Sharchop is a collective term for the populations of mixed Southeast Asian and South Asian descent found in the eastern districts of Bhutan. They have largely adopted the cultural practices of the Tibet-derived culture of central and western Bhutan.
They speak Sharchopkh, also known as Tshangla, which shares a linguistic heritage with Tibetan and Dzongkha. Tshangla is also spoken by the Menba national minority across the border in China (also called the Monpa).
Most Sharchops follow Tibetan Buddhism with some elements of Bön, although those who live in the Duars follow Animism and Hinduism.
The Sharchops, who live in the eastern section of Bhutan, are considered to be descendants of the earliest major group to inhabit Bhutan.
Most follow the Nyingmapa discipline of Mahayana Buddhism. Sharchop is translated as “people of the east.” They account more than 33 percent of the national population.