A cultural workshop on the ‘colours in the history and culture’ of Bhutan and France was conducted for the tour guides who are currently attending the second level of the ‘Conversational French Language Course’ on 24 September.
The workshop aimed to provide an intercultural approach to the symbolism of colours in terms of arts, cultural values, religious aspects and dress code. Khenpo Tshering Dhendup from the College of Language and Culture Studies (CLCS) explained the historical evolution, purpose, classification and symbolism of colours in Bhutan.
He stated that colour symbolism can be found in art, astrology, folklore, region, culture wisdom of the Buddha. It was learned that colour symbolism played an important role in shaping and influencing many of the Bhutanese customs, beliefs and ways of life.
In Bhutan, five colours of Vajrayana; White, yellow, green, blue/black are widely used.
Ms Bac-Lin, the French Teacher presented on the colour symbolism in France. The conventional dressing colours in France is generally influenced by their religion Christianity. According to the Church, mixing colours was forbidden and patterns were considered ‘dirty’. Sober colours are considered as ‘honest’ colour.
The duo colour black and white is still the symbol of elegance while the colour yellow signifies betrayal and weakness. In the 10th Century, criminals, traitors and sick people were marked by the colour yellow.
One common trait of colours shared by both Bhutan and France was the colour white which was associated with purity and innocence.
The workshop ended with a Q and A session.