Must Bomena (Night Hunting) be Banned in Bhutan?

Place: Thimphu, Paro (Bhutan)

Date: Mar 16 to Mar 26, 2015

Interviewee: CNR College’s students (7 male, 4 female; 21 – 30 years old)


During my stay in Bhutan, I interviewed some students from the College of Natural Resources (CNR) about a traditional custom called Bomena, which is what we call “night hunting” today. Bomena is a custom whereby “a boy stealthily enters a girl’s house in the night for courtship with or without prior consultation” (Penjore 2010). In rural areas of Bhutan (the eastern and central part), teenage boys would try to enter the young lady’s bedroom by “sneaking in through the door or climbing up the side of the house to enter the room through the bedroom’s window” without awakening the lady’s parents (Bomena 8). If the girl’s parents caught the boy, he will receive punishment. However, marriage would be arranged if they accepted him. Interestingly, it is the lady who has the right to either accept or reject the boy’s invitation. According to the interview result, seven out of ten students have experienced this custom. Normally the male would ask for an agreement from the female. If the answer was yes, a discussion would ensue such as how to get in, when to turn off the Miniature Circuit Breaker, the timing of unlatching the inner latch of the house and so on. The whole process has to be done in secret, which is quite challenging but exciting.

The purpose of this practice is to meet…You can read the whole article here


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