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People and Custom

Bhutan's population is divided into three ethnic categories- the Ngalops, Sharchops and Lhotsampas. The Ngalops are of Tibetan origin and when combined with the Sharchops, make up approximately 65% of Bhutan's population. Both are of Buddhist religion and the Ngalops dominate the government as their cultural practices have been declared standard for all Bhutanese by the monarchy.

The Lhotsampas, settled mostly in the southern foothills, are of Nepali origin and account for 35% of the population. They are mainly farmers, speak different Nepali dialects and are mostly Hindu in religion.