Showing posts with label New Year. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Year. Show all posts

31 December 2015

Ending 2015 with a Bhutanese Audiobook

Every year on this day and about this time of the day I open my blog and recount the year when the rest of the world go to party. I would take great pride in the number of articles I have written and but this year I can't do that because I have underperformed. Somewhere among great people I lost my confidence to write in my own style because they wanted me to write like scholars. I failed. I need to get back soon.

But looking beyond my blog I think 2015 has been the best year of my life so far. Perhaps I have matured enough to find happiness outside my blog. Earlier no matter what I have achieved during the day my happiness always depended on what I wrote on my blog at night but this is different now. I am happy looking back on what I have achieved.

I will always remember 2015 as the year I solved Rubik's Cube. Over the months I have bettered my time and now I can do it in less than two minutes. It's only matter of time before I master it but I have gift my cube to my nephew who has already beaten my record.

The other things I would like to remember from 2015 are Yangthang READ Centre, which READ Bhutan opened in my village in the spring. This I am sure will change the quality of life in my village and therefore the future of it. To sustain the activities of the centre and engage our youth meaningfully I have founded Yangthang Village Youth Club. This club will compliment and give wings to the facilities in the centre.

My dream to see clean toilets in Bhutan was shared by a group of very close friends and we made a big beginning this year with Bhutan Toilet Organization's Nation wide campaign that involved over 300 volunteers from across the country. We have set up our office with support from many people and now we are ready for more than just cleaning.

And finally before the year ended I had one last thing to take care of which began in 2014, the production of an audiobook. With permission from author Kunzang Choden I and my 12 year old student Sonam Chuki began recording the novel Dawa-The Story of a Stray Dog in Bhutan last year. M-Studio did four days of recording with the little girl and took months to put together the three hours audiobook. iBest Institute took from there and helped in producing 50 CD. From the author to the recording studio to the CD producer and the cover designer Che Dorji, none of them bothered about a penny, it was all labour of love.

It was launched last week at Camp RUF during Karma Choden's reading session, and later the book was played every night as bedtime story. While this first Bhutanese audiobook could be a great educational material for all students and especially the ninth graders who have the novel in their syllabus I saw that it's a priceless gift to the visually impaired students. Therefore I have asked Sonam Chuki to send a copy to Khaling Munseling School as gift from her side among other schools.

I am yet to present a copy to author herself. We are meeting in January and I will let her listen to Sonam Chuki reading her book. If she finds it worth I am going to gift the recording to her.

11 February 2013

How I Spent this Losar Day

Thanks for all the Losar Greetings you sent me. Losar Lolay to all of you as well, May the new year bring you greater joy, health and wisdom, may you find stronger purpose in living and live life bigger than ever. And most of all make you celebration reasonable, don't drink your health away, don't drive after your heavy losar drinks, don't go on long drives with your family if you intend to drink- make it a happily memorable day.
My family didn't have a plan of going anywhere away from home. I have the company of my brother in-law who just got married and brought his beautiful wife along to spend their losar with us. But later this morning our aunty gave us a call asking us to join her family to Kamichhu. Her husband didn't have holiday on losar, he was on duty somewhere 38km from here. He works as a security personnel and has handsome wage but when it comes to work timing I don't envy his salary.
There were 19 of us in three cars to give our sad uncle a huge losar surprise. The journey was rewarding- there were hundred new things to watch on the way, no one would expect so many people and activities along the narrow valley. There was nothing that didn't change- even the mountains were moved.
But the best experience was driving through the 1.5km highway tunnel, which is the first of it's kind in the country. It was scary and cold inside and it never seems to end. Visibility was low with flying dust, of course the speed limit was 20km. 

The First Highway Tunnel in Bhutan

I was obediently following the speed limit but one blue Bolaro camper taxi was enjoying maximum speed, I would have reported him to police but his blinding speed had the upper hand. Speed could be risky inside.
The Scary 1.5 km through mountain

Highway tunnel may be very expensive in building but this could be the answer to so many problems our highways face in the country. It could reduce distance, mitigate the seasonal landslide problems, reduce the risk of going off-road and can save lots of trees. This is the beginning of the change in how Bhutanese built roads through mountains.

Our surprise for uncle didn't last long because we couldn't locate his work place and we had to call him hundred times to ask the direction- there were many new roads and bridges along the highway and several time we had taken wrong ones. Finally we made it to where he was working. His morning must have been gloomy, thinking about all the fun he missed but three cars full of people coming just for him made his day. He took us down to an island below his site and we began the day. By then we were all hungry and it's fun eating when we are hungry...

How did you spend you losar?

01 January 2013

Dream 2013

On this first day of the new year I am getting a funny feeling of teasing everybody who ever believed in the end of the world last year. I was one person who had to fight back hundreds of scared faces each day of 2012, and I had to tell them "I will take the risk". Deep down I was laughing, if world does end then I won't be there at all and if it didn't I could walk with my heads held high.
Fear is good for living meaningfully, and looking back at the last year I am happy how it help us think of the end. Any thing that is limited is of great charm, and life is a limited edition gift, ours didn't end in 2012 but it will someday. Therefore live it big.
Wish you Luck.  Source:
2013 is extraordinarily beautiful because we all came back from the end of the world, therefore it's the beginning of the new world. I have lived my life well last year and I want to believe December 2013 is the end of the world again and make best out of each day of this new year. My Dream2013 is to relive 2012, because I am a teacher things repeat, but with greater respect to life, lesser complains, and become more charitable with my knowledge, skills and ideas.
Thank you all for reading this blog and adding greater purpose to my life, I am proud to tell you that because of you I have could write 374 post on this blog with 118 in 2012 alone. With your well-wishes I have gathered 375 followers and over 400 thousand views- what more can I as for as a blogger?- Thank you.
What is your Dream 2013? Happy New Year!

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!

31 December 2011

Last Post of the Year 2011

This is my last post for the year 2011 and I am so happy that I wrote over 90 articles this year with many of them printed in national papers. At this time I could hear the last minute count down to the New year and here I am doing the thing I love the most -blogging. Fire works are cracking in the Phuntsholing sky and hundreds of people are screaming but I am celebrating the 202882 hits and 228 followers on my blog.

United States
United Kingdom

As the year ends I would like to thank all my readers for inspiring me and cheering me up in doing this thing that means the world to me. You have made me a serious thinker from a casual blogger, and given me so many reason to find joy in simple things. My host family and their friends are all gone for party but I am here with my family writing this because this is what I want to do each day of 2012 and not partying. We hold a strong belief that we will keep doing the same thing that we did on the new year day, and I sure don't want to be drunk and out partying every day, therefore I am here putting my babe to sleep.

In 2012 I am eager to see how the biggest lie of mankind will be exposed. I have never believed in the end of the world but many secretly do and each day of the year is going to be very painful for them, I just wish they could live their life each day at a time.

And finally My New Year Resolution (motivated by my friend Neil): All this years I drank Whisky with Coke and I became sick, I tried with soda and still felt bad, and tried with water, which still made me unwell. Now I promise I will never drink Coke, Soda and Water!
Seriously I am resolute that I will not change any good thing in me and will try to work on doing away with every bad energy that comes out of me.
As always I will never overstay in the school impressing my principal. I will reach home five minutes after the final bell and be with my wife and children. I will always take my family along with me on all my workshops. I will call my mother every two days and tell her something to make her smile. I will spend lesser time watching TV and browsing. I will read more books than webpages. I will only drink at home and on weekends. And I will write more than 100 articles on my blog in 2012.

See you next year:) with the sunrise tomorrow morning!

07 March 2011

My Daughter got her ears pierced!

The New Year wasn’t good to me and I am sick of facing hard times. If I had to blog about everything that has happened to me in the last two months I would have infected my blog with bad luck, and you guys would consider me a depressed man rather than an ordinary Bhutanese. Therefore, I avoided writing about all those things and looked deep inside myself to find out something good to write about.

The constant source of happiness and at times anxiety was my daughter. Despite all the pressure we undergo as parents we can’t deny the fact that she is our daily dose of stress reliever and pain killer- and of course anti-sleeping pill. And it gives me great joy to share with you all that I got my daughter’s ears pierced. She looks more beautiful with her tops.
Look at her ears

It was done weeks ago in Druk Optical, Thimphu. Her mother was so excited to have it done despite by reluctance. But honestly I wanted it done too if only I was not scared. At the studio, the lady showed no sign of hesitation when she marked the position with a pen. Then came the piercing gun loaded with the earring we selected. The first one was done in a click and my babe cried. When they went for the second ear she was so irritated that she caught the lady by her sleeve and shook her- the adult was surprised and blushed. In another click it was done. While my babe kept crying a friend of her age appeared from behind the counter and hugged her- it helped. It was the lady’s daughter. I am amazed at the value added service!

We were worried about having a bad night but thanks to the superior quality of the earring, we have no complains at all. We were told that the earring can be changed anytime after a month. And I must tell all the new parents that it is completely safe and result is amazing!

19 January 2011

Unhappy New Year

After watching the beautiful sunset of 2010 in Samtse I prayed for a happy new year. The chill of death was strong in the air, and I could feel the wave coming closer. I knew life was preparing me for something bad. I lost no body in the Nepal air crash, then the Lampuri bus took away a student of mine. While I watched the sunset I was happy I escaped the season of death before it could come any closer.

But when the whole world was exchanging New Year greetings, going out for dinner, picnicking afar, hugging and loving and seeing all the joy in the world, I was crying. I lost my asha on 2nd January 2011. I can never accept it. When I went down to Samtse, we had a dinner together and I didn’t have a slightest clue that the dinner was going to be our last together.

We knew each other quite late in life, but I knew him best. We met every weekend and dinned together as if to compensate for all the times we lost so far. He reached out to me like no one has ever done. He took me down our family timeline that I long wanted to know. In him I saw myself. He would take me on a long walk and talk on different subjects. He was the best family man I knew- a great husband and father. I was so happy to have known him and be a part of his family. But I didn't know he was in a rush- as if he knew he was going to die- to tell me the story of our family which I never knew. 

I don't know if I can ever overcome the loss but as I look back in time I see reasons to smile; having met him, getting to love him, having the chance to be a part of his proud family and even as he was dying he was connecting me with the part of my family I have never known. I am happy that he lived a king's life. It's our misfortune that we lost him so early in his life. God loved him more. I shall miss him everyday of my life.