Fined for Refusing to Participate in a Village Festival

Email

Sherab Dema, the daughter of the-once Dropon (lead dancer), was fined Nu 100,000 in Sept 2017 for refusing to participate in the village festival. The villagers would not have it that Sherab Dema’s father is now too old and physically challenged to be able to perform at the festival.

 

The preservation and promotion of culture is becoming increasingly difficult in rural Bhutan. While we continue to give special importance to the cardinal pillars of Gross National Happiness, our changing society is grappling with new challenges.

Some communities which lie far away from the dazzling lights of the cities are today facing a serious shortage of people to perform cultural dances and songs.

Last month, in Kamdar, Lhuentse, a family was sued by the community members for refusing to participate in the community’s dance festival.

The festival called Drochhung had faded away quietly. The people of Kamdar, Tangmachu, and Phagedung tried to revive it. Local leaders argued that preserving and promoting local cultures and traditions is important.

However, the family that the communities sued did not see it that way. They, the members of the family, felt that they were bullied.

Sherab Dema, the daughter of the-once Dropon (lead dancer), was fined Nu 100,000 in Sept 2017 for refusing to participate in the village festival. The villagers would not have it that Sherab Dema’s father is now too old and physically challenged to be able to perform at the festival.

Nu 100,000 is no small amount for farmers. Sherab Dema has agreed to pay the fine. What this tells us is that the family really had no other options.

If the preservation and promotion of culture should come to this, it will be very costly for the people in the future. Young people are increasingly leaving their villages and going to towns and cities to seek better lives and economic opportunities.

Aging parents back home can do only so much. While some cultures are dying quietly, many have already vanished.

As our society progresses, culture will inevitably evolve. Our unique national dress, language and some common cultures will be all that will define us in the long run.

Efforts to preserve local cultures are important, but changing times as such comes with unique demands of their own. Making each member of a community contribute to reviving our tradition is not feasible and sustainable.

Today, this happened in Kamdar. Tomorrow it could be some other villages. Community vitality can only be nurtured, it cannot be forced.

What about individual rights then?

(This article has been edited for the Daily Bhutan)

This article first appeared on Kuensel.

 


Related Posts

Preserving Bhutan’s Music and Traditions

“Bhutan is developing at a faster pace; traditional customs are not. We need to balance these developments. We are...

Sep 28, 2017 11:28

Thimphu Tschechu 2017 - A Visual Feast

Tschechu, meaning ‘tenth day’ also corresponds to the birthday of Guru Rimpoche (Guru Padmasambhava). This festival is a...

Oct 06, 2017 18:29

Patterns of Happiness opens in Thimphu

With 71 paintings by various Bhutanese artists, a competition exhibition named Patterns of Happiness opened at the...

Sep 28, 2017 07:07

Buckwheat From Bhutan Gaining Popularity For Its Nutritional And...

Buckwheat flour is often used to make delicious pancakes or noodles in Bhutan.

Oct 23, 2019 21:58

How Bhutan Managed To Maintain 72% Of Its Land Under Forest Cover

This widely acclaimed feat was made possible, kudos to the far-sighted vision of a handful of people in the past.

Oct 22, 2019 21:55

Malaya: Bhutanese Jewelry Line Inspired By The Spirits And...

The brand started in 2016 and the two partners have been regularly releasing new items ever since.

Oct 19, 2019 23:58

Latest

News

Bhutan’s GDP Growth Projected By IMF To Be Above Global Average

According to the World Bank, Bhutan's GDP growth is expected to jump to 7.4 percent this fiscal year.

Oct 21, 2019 22:08

Snowman Run – As Important As It Is For Bhutan, The Run Is For The World

The run was envisioned by His Majesty The King after multiple visits to the highlands.

Oct 14, 2019 20:28

Features

Buckwheat From Bhutan Gaining Popularity For Its Nutritional And Medicinal Values

Buckwheat flour is often used to make delicious pancakes or noodles in Bhutan.

Oct 23, 2019 21:58

How Bhutan Managed To Maintain 72% Of Its Land Under Forest Cover

This widely acclaimed feat was made possible, kudos to the far-sighted vision of a handful of people in the past.

Oct 22, 2019 21:55

Sports

Bhutan’s Pelden Wangchuk Wins 10th Edition Of Tour 0f Dragon Mountain Bike Race

This year, the race also saw the highest number of female participants compared to past years.

Sep 10, 2019 01:08

Tour Of The Dragon – Toughest One Day Bike Race Starts On 7 September In Bhutan

It takes sheer toil and stamina for the top riders to complete the 268 km race which finishes at the capital, Thimphu.

Sep 06, 2019 23:58

Business

Cottage & Small Industries Flagship Programme Rolled Out In Bhutan, Set To Create More Jobs

The CSI sector was identified as one the flagship programme in view of its greater socio-economic roles in Bhutan.

Oct 11, 2019 15:38

Bhutan’s Himalayan Food Aims To Produce Healthy Snacks With A Worldwide Reach

Himalayan Food currently produces potato chips, apple chips and banana chips.

Sep 25, 2019 23:58

Travel

7th Jomolhari Mountain Festival Showcases Unique Culture Of The Highlanders

The festival has become an important event where the highlanders get to showcase their unique culture and traditions.

Oct 15, 2019 23:28

Plans In The Pipeline To Set Up More Homestays In Sakteng, Eastern Bhutan

We are hopeful that our homestay business in Sakteng will boom with the increase in the number of tourists."

Oct 12, 2019 12:43

Lifestyle

Launch Of Karen Greenspan’s Footfalls From The Land Of Happiness: A journey Into The Dances Of Bhutan

The book delves into familiar subjects that are what continues to shape Bhutan’s image.

Oct 05, 2019 10:18

Critically Acclaimed Film - Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom, Showcases The Magic Of Bhutan’s Highlands

Directed by Pawo Choyning Dorji, this highly acclaimed movie has been accepted for more than 10 international film festivals.

Sep 23, 2019 23:28

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!