Bhutan, the Land of Thunder Dragon is a stunning beauty among the nations along the Himalayan range. The land of the Happiness Quotient have done a wonderful job in maintaining their traditions and culture. There is a vast array of mythology and folklore within their belief system and superstition is part of the package.
When I visited Bhutan in 2011, I noticed a sprinkling of abandoned houses, mostly in the rural areas. They are typically sturdy homes as they are built from stone foundations and of rammed-earth designs. In some instances, the new house is built just a stone’s throw away from the old, abandoned house. As expected nature reclaimed what was hers to begin with.
As usual I got curious and asked my tour guide – why!? Some houses were abandoned due to fire however some were abandoned because there was a transfer of land ownership. In North America, when there’s a change of ownership, we might renovate a bit, apply a new coat of paint on the walls. In Bhutan, they believe it is unlucky to live in the former home of another family. This may be true or pure superstition but who’s to argue one’s belief system.
As a result, abandoned houses are found alongside occupied houses.