Bhutan is a vibrant cultural country so you can expect them to have a lot of activities or traditional sports. The primary Bhutanese traditional sport is without any doubt archery, the national game of Bhutan.

Let’s know about this!

Every country is fanatic about at least one sport whether it is India, Argentina, America or Brazil. In Bhutan, it is archery. It was in the year of 1971 when the Archery was declared as the national sport of Bhutan. It is an exclusively a male sport but even women can participate in it!

Where to see!!

  • Bhutan National Archery Federation organizes two national archery tournaments every year.
  • The contest with the traditional bamboo bow takes place in Dechenchoeling in May.

There’s more to Archery you should know about…

Popularity of the game!!

A game of Archery is much more than just a sport in Bhutan. The sport has always provided a platform for communities like villages, friends, companies, or any other groups. It gives them a chance to come together. Festivals in Bhutan are incomplete without a game of Archery. While it is only men who play this game but it brings communities together with the women participate as cheerleaders. Also the boys, girls, and the elderly relish the game as spectators.

The Rules to play the game!!

As we all know that every game of Archery is celebrated in Bhutan. Let’s find out how!

  • It is played between two targets separated by a distance of 145 meters
  • Each target is about 91 cm tall and 28 cm wide
  • Each team has 13 players
  • The number might differ but the count of the team number must be the same
  • The team that reaches 25 points wins the match
  • Men play the game in their elegant national dress, Gho
  • Each player shoots two arrows in one round
  • After hitting the target, he gets a colored scarf as points
  • The shooter with more scarves finally wins the match with his team

But remember…

Marking the points is a bit difficult as all hits in a round can be cancelled with hits from the players of the other team. It means that if there are five hits each from both teams in a round, no one gets the score.

It is a tough game indeed!

Praising and distracting is common!!

It is an exclusively a male sport but even women can participate in it. In this game where the two teams play, the woman’s cheerleading team stays at one target area each.

When a shooter of the same team shoots, the cheerleaders sing melodious slow songs and perform dances to encourage. Whereas, when the other team shoots they try their best to distract him by insulting them lyrically.

In recent times…

Bhutanese archers are now being trained for the Olympics. Even women are encouraged to take up an archer’s bow to learn archery. The international coaches have been impressed with the natural talent think that with expert coaching, Bhutan is undoubtedly to win an Olympic medal one day!

So, travel to Bhutan and witness this fantastic experience!

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