Skip to main content

A 'holiday' for meat vendors

This Bhutanese month (May 16 - June 13) is observed as Saga-Dawa, a holy month in the country. It is popularly or infamousely known as the time when the sale of meat items is banned in Bhutan. And it's also an opportunity for us to put a light brake on our mighty meaty appetites. Consequently, restaurants are encouraged to serve their customers rich vegetarian meals during the period. Similar ban is also observed every first month of the Bhutanese calendar.

But going by what's happening, the saga-dawa is a month long mandatory and government sanctioned holiday for the butchers and meat vendors. Being holy month does not really make a difference to the menus in the restaurants from rest of the  months in the year. 

Meat is available in all the restaurants and even small eateries ensure that their customers are served their favorite dishes. They're only being wise and practical because if they don't serve meat their customers would move to the restaurant next-door that serves meat. As simple as that. As a result, there is no incentive for our menus to go vegetarian, is there? 

We are bombarded with many questions. If there is a month-long ban on the same of meat items in the country, from where are our hoteliers getting the meat? Are black markets in operation, away from the meat shops? Does it mean that the hotels illegally import it from across the border? Or more obviously, are people hoarding it in large quantity to last a month?

Meat ban in the country is a failed initiative unless we organize intensive and targeted sensitization activities that people truly understand why they are doing it and is therefore voluntary, but not restrictions. Hotels and restaurants are where we begin.    



Comments

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