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Showing posts from September, 2011

Promoting our Creativity

The role of our national language or any other national language for that matter is to bring citizens of a nation together as one big family– one big family that communicates in one common unifying language. Language is the carrier of a particular culture. But in essence, the purpose of having a language in the first place is to provide for a medium of communication for a particular locality. And of course culture aspects follow thereafter.
Some agreed and as expected some disagreed. There were workshops where experts congregated to talk about it and scholars debated on it. But everyone agreed our national language needs to be promoted in an era which is mostly dominated by English. Our effort to simplify Dzongkha have raised concerns amongst our scholars and rightly so. However, we must appreciate the fact something is being carried out for the promotion of our national language.
Many students consider Dzongkha a tough subject. For many an urban student, being able to meet the required…

Expert Advice

I really like the concept of having this Expert Advice feature in KBC show hosted by Amitav Bachchan whereby in critical moment participants take the help of that week’s expert on the show, who help them correctly answer the question. I wish we have expert advice at every stage of our life – every day. This way we know exactly where we are headed and be aware of what to expect the next corner, etc. What have we learnt from the recent earthquake? This is a repeated question everyone asks today. Well, I can’t speak for others, but the only lesson I learnt from the September 18, 2011 earthquake is the temporary nature of our life. Now please don’t think of me as advocating some Buddhist principles. No. Trust me. 
It was a good reminder of that truth as every strand of hair on our bodies stood. An apt reminder, even if it was for a short duration (terribly long from fear point of view). People might have at least realized the importance of being nice to other people irrespective of places a…

Giving in this time...

I was fighting with this idea of having a registered domain name and for a long time I have resisted this temptation. My reason was simple: I am not a celebrity or a famous person to have my own website. And I took so much consolation in the fact that not many people visit my blog anyway. That’s why I felt what www.blogger.com gifted me free was certainly enough.
I started blogging back in 2006, but like my friend Passu, I didn’t know the significance of blogging as I do now. I used to post a few pictures from my class picnics and other events. And it was only in 2009 I started to take blogging seriously. If you look closely, I have blogged considerably more in the beginning and then started to falter. But I am glad now the trend is picking up again.
Today blogging provides me a space to speak out and raise my concerns about what is happening. Sometimes I just blabber without any meaning. It is my belief that everyone should start blogging and start to contribute towards strengthening …

Promoting What is Ours

“What are three aspects that you think distinguish Bhutan from other countries in the region,” a visitor once asked me. And just as any Bhutanese would answer, I took no time in listing the three things that I thought attribute to Bhutan’s uniqueness – our unique architecture, our artistic weaving culture and our pristine natural environment. I explained the visitor he whole thing with so much pride. That I meant it from my heart he understood it.  Bhutan is dotted with these majestically erected fortresses that sit high atop hills overlooking the valleys down below. They are the true representation of our architectural uniqueness. These dzongs are the living testimony to our artistic skills and architectural magnificence. These monumental structures, which come as gifts from our forefathers, embody our identity. And therein contains our way of life; therein contains our history. These dzongs do us proud and treat charming grandeur to foreign eyes. 
Our unique architectural splendor do…

"Help-Shoe Bhutan"

This is what we were talking about. We neither have to go hungry nor walk bare feet by giving something to the poor. We have a lot of used and unused clothes that may not have any use to us, but to someone out there it would mean so much. And heeding to the call of needy is our innovative people behind ShoeVival.
Today (September 17, 2011) they are conducting a “social campaign” which they call HELP-SHOE BHUTAN.” The project is aimed to “clean and refurbish the shoes and distribute [them] amongst the people who cannot afford a decent pair of shoe.”
And they plan to distribute these refurnished shoes to the poor people in the villages. I am really impressed by their kind gesture and understanding of the plight of the poor lot. This initiative would also go a long way in cultivating a sense of giving in Bhutanese. 
Everyone can be a part of this campaign. Just donate a pair or two used shoes. The Thimphu campaign starts from 10:AM onwards. 
Although I regret for being unable to be physicall…

"How Can I be a Good Citizen?"

This is an essay my brother wrote for a competition organized by Kuensel Corporation in the beginning of the year and I was so happy that he won in his category. This is his own words and I am glad he gifted me a soft copy and the right to reproduce it here for my readers. And since my blogging colleagues are posting their prize winning entries, I don't have any. Thus I take a little help from my brother. Please enjoy.
Being a good citizen is not different from being a good son, a good student, a good friend, a good neighbour and a good person. A good citizen also knows about our culture, national dress, language and our natural environment. A good citizen is kind and respects old people.
In order to be a good citizen, I shall be a good son. I shall obey my parents and follow their advice. I shall keep away from bad habits and demonstrate maturity every time I go home. I shall make my happy parents proud.
In order to be a good citizen, I shall be a good student. I shall work hard and…

That Extra Income

Today the cost of food items has skyrocketed. We end up paying more for less at the vegetable market, fuel depot, grocery store, restaurants, riding buses and taxis, giving our sons and daughters good education, etc.At times don’t you feel like going back to the village leaving your jobs in the towns so that you grow everything on the farm? This is at a time when some families resort to meat since vegetables are expensive to be fed upon. Year after year we are paid consistently the same salary, which is not even one fifth of what some earn in the projects. This is why we continue to live in an overtly inflated region.
And then in this part of the country there is an acute shortage of accommodation owing to an ever-growing population. There are numerous real-life dramas being enacted everyday. People hunt for proper shelters to call them homes. Without much success! If you own a small hut at the heart of the town, then you are a rich man provided the city officials allow you erect your …

Copyright and the right to translate

No offense, but it came with the onset of Dzongkha newspapers. Every time I read them I feel uncomfortable. There are news from the America and Europe in our national language. But if you read them closely, they are translated either from CNN or BBC or NDTV website. Well, I see no problem in translating these news stories in Dzongkha to inform our people in the language that they can read.
However, one thing that disturbs me is how our translators take credit of writing the news stories themselves when they have just translated from the above sources. Their names are always mentioned at the end of the story. The trend is only in some of our new Dzongkha papers. I don’t know if this at all legally correct. 
Maybe the translators don't know that this is not allowed. If that is so our authorities needs to clarify them. We should not take it for granted that these sources can’t read Dzongkha. That’s not an excuse.

Have we become more violent?

It is really saddening to hear so many undesired activities happening in the country. Especially this month, we are made to feel that we are living in one violent society. A father killing his child, a series of rapes.   
Have we become more violent now? Or is it because our media coverage has increased?
Every time I visit my village, it saddens me to see my fellow villagers' a vast stretch of paddy field covered in thick sands, pebbles and huge boulders. It is been sometime now since the land has remained unfit for cultivation. All these happened one night when a heavy flash flood washed off everything on its way, including houses, cattle, infrastructures, fruits and fodder trees, watermill, irrigation channels, basically everything. 
And interesting thing is until now nothing has happened. The regretful incident did not even deserve a paragraph in our media. Many villagers get nightmares when they recall the incident. Of course now someone writing on it would only rub chillies on t…

Only what if...

Just a wild thought. 
What if our RSTA does not fix taxi and bus fares? Because I think doing so limits competition, which is bad for the general public. Let the drivers decide. Who knows the rates might come down even below the ceiling fixed by the authority? And this is good for the people because then they will choice to ride the cabs that offer them the best prices. They can negotiate with the rates too.
Instead can we control and fix house rents like taxi and bus fares? House rent fixation is solely left to the whims and fancies of the house owners unmonitored.   
This is something we need to ponder.

The Lottery Fun

Recently our organization was instructed to sell lottery tickets. That we accepted dutifully like students back in the school.
Obviously we can’t sell all the tickets. So, we decided to distribute to all our offices in the 19 dzongkhags. Distributing those booklets added some figure to our expenses. We had no complaints. We were more than willing to carry out the order and never did we mind the burden of dispatching so many packets to our offices. 
But we were also extremely satisfied when we finally dispatched the last packet. The only task left for us was to collect the sale proceeds and submit to the concerned authority. That should have been the end of the show! 
But that was not it.
Today we were instructed to immediately stop selling the tickets. The lottery is cancelled, the email notification reads. We are asked to reimburse the buyers and collect the tickets.
Now this is where the actual fun starts. 
The current lottery tickets had no space to record the information and other det…

Talking Masters

People upgrade their academic qualification mainly because they need to either advance their knowledge about the work or their social status. And Bhutanese are by no means exception to this. In Bhutan getting an opportunity to study far from your family and loved ones is seen as an achievement in life and not without reasons.
The thump rule is - farther you can travel from your country by that degree the venture becomes lucrative. That’s why we have thousand competing for a slot or two to study in foreign soil. This is because in this part of the world, upgrading one’s qualification or the act of upgrading, at least, is seen as a moment to earn some additional income and bring home dollars.
People would not mind washing dishes in a foreign land so that they can comfortably relax and enjoy once they return. There is nothing bad in this and in fact we should applaud them. I really admire their hard work and dedication.
Masters degree can be obtained from three different places for Bhutanes…

Garbage Express

This is what I call making the optimum use of resources. Waste not and want not! The following are the signs and symptoms of modernity. 

The way out for our National Sport

“There is no charm in playing archery on traditional bows and arrows when others shoot arrows from their imported compound bows, ” my friend tells me when I suggest that we play archery last week. “And until we can afford to buy important equipment, I decided not to play archery anymore.”
I could not believe this comment coming from a man who could literally go on playing archery for days on stretch when we were young. As children we remember having so much fun playing archery on our improvised bows and arrows. And as adults geared up for competitions with the teams from different villages, children would get busy too preparing.
Of course I could not play archery for a long time now, but that does not mean I have given up totally on the game. Far from it - just that I could not find an opportunity to do so!
Archery is the national game of Bhutan and we take so much pride in being the nation that lays so much emphasis on its culture and tradition. Of late archery has become even more pop…
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