Night Hunting In Bhutan

I was cleaning up in my blog drafts and found this one from my trip to Bhutan. Before I went, another traveler told me to ask about “night hunting.” So I did. This is what I was told.

In the past, if a man was interested in a woman, he would climb into her bedroom window. Out in the countryside, and most of Bhutan is countryside, there were no lights so it was pitch dark. (I wondered how they found their way in the dark, but then again, I’m a city person.) If the woman got pregnant… the couple’s families would negotiate a marriage.

My guide’s opinion was that “night hunting was more because of lazy business men who wanted to take advantage of innocent country girls and not bother with sweet talk at a bar.”

Fancy windows in Bhutan.
Fancy windows in Bhutan.

According to my guide, night hunting is now illegal and considered rape. In modern Bhutan, premarital sex is not frowned on, unwed mothers are cared for by the government, and there are campaigns for safe sex. He told me, “people are more educated so they want fewer children and they want them when they are older.” The previous age for marriage was 16-18 and now many women wait until they are 25.

I can’t remember all the other stuff that he told me but I wish that I had recorded him. Next time, perhaps.