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Bhutan is vegetarian during Narendra Modi visit

Saturday, 14 June 2014 - 11:04pm IST | Agency: ANI

On Friday the 13th of June, Bhutan observed Buddha Parinirvana as the day when the Buddha was conceived, born, subdued evil and attained Nirvana. On this day, all Bhutanese, even the most avowed meat eater in Bhutan, observes strict vegetarianism for the month of Parinirvana.

The main celebration is held at the Tashichhodzong Temple in Thimphu every year, where thousands of people gather to receive blessings and perform public veneration. The observation of vegetarian diet however begins a few weeks earlier. From 28th May to 27th June to be precise.

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People visit Buddhist temples, light incense sticks and observe a pious way of life in keeping with Buddhist principles of simple living. Many elders begin their day by circumambulating the nearest temple to their homes and chanting hymns.

Buddha Parinirvana or the Dhuechen-Ngazom is observed on the 15th day of the fourth month of the Bhutanese calendar.

Bhutan's cuisine consists of a lot of chicken, pork, mutton and yak meat. But since both Prime Minister Modi and the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj are vegetarian and neither are particularly keen on experimenting with cuisines, they will probably enjoy the simple fare of red rice khichdi of sorts called the Zow Shungo.

There are many vegetarian preparations which are simple, without addition of too many spices. Since the visit is just for a day, the Indian delegation will barely get to sample the local cuisine.

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