Skip to main content

Of Ignorance and Happiness

On the Centenary walk from Kanglung in the east to Thimphu in the west, five of us were on a mission to inform the villager along traditional footpath about the health and hygiene, and how we are indebted to our beloved monarchs past and present. The walk was a real test of endurance, patience, and friendship. But more than that we like to believe that we were lucky to be able to retrace the route our forefathers had undertaken and take part in the centenary celebrations.

In a village we asked a gathering what they know about GNH. Almost instantaneously a lady stood up from the crowd. I was truly moved by her courage and bravery. In her dialect, she responded:

Gyel Yong Ga Kyi Pelzom da khan khai, thrung thrung karmo gyi la, la.” (Rough trans. GNH is the black-necked crane?)

We tried not to laugh. It is not a laughing matter, but sheer innocence. It wasn’t innocence alone. She was merely misinformed. There were traces of DPT campaigns in the locality. This is how well informed our villages are. Well, I didn’t say all the villages. I admit some villagers are truly amazing.

And away from the centenary walk, earlier in the same year, we went to Laya for a health campaign. We were talking about the dreaded HIV/AIDS and other related issues. The public listened for a while in complete silence. It was actually foolish on our part to show how an HIV virus multiplies. Because a lady in the crowd remarked:
“Aai, meto ley shom shar dhey mo?”( aye, isn’t that a wonderful flower blossoming?”

While my friends continued with the presentation, I was talking with a man. His loquacity stunned me.

“Sir,” he tells me. “I think we in Laya have no worry about AIDS.”

“Why so?” I asked him.

“Because you see sir, we have our yar sa guen bup (cordycep).”

Maybe he was trying to tell me that the diseases can be treated with the money from the sale of the insects, I thought.

“Nga che yar sa guen bup za wa chen, ga chyi yang sang wong ba tey, la.” (If we take yar sa guen bup everything will be cured.)
So no worry about HIV/AIDS either.
I kept quiet.

Comments

  1. Enjoyed the read. Interesting. Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I heard Layaps have the maximum cases of STDs...and that they might even have AIDS. Can you kindly confirm? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

So what do you think?

Popular posts from this blog

Utpal Academy - Bhutan's first All-girls High School

Academic Block Welcome to Bhutan’s first all-girls school. Isn’t that wonderful news to all our parents? Certainly, as a parent of a one-year old daughter I am excited about the coming of a school exclusively dedicated to the needs of girls. Our girls need special treatment, which we can for sure entrust the responsibility to Utal Academy, Paro. Dinning Hall I really like the name – Utpal – in Buddhist world, Utpal is another name for lotus flower, which is believed to grow from mud and yet blossoms into a beautiful and majestic flower. It stands for purity and many deities are depicted holding flower Utpal, more prominently Jestusn Dolma, the Goddess Tara. Symbolically, it also stands for the transformation of our girls. What an apt name for the school! Hostel Room The Principal’s message posted on the academy’s website promises providing our young women an “opportunity to participate fully in a wide range of extracurricular activities to develop skills and qualities that

Community of Bhutanese Bloggers Conceived

And finally it happened. I must say that it was by far the most attended Bloggers Meet. In the past we had bloggers agree to attend and cancel at the very last minute. But on June 24, 2015 – almost 100% of bloggers, who confirmed came. I would like to thank everyone for keeping his/her words, especially those who had to come all the way from Wangdue or Paro. Thank you! 35 Bhutanese bloggers met in Thimphu. We were honored to have the presence of senior bloggers like Aue Yeshi Dorji and Dasho Sangay Khandu. The meeting assumed more significance because of their presence. Equally, we were happy to have many young bloggers in whom we see so much enthusiasm and potential. On top of many things that transpired during the Meet, one of the most significant outcomes was the unanimous decision reached to form a formal group of bloggers, a platform aimed at encouraging and inspiring more bloggers around the country. The members decided that we will call it Community of Bhutanese Blogger

Behind the Purple Building?

The following is an opinion piece I contributed to Business Bhutan (June 11, 2016). I reproduce it here for the others, who have not gone through it.  Last week I had a difficult time finding my cousin’s house in town. She had recently shifted to a new location and as tradition has it, my family wanted to make a courtesy call. I was informed of the location, but getting there was a herculean task. And the absence of strange-colored buildings or offices in close proximity made it even more difficult to locate my cousin’s new residence. Darkness descended gradually to our disadvantage. I have never called anyone the way I had to call my cousin that evening. After a series of calls and driving here and there, we finally reached the place by a stroke of luck.  Of course, if my cousin had not come out on the road, after her failed attempt at providing me the direction (and likewise me failing to translate her direction), my family would have returned home that evening. And I