Showing posts with label Celebration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Celebration. Show all posts

24 February 2015

Celebrity Week

This has been the wildest one week of my life- five days of celebration of music, art and literature. All but in Thimphu. I feel sorry for friends who couldn't make it to the week long Bhutan International Festival. But one thing I gradually realised is that things don't happen in Thimphu, individuals and groups make things happen. It's all private initiative, people put brain, money and hardwork to fly in hundreds of foreign talents and discover hundreds of native stars. My deepest appreciation to the organisers.

While few youth have painted the entire picture of Bhutanese youth dark over the years, you should see those youth speakers at TEDx. Their talks will reassure you that our future is in the safe hands. The videos should be on YouTube soon, and I hope BBS will take a step forward to acquire the recordings and broadcast to the nation. By the way, all the talks were free besides free coffee- Amazing Bhutan!

Clock Tower Sq. and Mojo Park staged musics and dances of all sorts with some celebrity musicians from faraway lands performing. For once I wished if I had ten extra pairs of ears and eyes that I could send around to attend each of those events- Art exhibition at VAST, Dance program at Clock Tower Sq., Live Art at the Centenary Children's Park, Pottery and other craft at Tarayana, some never seen before art and science show... Thimphu was for once heaven for people like me. 

And if you have patience enough to wait late after the shows and reach all the places at once then there you have all the opportunities to bump into personalities you otherwise see only on screen, books or hear on your music sets. For me I have left no adventure unlived when the world of celebrities was at my door.

Thanks to Gangchu for introducing me to the central piece of the festival, Lucky Ali. The quiet man standing in the corner was not noticed by the crowd for quite sometime until someone informed the stage. He came out to relax at Mojo and landed up performing- quite a bonus for us. Not to mention that he happily posed with me and Kezang. 
Lucky Us, Lucky Ali
The two larger than live art pieces showcased at the centenary children's park were all over Facebook but nowhere have I seen the picture of two artists who painted them. Here you are. One is our own Chang, who did the Buddha.

The two artists on new canvas 
The super villain,  known to many of us as Feroz Bai, the international Don, our own Kelly Dorji was among us. There was a time when I and my brother watched his south Indian movies every time it came on Zee Cinema, which is like every week, and meeting him in person was quite a moment. To ace it, he sounded more excited to meet me- am I going to be on PaSsu Diary? Humility is Kelly!

Don't Mess with me, I have the Don's backing 
This guy Zhaw gave his explosive performance at TEDx, Mojo and Viva City and I followed him. I have heard melodious voices, and explosive voices but this guy has both together. I don't know if he would even remember but I have never failed to shake his hands after his performance. 

And finally in the field I love the most-Literature: This must be the fourth time I met author Kunzang Choden, the godmother of Bhutanese Literature in English, but I have never really dared to ask her to pose with me. This time I went with a plan, I asked my daring friend Pema Chhomo to set it up for me. While I was in conversation with the author, Pema walked in and said, "O' Ashi, PaSsu idolises you, why don't two of you take a picture together." Finally Click! Thanks Au Pema.


07 June 2014

Overwhelming Birthday

Birthday Celebration is one of human's best physiological inventions, you become a year older officially and it's a moment of sadness but see what happens. Then to make it even more wonderful Facebook came along. I was overwhelmed by the number of greetings I received. I would like to thank everybody who took time out write those words to me, even those very lazy ones who managed to type: "HBD".

I have never seen a Birthday cake with my name written on it ever, I am not saying it's necessary but as a child that would mean a world. Growing with rich cousins was heartbreaking especially on occasions like this when they have big parties and cake and no one remembers my birthday. Now I can afford a cake but the cake-loving excitement is gone with the age.    

There is this warm saying, "Friends are family we choose for ourselves" that redefined my life in last many years. Dechen called me in the morning and sang the whole Birthday song. She has very bad voice but it was magical. Dawa Knight and Paday walked in with  a surprise package each and it turned out that both came with cakes, they were pissed with each other but I am happy. Wa, two cakes for a man who haven't had one in a life time- quite an irony. It made me blush. Thank you endlessly.
The Two Unforgettable Cakes.

03 May 2013

Teachers Day in Bhutan- The Day to Reflect

It might sound quite theoretical when I say Teachers Day is the day of reflection but I have realized that only on this day I get the right emotion to stop and ask myself if I am a good teacher. And I have worked on trying to carry the resolutions I made on Teachers Day to the rest of the days. Every year I am find myself smiling with lesser guilt, that I don't have to pretend to be a nice teacher on the day when students present me with gift, rather happily be the friendly teacher that my students have always enjoyed being with.
People are right about not having the high performers from schools and colleges in teaching profession, being an average intelligent student and below average performer I used to be worried but now when I look far back and remember the teachers that made impressions in my life I realize that teaching is not all about big brains, because I only remember the kind ones, the funny ones, the caring ones, the impartial ones, the truthful ones and the principled ones.
When we were young we would proudly talk about the teacher who wear different dresses on different days, teacher who could kick the football highest, teacher who could slap us to unconsciousness , teacher who could remember the whole dictionary, teacher who could remember every line in the textbook, teacher who could break 50 willow sticks on your butt... but these are not the teacher who make lasting impression on our lives.
Parents and Teachers on the Stage
I have suffered so much in the hands of brutal teachers and I suffered more because of where I came from and how I looked, but because that couldn't break me down it only made me the sensitive teacher I am today. I know when it hurts most and where it hurt worst, I know how it feels like to be treated this way and that way... I see hundreds of myself seeking love among the lucky many, I know how to make them feel nice about themselves because I also met some great teachers in life who made me feel good about myself.
So these are the types of reflective emotion I go through on such auspicious days and I don't leave this emotion here, it's another new beginning to cast away guilt and earn personal satisfaction on professional journey.  
2013 Teachers Day Cake in Bajothang
Today, Bajothang celebrated Teachers Day along with School Sports Day, making to fun for both teachers and Students. They had a cake and it seemed like a birthday party for all the teachers. The stage was set right in the middle of football ground, we have to walk there to receive gifts from students- I ran away before my name was called and I landed up missing the cake as well.

19 March 2013

How to Celebrate Happiness Day?

The World recognized Bhutan's Philosophy of Gross National Happiness and decided to observe 20th March as International Happiness Day. Bhutan is going to celebrate the day for the first time tomorrow. Schools will not celebrate because students are expected to enjoy the day with their families at home, towns across the country will have programs for families are go out together and spend time meaningfully.
My students were excited about the holiday, so I asked them, "how are you going to celebrate the happiness day?"
Following are random answers I could grasp from their chorus:
"I will laugh the whole day!"
"I will go on picnic with my friends."
"I will play football."
"I will go for swimming."
"I will sleep whole day."
"I will chat with my best friend."

I told them, "These are things you do every day, every Sunday, every holiday. These are things you do for fun, for pleasure. You will forget those experiences when you wake up the next morning. Tomorrow is different, tomorrow you should do special things."

Then I suggested some things they could do:
"When we were young like you we spend our free time around our parents and grand parents begging of them to tell us stories. Those days we consider them the source of wisdom. Nowadays, you find them unexciting and outdated, and what they say don't make sense to you because they don't know Facebook and they complain about your hair. Many of you don't even live with your grandparents and some of us have our grandma as babysitter and grandpa as housekeeper. They were the loving parents who invested all their lives on our parents and on us, now they need our love and attention. They may not hear clearly, they may keep repeating some things, they may complain but tomorrow sit near them and talk to them, listen to them, cut their finger nails and ask them if they are taking their medicines on time. If they are not with you call them on your cell and talk to them. Promise to yourselves that you will do it often.
"How is your relation with your parents? Nobody in the world loves you like they love you. They complain a lot about you but they are the only people praying for you everyday. Girlfriends and boyfriends are people who didn't mean to you anything before you met them and perhaps won't matter anymore in a year or less. They will come and go but parents don't happen everyday. They were with you from your birth and will live till the end. But how often do we sit with them and talk? how often do we pay attention to their words? How many holidays have you spent with them? How many movies have you watched with them? How many time did you try to make them laugh? How much time did you spend in thinking about impressing them? Well tomorrow is your chance to reconnect with your parents and prove yourselves worthy of their unconditional love.
"How many of you have your best friend among your siblings? Your brothers and sisters are friends sent by god but many have our own friends outside our family. We are jealous about how our young brother is favorite of our mother or how our elder sister is our father's pet. What we must know is that our sibling are the people we know best and you will always find your most trusted friend in them. If ever we could show all the love we show to our friends we will find the best friends at home.
"Tomorrow is also about reaching out to people with whom you had misunderstanding with, to explain and apologize rather than spending the rest of life with hatred and regret. It's also the day to check through your contacts and call those people who have influenced your lives and say thank you rather than chatting with strangers on Facebook.
"Celebrating happiness is not about laughing, opening a champagne like in movies or doing things that you alone enjoy, it's about doing things that will bring smiles on the faces of people around you and in making them feel better. You will be surprised to realize how happy you become in giving happiness to others.
"Happiness is in these simple things you can do everyday. You don't have to buy big gifts nor write long letters or put on expensive make ups, just be with your family and try to catch up with all those things you have have missed so far. A good child at home will be a good students in school and good person in the world. Begin at home!"

Of course I wasn't so structured while speaking to them, but I told them everything that's here in this piece. And I hope it made sense to at least a few. I wish all my readers a meaningful day tomorrow, may you make difference in someone's life...

12 December 2012

What Lomba Means to the People of Western Bhutan

Smelling 2012 Hoentey
Lomba is the single most important annual celebration in the two western Dzongkhags of Haa and Paro and this year interestingly it fell on 12/12/12, the date many people are looking at with great emotions. I grew in village and I have been part of Lomba celebration throughout my childhood. Every year on this day I become child again, and without feasting on Hoentey I can't get my hands on anything, that's why I am blogging so late today. I drove to Punakha and had my 2012 lomba hoentey from my aunti's hand.
Haaps, as I know, are very dumb working people who would spend best portion of their lives working and they don't celebrate many occasion rest of the Bhutanese do, but Lomba is an exception and perhaps the sum total of all celebrations. Our forefather must have found it wiser to celebrate many occasions in one so that we could save time for work for the rest of the days in the year.

  1. Lomba is our New Year: We sing Lolay Lolay rhyme, thank god for the good year we had and make wishes for the new year. We greet each other Lolay, meaning good new year. We perform a small ceremony at home to drive of the evil and bring in the health, happiness and prosperity for new year. Tonight my young brother is performing this ceremony at home. I miss it so bad.
  2. Lomba is our Thruelbub (Blessed Rainy Day): We clean every corner of our house, wash every piece of cloth, and every member of the family take their turn for menchu (hot stone bath). The importance of this annual cleansing is considered as much as rest of Bhutan considers Thrulbub. It's no more a new thing to do that, it's part of daily chore for most families nowadays, but there were time when Lomba cleansing used to be our annual event. River would turn dark with our dirt. Everybody seemed to have removed a thick layer of skin from their faces. O' those days!
  3. Lomba is our Common Birthday: Every Haap considers themselves one year older after lomba. It's was only after the new Citizenship ID card was issued that people realized the importance of their own birthdays, before then lomba was our common birthday. A baby born days before lomba would be consider two years old after lomba because we count nine months in womb as a year as well. Our folks seem to enjoy the idea of growing old fast so much. Happy birthday to all my folks.
  4. Lomba is our Food Festival: The signature food of Haa, and also the central piece of Lomba is our Hoentey. It's our pride and the it's perhaps the only dish from our region known across the country. Lomba is the day we consider so auspicious to prepare out best food and feast on it. Some families make thousands of hoentey to be presented as gift to friends and families across the country. 
  5. Lomba is our Annual Family Gathering: On lomba parents expect all their children to leave aside everything and join the rest of the member of the annual gathering. Well this part makes me emotional and damn guilty. I always want to leave aside everything and run home on this day but this is my third damn year that I haven't been able to make it. This is the only time I hate my job, because my job has kept me away. I know how my mother is feeling about it, I only wish she sees me through and understand how much I wish to be home tonight.
Lolay, lolay, to all my readers, friends and family, near and far. If you are nearby please join me in two days to taste my mother's hoentey, she is sending me hoentey day after tomorrow. Lolay, Lolay!