 “Then the monsoon arrived, and you could tell straight away that it meant business, resplendent as it was with lightening and thunder and more rain than you can imagine.” 


Applications to teach in Bhutan in 2013 are open!

Apply online at www.teachinbhutan.org

Bhutan Nights Summer Series

With recruitment underway, BCF has planned four exciting events to provide interested teachers with more information about teaching and living in Bhutan, as well as to celebrate Bhutanese culture with the greater community! See below for more information about each event and be sure to keep up with our blog, facebook, and twitter to get more information as we get closer to each night!


Teach in Bhutan Informational Webinar
When: May 22nd, 2012
Time: 6:00 – 7:00 PM EST
Where: Online
What: Have you always wanted to attend a BCF event but have been unable to because you live too far away? This is your chance to attend a Bhutan Information session online. The webinar will be interactive and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions.
Teach in Bhutan Former Teacher Panel Discussion

When: June 19th, 2012
What: To celebrate the kick off of the 2013 teacher recruitment season, The Bhutan Canada Foundation is holding a discussion with teachers who have previously taught in Bhutan. If you are interested in teaching in Bhutan and are in the Greater Toronto Area, this is the place to come to get all of the answers to your questions!
Bhutan Culture Night

When: July 19th, 2012
What: Dine with BCF staff and board members and the local Bhutanese community for an event that will highlight Bhutanese culture and feature traditional Himalayan cuisine.

Culture Night/Bhutan Movie Showcase                       

When: August 21st, 2012
What: Join us for a fun night that will include discussion of and stories from Bhutanese culture and the screening of a short Bhutanese film.

Applications to join the Class of 2013 are officially open! If you are interested in teaching in Bhutan, attend our Webinar on May 22nd to learn more about our program!

Bhutan Photo of the Week: Prayer Flags

If you’ve traveled to Bhutan or have just seen pictures, you’ve likely noticed the colorful cloth on hills and high passes, fluttering in the breeze. These are prayer flags, and they are inscribed with auspicious symbols, prayers, and mantras which are mounted on long poles and placed to bless the surrounding countryside. It is believed the energy of the prayers that are blown in the wind will bring joy, happiness and good health to all who see them as well as their families, loved ones, neighbors, and all people throughout the world.

This week’s photo comes from Fraser MacInnes. Taken at Dochula Pass, this beautiful picture shows prayer flags amongst the clouds – fading their normally vibrant colors. 

Do you have a photo of Bhutan that you would like to share on our blog? Send your pictures to info@bhutancanada.org. Make sure to include photo credit information.

Applications to teach in Bhutan in 2013 are now open!
Apply online at www.teachinbhutan.org

Teacher Blog of the Week: Budding Buddhists

Living and teaching in Bhutan is always an adventure – Martin and Tara, stationed in Bumthang, highlight their experiences as they participate in the cultural and religious traditions of the country.

“People start to walk clockwise around the prayer flagpoles and the chapel in the centre of the courtyard, disappearing like a long snake, searching for its nest…We are hundreds in this section, all seated cross-legged, facing the opening to the Lakhang…”

Photo Credit: Martin and Tara.

Read it all here.

Applications to teach in Bhutan in 2013 are now open! 
Apply online at www.teachinbhutan.org