Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bhutan: Aesthetics Review

The most common image I've seen in Bhutan is the thunder dragon, since of course Bhutan is the Land of the Thunder Dragon.

But all kinds of other paintings adorn the walls and pillars around here, almost all of them primarily images of animals:

And, of course, graffiti is ubiquitous in every city that has ever existed:

If the painting you see on a wall isn't an animal, it's probably a mandala. The one below is very very common, which is odd because I had never before I came to Bhutan seen two mandalas that were alike. This particular painting comes from the doors to Changlimithang stadium, where I saw what I assume was the Bhutan national soccer team practicing.

Here's that same mandala at our hotel, this time in ironwork:

Another ubiquitous sight is prayer flags, which people let blow in the wind until they're completely worn away by the wind.

Here's some vistas. Note that even the gasoline stations have some art in them.

In terms of comparing Bhutanese and Indian children to American ones, the Asian set wins. The kids I've seen aren't the sheltered, withdrawn lot you see in America: they smile at you, wave, play around and laugh. In India some kids who had apparently come from a pre-Holi celebration attacked me w/ paint, and another kid lobbed a water balloon at me from his balcony. I took it as a sign of welcome.

But not only the kids are cuter; the dogs in Bhutan are cute as all get out. And though there's lots of roving packs of wild dogs in Thimphu, they're really placid and completely non-threatening, as well as apparently well-fed.

And for the last item in this entry, check out this sweet knife I bought for 350 Nu:

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