The Roles of the Dormitory System and the Inheritance of Ethnic Culture in Bhutan

Minako Sato
The Japanese Journal of Language in Society  
This research focuses on the new roles dormitories undertake in Bhutan, a multilingual society. In Bhutan, many students live in dormitories. At school and in dormitories students are permitted to use only English or Dzongkha, so students who live in dormitories have little opportunity to be in contact with their mother tongues and cultures. This is why dormitories are said to be one of the reasons for the decline of Bhutanese traditional sense of values (Ueda,2003). Because of the rapid spread
more » ... of education and changes in society that come with this, some parents are at a loss, not knowing how to bring up their children. This encouraged the government to provide opportunities for all students to live in dormitories, and dormitories have taken on the responsibility of taking care of children on behalf of their parents. This survey shows that students living in dormitories use much more Dzongkha and have a stronger sense of national identity, which is what the government aims for in education. It may be true that dormitories interfere with the inheritance of ethnic languages and cultures, but this system meets the expectations of parents and the government.
doi:10.19024/jajls.22.1_142 fatcat:whnngzvbxvcldmiqp2hfiusgie