After the birth, the baby is not named immediately. According to the traditional belief, a new baby born is named within a few weeks after birth. The name of the baby will be given by a lama or a well-known religious personage whom the parent visit. The horoscope of the baby is also established by the local astrologer. It normally contains detail of the child‘s previous life, the general characteristics the child will have in the present life, difficult periods, detail of their marriage and children.
Bhutanese personal name is quite limited, there are only about 50 personal names in existence. Bhutanese names do not include a family name, except for royal lineages. So the same name may appear over and over. People are always called with two names, among the most common names are: Ugyen Wangdi, Dechen Wangmo, Karma Chime, Norbu Wangmo, Ngawang Pelden, Kinley Phuentsho, Sangay Wangyel, Tandin Phurba, Kiba Wangmo, Pema Karzi Dema, Teeyum Galley, Sonam Pema, Tshering Yangchen, Jigme Lhaden, Yangchen Lhamo, Tandin Dorji, Ngawang Tobgay, Sangay Tenzin, Pema Choden, Kinley Wangchuk, Passang Tshering, Phuentsho Dorji, Tshering Dorji, Dorji Tashi ,….
The names can be given without any distinction to boys and girls, however, there are a few names that are only for woman: Wangmo, Choeden, Kiba, Karzi, Selden, Dema Yuden, Deki, Lhamo, Yangki, Lhaden, Lham, Semyang, Dondhen…
Most names have some meanings or a religious connotation. For example, Tashi means good auspices or good luck, Sangay means the Buddha, Sonam means religious merit, Chime is immortality, Tshering is long life, Ugyen is the saint Padmasambhava, Dorji is the state of indestructibility, etc
One of the special names is Druk, like Druk Namgyel, Druk Tshering, Druk Namgay. In Dzongkha, Druk means the Thunder Dragon. And Bhutan is also called ‘Druk Yul’ – The Land of the Thunder Dragons, making the name unique. The name Druk is even used to name one of the most popular treks in Bhutan that Bhutan Pelyab Tours provide – Druk Path Trek. The trek starts Paro to Thimphu, taking you to see the gorgeous landscape of the country.
Unlike in many countries, in Bhutan, a woman does not take after her husband’s name following their marriage. The children’s name is totally different from their parent and different from each other.