Gho – a truly Bhutanese statement

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SIDE: While the rest of the world is seeing a revolution when it comes to fashion, the traditional dress for Bhutanese men, gho, has somehow remained at a standstill with hardly any changes over the years.

The knee-length robe, which resembles a kimono, tied at the waist by a traditional belt called kera has stood against the test of time despite changing seasons. Come rain, sunshine or snow, the gho has the same style, which is considered as one of the unique garments. The colours might differ occasionally.

When other garments such as kira, shirt and pants are seeing a change with the spring season with a dash of floral prints and pastel, there are hardly any such options for gho.

A corporate employee, Tshering, said the only option is the material and textile when choosing a gho. “I choose a nylon material for summer and a thick material for winter. Bhutanese men don’t seem to mind because we wear the same gho for the entire week sometimes.”

There’s hardly any change other than choosing different materials, textile or patterns if one wants to experiment with gho, Tshering added. “Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication. Who other than Bhutanese men knew concept by the heart?”

While the rest of the garment is ever changing, gho will remain the same – a distinctive feature for the Bhutanese men.

Thinley Zangmo

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