Monday, January 28, 2013

Naming Them

Bhutanese are getting more resourceful when it comes to naming; be it a person’s name or a name for their business entities.  In the eighties and early nineties there used to be a shop by the name “New Ideas”, located at the heart of Phuentsholing town.  Lots of criticisms were directed at it, accusing it of not conforming to the traditional name.  To this effect an article even appeared in the opinion column of kuensel. 
But today the trend seems to have changed drastically.  People are getting lots of “new ideas” and they are getting more imaginative by the day, when it comes to naming.  One noticeable change is in the moniker of people, which are getting complicated and some of them even sounding like tongue twisters.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Losing the Roots

I come from a small village, located at the South Eastern part of the country.  Back in the late 70s it used to be a small village of just 15 households, where everyone knew everyone.  Except for two huts, all houses were made of stone and mud.  All of them looked similar - dark and ancient, in an imposing way.  The roofs were either wood shingles or slates.  The attics were used as granary cum store room and the ground floor housed the cattle.  The family lived in the first floor, which consisted of two rooms.  The outer room served as the kitchen, dining room, drawing room and the inner one housed the altar.  The whole family shared these two rooms.
Ours was a large family, perhaps the largest in the village.  My grandfather used to pride about this very fact.  Today we are 116 members, the progeny of our grandparents. Then, we were seventeen dining members, including us, seven grand children.  One uncle used to be away most of the time, either for ‘woola’ (compulsory labour contribution) or ‘druk dom’ (labour contribution for a year by a person for every six able bodied men).  Another used to tend the cattle and the supply of butter and cheese never seemed to exhaust.  My mother and her sisters used to do the household chores and weave clothes for the entire family.  Life used to be a simple one then.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Taken for Granted – Making Security Our Responsibility

“The only time we ever think about breathing is when we have trouble doing it…” says Marty Klein, of Palo Alto, California.  There are some things we take for granted and never notice it till it is lost or endangered.  Security is one such thing, in the list of a Bhutanese.  It has been presented to us on a golden platter and we made it our right and never realized how we got it and what it took to get it and even more difficult, what it takes to maintain it.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Happy Clogging! – My Losar Greetings

New Year, as per the Gregorian calendar, is just over and it’s time for another of the few new years we, the Bhutanese celebrate, in different parts of this small country – Lomba in Haa and Paro region, Chunipa  Losar in the East, Dasain in the southern part and the Daw Dangpa Losar.  The immediate one due is Chunipa Losar, popularly known as ‘The Sharchokp Losar’. 
And it is time for another round of greetings – sending wishing cards (on the dwindle now), calling up friends and families (the order of precedence here is intentional; friends are always dealt with first, especially friends of the opposite sex type, after which comes the family), sending text messages (sms), which is the most popular form as of now, and finally through social networking sites, the most popular being the facebook ( I can’t imagine how we would have managed our lives without this facebook!).