Bhutan – The Kingdom Of The Thunder Dragon

Wed 3 February 2010

Zara Fleming

Zara Fleming is a specialist in Himalayan Art and Culture. Lecturer, Tour Guide and Exhibition Curator, she is an independent art consultant with specialist knowledge of Buddhist Art; focusing on the art and culture of Tibet, the Himalayan areas and Mongolia.  Initially based at the Victoria and Albert Museum with general responsibility for the Tibetan and Nepalese Collection; she has over the years worked with the Central Asian Department of Bonn University, the Orient Foundation, the Royal Academy, Tibet House and numerous Museums and Galleries both on Merseyside and in London. She has curated several exhibitions and has published many articles in the field of Buddhist Studies.

Zara’s lecture was a general introduction to the tiny Himalayan kingdom wedged between the vast territories of Tibet (now part of China) to the north and India to the south. Bhutan is known in local language as Druk Yul or land of the Thunder Dragon, a reference to the Drukpa tradition of Vajrayana Buddhism that permeates every aspect of Bhutanese life.

The lecture explored the history, art and culture of this land-locked country which for years has preserved its traditional Buddhist values and still seeks to maintain the fine balance between tradition and modernity, without diminishing its very unique culture.