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A Song with Purpose

When I was a little boy I would be fascinated when adults came together during the losar and tshechu. They would sing and dance. Some would sing it from their hearts and silence the audience, often making them break into tears. Particularly I loved a song called Shar ley sharwai thri dhung. It wasn’t because I understood what each stanza was trying to tell me, but because it was sung in such a captivating tune, haunting melody. And listening to that song more closely today, I understand my reason for fascination to that song was well founded.


Sun that Rises in the East
--- a Bhutanese folksong

Chorus:

Sung yang sung yang sung yang,
Sung dang le mo drik song
Sung yang omo mani
Sung dang le mo drik song

The sun that rises in the east,
How happy would I be if it does not rise!
Once it rises it is someone else’s sun
How sad and depressing that is!
Chorus

The river that runs down the mountain,
How happy would I be if it does not run down!
Once it flows down, it is someone else’s river
How sad and depressing that is!
Chorus

The dear son of a dear mother,
How happy would I be if I am never born!
Once I am born I am a servant to someone
How sad and depressing that is!
Chorus

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