Bowled Over by Bhutan - 2007

reaches the ankle rather than stopping at the knee as the goh does. The women top their

kira with a short, fitted jacket with long sleeves and cuffs. They too like bright patterns

and embrace plaids and stripes most often with the jackets being made of a solid

color. Both men and women can use their cuffs for carrying things or slip items against

their torsos for ease of transport. Older women wear their hair cut fairly short and

younger ones show ponytails or loose-hanging hair on girls. Men most often are seen

sporting Western-style haircuts. Even little boys and girls heading for school dress in the

national uniforms on Fridays. This practice lends further to the cohesiveness of the society.

Head coverings during the summer are pretty much non- existent but in the higher

elevations we did see both men and women in knitted “toboggan” type caps. Occasionally,

we would see both men and women working in the fields wearing an almost flat circular

bamboo hat on their heads for protection from the very intense sunlight.

Bodily adornment, such as jewelry, does not seem to be very popular among either men

or women. But older folks carry their “rosary” beads with them. Certainly, the monks do not

wear any decorations at all and they keep their heads shaved. Even Buddhist nuns

shave their heads and they wear robes of an almost maroon color. They are not seen on

the streets very often and their temples are shadowy so it difficult to judge the actual color

of their robes. Most men do not display facial hair, no beards or mustaches. It may be

that they do not grow significant facial hair because we saw no men who appeared to have

a “five-o’clock shadow.” However, it must be admitted that we did see a few very old men

with stringy gray beards.

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