Showing posts with label Passion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Passion. Show all posts

27 August 2014

Bhutanese Mask Collector

Forgive my ignorance but I have never heard of any Bhutanese Mask Collector, or for that matter any sort of collector. We consider that as the prerogative of foreigners. I have rather heard of Bhutanese smugglers who buy antique mask to be sold in black market across the border, never to be seen by any Bhutanese ever. I have also heard of foreigners who collect mask, antiques and ingenious art pieces and fly them away from Bhutan. Many of us are more than happy to see our priceless art pieces fly away overseas.
Believe it or not, there is a Bhutanese who is doing his share of collection. He won't let us sell all our arts to the foreigners. His name is Kelden Jigme Namgay (Call him KJ). You won't believe he is just a two year old if you see his mask collection. This afternoon I went to meet him and with the approval of his parents and grandmother took pictures of him and his collection.  
KJ with his collection
He is not only the youngest mask collector but also perhaps the only collector in Bhutan. He is just an ordinary little boy who is born among the kids who love wearing Spiderman and Batman mask but quite strangely KJ started asking for scary Bhutanese masks ever since he could demand for toys. Sometimes he would ask for a specific mask and his parents have to scan all the handicraft shops. His collection is built mask by mask, from Paro, Thimphu and Bumthang. He knows the masks by their names and can even locate where each of them are bought from.
The Collector. Photo Source: His Parent's Collection
It was this summer that his parents could finally make him happy after finding the last missing piece in his collection: The Dudhar Mask, the white mask worn in the dance of death. They couldn't find it in any of the handicraft shops. It was finally found in Paro Airport handicraft shop. He almost rescued it.

The Last Mask: Photo Source: His Parent's Collection
It's hard to say if KJ was born with that interest or he acquired it later but one thing that we must acknowledge is the way people around him nurtured his unique passion. Children of his age are after Ben10, Chota Bhim, Spierman, etc but remember no child is born with love for cartoon films, it's the lazy parents who let such movies babysit their children and overtime they tend to like it. We force children to like cartoon movies but KJ's parents and grandma didn't let that happen. They let him be different.

KJ lives with his parents and Grandma in Punakha.
Enjoy his collection:

Get Adobe Flash player
Photo Gallery by

27 July 2011

Tour de Bhutan

268km from Bumthang to Thimphu is unimaginable even when you are in a car but Tour of Dragon is going to test your tolerance by putting you on a mountain bike across the distance, which is longer than any stage in Tour de France. In last year's event,  the first cross country race in Bhutan, 16 out of 30 racers made it to Thimphu- How was it possible? It made me realize how passion can make all the difference.
Mountain biking has become Bhutan's latest passion and in just over a year you can expect explosion in the number of participants and also the number of racers completing the race. September 17 is the day this year.
Following last year's big success, this year Tour of Dragon is going international.
And as it goes international, I think it's already eyeing big dollars and thereby ignoring the passionate home racers who won't be able to come up with Nu.25000 as race entrance fee. As far as I can see, no wife will let her husband cycle 268 km paying Nu.25000 for just Nu.100,000 prize. Prize is not worth the price racers will have to pay.
By keeping people's passion hostage I clearly don't see spirit in the sports. If the fee is not revised I can foresee only few elite Bhutanese bikers this season, thereby leaving hundreds of ordinary Bhutanese upset.