Articles by: Neydha
Working tirelessly for six days in a week, Sunday provides the best time for me to attend to many personal works or to be with my family but my other passion for archery keeps me engaged every Sunday.
It was 7:30AM on Sunday, we gathered in one of our archery ranges in Punakha for a friendly match with one of the teams from Thimphu.
Alongside our archery range a group of women began gathering and we only thought that they were there for a picnic nearby. After a while it was a different scene with very unusual activity which we have never seen in Punakha. The group (women) started playing Khuru with full paraphernalia. We were amazed to see them playing nothing less than we men do. These ladies were the Non Formal Education group playing between two different centres.
Following are the few snap shots from the event.
(Even they have hit on the bulls eye)
(Celebrating their Karey hit with latest Rigsar and film songs)
(Look at the multi-coloured Dhars hanging indicating the number of hits)
The enthusiasm, energy, vigor, zest and zeal that these women displayed were more than the men. The scorching sun and rising temperature had no effect on these women and they played for the whole day. Many of them managed to hit three to four Kareys and I admit I won't be able to compete with most of these women in Khuru. Promote the traditional game. Cheers!
Fortunately I had to travel to Thimphu today and I started early to watch the eclipse from Dochula. I was on time in Dochula where hundreds of people gathered to watch the eclipse. The sky was not so clear yet it favoured during the eclipse. I was equiped with both video and still camera but unfortunately I could not get the filters and I could not take shots during the partial phase.
Solar eclipse during the early phase.
See the diamond ring formation
Regaining myself from the strain after a heartbreaking and chaotic experience from the recent flash flood by Puna Tsangchu on 26th May 2009 I wish to share some of the pictures that I managed to take during the flood. I could not move out of Khuruthang, so the pictures are only from Khuruthang VTI campus.
The aftermath of flood
Fortunately there was no loss of human life and damages to infrastructure this time but we cannot predict the natural calamities and we doesn't know when it will strike again.
On a lighter note, I share good relation with TSHOMEN (AUM TSHOMENGYEM – borrowed from Luzee's comment) of Puna Tsangchu and as long as this NEYDHA is here any extent of flood is not going to harm me and my colleagues.
Everyone was alert and we were ready for any eventuality but even after waiting for 6 hours the river level did not rise except it was little muddy from 3PM onwards. People living along the Phochu were really worried about the severity of the flood but thank God it did not pose any threat. For sure it was not a false alarm.
The ironic part is, lake was bursted at 3:30AM and we were informed only after more than 6 hours. Had it been a very big flood there would have been a catastrophe, similar to 1994 flood.
People in Trashi Yangtsi are celebrating the Chorten Kora festival and I could not resist in writing down my vivid memories during my teenage days during the Chorten Kora.
Dawa Dhangpa Losar used to excite me a lot and after three days of celebration more excitement awaits for the Chorten Kora. The first Kora is called as Dagpa Kora or Chenga Kora which begins from 13th of Dawa Dangpa. It is called Dagpa Kora because lots of people from Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh come to the festival. People from Tawang are called as Dagpa.
My parents used to run restaurant selling mainly Thukpa and Momo during the festival. A plate of momo used to cost 5 Ngultrum in those days (early 80s). Momo and Thukpa was a grand feast for me once a year.
Thousands of devotees used to gather during the festival. The small valley surrounding the Chorten Kora used to be transformed into mini city filled with tents. People from far flung places used to live in the tents. During those days there used to be only few traders selling clothing and few restaurants in the makeshift huts.
The Chorten Kora Tshechu and Gomphu Kora are popular because of its culture of nightlife. The night Kora in Yangtsip’s language is called as “Sen Kora”. As a teenager during the Kora we used to feel that the day is longer than the night. With the fall of dusk, the number of people around the Chorten increases in manifold, especially the young ones. There was no electricity then, and torch lights used to flash everywhere, most of it directly into the faces of people circumambulating the Chorten but mainly targeted at the girls.
There used to be three categories of people during the Sen Kora. I will focus on the category of men.
1. Gentlemen Group (?) – Initially girls would circumambulate in groups and men in equal number would follow them singing songs and Tsangmo (verses) and exchange of Tsangmo would go on which would gradually lure the girls and they become partners for the night.
2. The naughty group – This group of men are not good at songs and Tsangmo. They would rather pull and tease girls and they do not hesitate to grab and harass girls. They would grab them in the dark and carry them or pull them away from the group. In the present context that will be called as RAPE and molestation.
3. The third group can be categorised as Peeping Group – They are either too young to lure or grab someone or too naughty to be accepted by anyone. They would be more interested in peeping at all the dark corners and spots. They also venture through the tents for the peep show.
Traditionally during the Sen Kora young men and women tease each other playfully in romance. Basically the men’s objective is to look for sleeping partners for the night but I don’t know what would have been the girl’s objective. The night is spent in the tents, in the caves, in the paddy fields under the hay and in any secluded place. But not in the cars as they do today. Such acts would often lead to marriages and some girls ruin their lives too. Interestingly, I don’t remember the girls being resistant to such events despite, mostly being stranger to each other. I think that has been accepted as a tradition during the festival.
It has been more than a decade that I attended Chorten Kora festival but I heard that the culture of nightlife and the deeply spiritual tradition has been commercialised and diluted. The festival now appears more like a trade fair than a spiritual venue.
On a serious note, if I ever get the opportunity to attend the Chorten Kora, I would attend the festival only to circumambulate the sacred Chorten with a prayer to forgive me for defilement of Chorten for more than a decade during my teenage days…ha ha ha.
Sacred dances by monks are performed in the Kuenrey (main Chapel) and only few dances are performed in the courtyard. Pazaps (warriors) performs their heroic dances in the courtyard and in the vicinity of Dzong during the three day Dromchey. Pazaps are the volunteers from different Geogs under Punakha Dzongkhag as well as from Thimphu Dzongkhag.
Highlights from Dromchey – Day 1
Pazaps stay in the tents in the four directions of Dzong.
Hundreds gathered to watch the Cham
The Pazaps procession into Kuenrey where they receive instructions from Je Khenpo on the DOs and DON’Ts.
Finally this is the aftermath of the first day Dromchey in the courtyard. After the three days Dromchey follows the three days annual Tshechu and I cannot imagine the amount of garbage that the spectators would produce. There was a group of tourist in the Dzong and they were really astonished to see the courtyard littered like a waste disposal site.
I did not see him for few days but yesterday I saw him with his nose on his toes by the roadside about to die. I don’t know when he had his last meal because the schools/institutes where he had been getting his meals have been closed for vacation. Poor chap!
Neither the freezing temperature nor the frequent drizzling of rain in the afternoon, could keep away the hundreds of spectators on Sunday in Thangzona Archery range during the finals of Chogley Namgyal Archery tournament. A total of 43 teams from as far as Trongsa, Dagana and Gasa participated in the Yangphel style archery tournament in Punakha which began from 6th December 2008.
After a little more than five years (if I am correct) of launching the mobile phones in our country and the B-mobile penetrating into all the Dzongkhags and further into remote places, the device has become a necessity for all categories of people. It is not just an instrument for affordable group, but necessity for everyone and the subscriber base has increased exponentially in the last few years. It has also become a source of nuisance, a reason for quarrel between husband and wife, added to the court cases and many more.
One of the interesting features to look at the use of mobile phones is the ringtones being used by different age groups and categories of people.
I shall categorize into five groups (my personal view only) – teenagers, young adults, middle aged persons, elderly and monks.
Teenagers, the most volatile group having different lifestyles and preferences, they have range of personal ringtones and they are the ones who explore all the facilities in the phones. Their ringtones include the latest hit songs or songs from their favorite singers. They are also the group that changes their ringtone most often because of the constant need of having something new.
Adults are also very dynamic group and they also prefer to keep the latest hits as their ringtones and CRBT but those who are less interested in the trends and tendencies, their ringtones does not include the latest hits but their favourites are always maintained.
A Zhungdra or traditional Boedra as ring tone indicates that the phone belongs to a middle aged, middle class man, like me – content to make money by the day and have some fun – perhaps a drink every evening in a bar (happy hour!). We don’t see our mobile phone as an entertaining device, but as a necessity that eases our work and existence. This group mostly prefers pre-installed tones or Boedra, Zhungdra and religious chant as ringtones. This group neither care for the options available, nor change the ring tone. The person, who keeps an old love song as ring tone, is an incorrigible romantic. His past may reveal more than one failed love affair. But if there is a sudden change in the ring tone with songs like “Dance Your Life Shake Your Body from Sergyel”, his wife should better beware.
The least dynamic group is the elderly users, most of them using the pre-installed ringtone or some old Boedras for years. They just need the phone to make call and for receiving purposes only. Many elders choose a preset ring tone or a Zhungdra by Aum Thinleymo and Lopen Drengo and never bother to change.
Another dynamic group of users is the Gelongs. They carry sophisticated models and their ringtones encompasses all the categories that I have mentioned above. They often lead to awkward situations like hearing “Tashi Delek Tashi Delek”, “Nga Gi Chey Lu Masong Sey Lab Chi Wai”, during funerals in the cremation ground. (Read the Jokes posted by xyz “Ironic ringtone”). Lams talking over cell phone interrupting the Choga are a common scene now.
We hear a great variety of ringtones everyday and it is because of the fact that people are different and has different taste for everything.
Only great minds can read this, this is weird, but interesting!
fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too
Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.
I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh?
I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!
His holiness the Je Khenpo and the central monk body arrived here in Punakha on 28th November after spending a night in Thinleygang. His Holiness and the monk body were received by the business communities, students, trainees and civil servants in Khuruthang.
The Dzongkhag officials received His Holiness and monk body at the Dzong parking and escorted with chipdren inside the Dzong through the newly constructed Bazam.
Players entering the field.
Players line up for the National Anthem
Chief Guest Yab Dasho Ugyen Dorji wishing the players.
Some actions in the field
Awarding of medals and prizes