Brand Bumthang Initiated To Promote And Preserve District’s Unique Culture And Tradition

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Called ‘Brand Bumthang’, the initiatives include: making bronze statues, buckwheat noodles and producing yathra slippers and boots.

Yathra weavers of Bumthang. (Source: My Bhutan)

 

By Nim Dorji | Kuensel

The Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (BCCI) regional office in Bumthang has helped initiate three projects to enhance culture and tradition and to create jobs in the dzongkhag (districts).

Called ‘Brand Bumthang’, the initiatives include: making bronze statues, buckwheat noodles and producing yathra slippers and boots.

 

 Buckwheat noodles - a specialty of Bumthang

Photo: Dining for Women

 

The BCCI in-charge, Lekden Wangchuk said that the BCCI helped in writing proposals, providing capacity building trainings and exploring funds.

The projects are focused on the preservation and promotion of Bumthang’s culture and tradition. The aim is to curb import and generate employment for the locals.

Steps taken to actively promote ‘Brand Bumthang’

To promote ‘Brand Bumthang’, Loday Tshering who has worked for 17 years in Nepal as a statue maker will oversee the statue-manufacturing project. He is also trained in bronze statue making.

As for another specialty from this district, Buckwheat which is widely grown in Bumthang, has long been a nutritious staple food of this mountainous region.

A popular dish from this district is 'puta' (buckwheat noodles) which is made from buckwheat flour

Sweet Buckwheat flour has been used as a remedy in traditional Tibetan and Chinese medicine since ancient times. 

Photo: Bhutan Natural 

 

Although the noodles are already available in the market. there is still no standard packaging. Lekden Wangchuk said that a youth group will form a cooperative in Tang to produce the noodles.

“The cooperative could buy buckwheat produced in the four gewogs at reasonable prices and produce a standard package for individuals and family.”

Another unique product from Bumthang is yathra slippers. Yathra is a thick hand woven textile with intricate designs made using sheep or yak wool. it has been a unique specialty of weavers in Chummey, Bumthang for generations.

 

Yathra textiles of Bumthang.

Photo: My Bhutan

Although the procurement of machines and setting up of the unit is underway, the samples for yathra slippers are already in the market and the producers have already received orders for them. So far, more than 80 pairs of slippers have already been sold.

A tailor in Chamkhar town, who has been in the business for more than 11 years, will produce the slippers and boots.

Sources of funding to boost the promotion of ‘Brand Bumthang’

Meanwhile, the Loden Foundation is funding the bronze statue-manufacturing project and the dzongkhag administration will be funding the buckwheat noodle unit.

 

Yathra Slippers from Bumthang.

Photo: bhutanpost/myshopify

 

The proposal of the yathra slipper production has been put up for the priority sector-lending (PSL) scheme.

Lekden Wangchuk said that BCCI would do a cost analysis for the smooth running of the products and help promote the business in the country.

“The projects are expected to be fully equipped by 2021.”

 

This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.

 


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