23 December 2011

Ngultrum Identity

Ngultrum (Nu) is almost losing its identity even before it had one. Forgive me if you find me ignorant but I can't help wondering why our currency is not acknowledged as it should be. I don't know why we have to pay over Nu.50 for a US$, I am just thankful it is as powerful as Indian Rupee. It's surprising to learn that there are many powerful country whose currency value is lower than ours, which gives us all the reason to be proud of.
However, going by the trend, a kid says, "Mummy, give me ten rupees", and an adult would say, "Do you have change for 500 rupees?" or if it is in Dzongkha, we say "Turu". Nowhere we use the term Ngultrum! On the fuel pumps you will see the rates of fuel reflected in Rs, and every commodity in the shops has price tag written in Rs, that can be forgiven as stuffs are imported. The recent announcement of domestic airfare by civil aviation was in US Dollar, and that was the biggest surprised.
Currency Symbol for Ngultrum for the  time being.
In written scripts we don't yet have a currency symbol, something that can be used to represent Ngultrum universally. The abbreviation Nu. might be mistaken for symbol but it's usable only in English. India realized it and they have come up with symbol for rupees recently. It's beautiful and now they can use the symbol in every language. In Dzongkha, we can't us Nu. therefore it's up to the writers either to write "turu", "ngultrum" or "ruub". Though it's none of my business, I spent many days thinking, designing, discussing, and redesigning a symbol for Ngultrum. I looked at all the currency symbols of the world to gain some insight into it but at the end  I agreed with the fact that it's none of my business after all. But that doesn't mean that Ngultrum can be left without a symbol. We need it now and here! If that can't be done soon, you might chose to use the one that comes to your head when you think of Ngultrum (see the picture).


  1. sir i took was wondering about it recently....
    nicely forwarded the issue of money symbol for bhutanese currency...

    Thank you for sharing...

  2. wow, very true...u might be surprised to know that i too was thinking and designing a symbol for ngultrum.
    and i Quite like what u wrote...nicely written! its something that we know but no one has put it in words like u have :)

  3. Thanks GB for the comment.

    My apologies to all the people whose comments did show up on my blog. There seems to be an issue i don't know of.

  4. Good thinking. I see two things that need to be done:
    1) Ngultrum symbol has to be designed (not one of those intricate traditional designs) and proposed as a new Unicode glyph in Dzongkha fonts.

    2) Government will power and support to enforce its use. Yes, check India's case.

  5. I enjoyed reading this. Keep the same sprit sir..


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