Saturday, June 30, 2012

iWitness Bhutanese Unity



Last Sunday afternoon we had the baddest dream from which we can never wake up but last Sunday Afternoon we also had the chance to see the utmost unity among Bhutanese like never before. We lost a Dzong but found the Bhutanese in ourselves. We came together to share the lose, we felt the common pain, and shared a strong dream- the dream of building a better Dzong.
24.06.2012 The Day that Broke National Heart
Before the smoke over the burnt Dzong disappeared, before the heat on the stone slabs cooled and before the firefighter could wash their shoot coated face Bhutanese across the world started seeking information about raising funds to reconstruct the Wangdue Dzong. Facebook group by Passang Dorji gather over 27,000 members within two days, which is almost every Bhutanese on Facebook, to discuss and contribute towards rebuilding the Dzong. BBS on the other hand is reaching out to almost everybody across the country. If we are so united Dzong is just a structure to build.
Rescue Worker resting for lunch with the smoke still rising from the ruins
Firefighters and rescue workers worked day and night and some of them haven't been home for days but they showed no sign of giving up until the last curl of smoke is put off. People from far and wide came in buses and cars filled with refreshment, business communities and schools cooked meals and made sure that no worker on the site went hungry and thirsty. Sponsors are lined for many days to come.
Behind everybody's notice Dzongkhag offices were struggling to reestablish themselves with nothing left at all. Our school arranged offices for at least three sectors but they decided to put themselves up at the BPC building under one roof. We have housed the education office for now. They need computers, printers, tables, chairs, shelves, files, cupboards, staplers, punching machines, seals, stamp pad, dustbins, and most of our moral support to restart their lives. They all seem lost and confused and they don't know where to begin from. I saw our education officer asking for a paper and drafting a letter to be sent to all the principals to send their staff details, using his knee as his table. This letter has not letter head, no seal, and no file number. But he said, he will buy a file and start with this letter. While we were all focused on the Dzong and its reconstruction, there were people across the country who shared their concerns- Every Dzongkhag is sending in a computer each, some Dzongkhags are send their extra furniture and looks like this is not going to take long either. We must rebuild the Dzongkhag to have the Dzong back.
Smoke From Wangdue Dzong seen from Bajothang
And in this great tragedy my heart goes out to our honorable Dasho Dzongda. The Dzong was under his control but the fire wasn't. He was among the first people to reach the site and he has tried all that was possible of him to fight the fire. Human efforts didn't fail this time, it was the equipment. When he knew that the fire has gone wild, he rushed to rescue the Nangtens. He sort assistance from the monks to identify the important relics and packed them in those heavy black boxes. But the entrance was already blocked by fire and they had to throw the boxes through the windows. One of these boxes fell on his foot and broke his toes. He badly needed medical attention but he didn't bother about it. Doctors on site instructed him to take rest but he refused to heed until the next day. Now I heard that he might lose his toes, I hope and pray that what I heard is wrong. May him get well soon.
The Heavy Black Boxes- Job Well Done
He should know that the fire was our collective misfortune and that he should not take it too much on himself. If there was someone we could call a hero this time, it is Dasho Dzongda who went through the fire and rescued the relics for the Bhutanese to hope for, despite the painful injury. I hope he felt better after meeting His Majesty and our prime minister, who reassured to him that the disaster was god's will and that we will rebuild a greater Dzong. The Royal words spread fast and soon we stopped crying over the lost Dzong and started wondering about the opportunity of creating new history.
We are grateful to Zhabdrung for his Dzongs and the history, but thousand years from now they should read more than Zhabdrung. They should look at the Magnificent Wangdue Dzong and say, "that's the Dzong built by Fifth King and His people in 2012"

4 comments:

  1. Awww, my eyes are all out of cries. May God Bless us with loving friends and communities like it always have. I am more than proud to be Bhutanese.

    I hope the rebuilding of Wangdiphodrang bring Unity and peace in country and successfully have anew Dzong.

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  2. The spirit of unity and solidarity of all the Bhutanese couldn't be more reassuring than at this time of great loss and tragedy! Hope Bhutanese will continue our unwavering faith and collective efforts in rebuilding our magnificent Wangdue Dzong to its former glory....May it all be a smooth sail by the Will of the Druk Gyelpo and the collective commitment,both in spirit and action, of all fellow Bhutanese!

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  3. thank you sir, is all i can say to you for sharing such overlooked details...i couldnt cease my tears as i read.
    and about the incident, i take it as positive sign, an opportunity to learn that we are one and more so, a better change.....:) thank you sir once again.

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  4. ONE NATION, ONE PEOPLE.....!!!!

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