Japanese Students Impressed With Charm And Communal Spirit Of Rural Bhutan To Become Guides For Future Students

Email

A week away from their gadgets and highly networked world, the students said that the trip has given them a chance to explore a completely different way of life.

Children of Shingkhar, Bhutan. (Source: Hiveminer)

 

By Tshering Dorji | Kuensel

It was indeed an unforgettable experience for three Japanese students who spent a week in the remote village of Shingkhar in Ura, Bumthang.

Source: Kuensel

 

Sarono Sugiyama, Yuka Miura and Hinata Sogabe, three students from Konan University are used to the hustle and bustle of city life in Okamato, Japan. This is why Shingkhar mesmerised the three young Japanese so much that they claimed that it was an opportunity of a lifetime to explore happiness in its true essence in Bhutan.

What the three Japanese students said

“We have realised that materialistic well-being is not important. The religious outlook based on Buddhism is so strong and this could be the secret behind a happy Bhutan,” said Hinata Sogabe.

The students however found it quite unusual that people did not bathe every day, like they did in Japan.

 

Source: BBC

 

“But they were very kind to arrange a hot stone bath for us,” Sarono Sugiyama said adding that in Japan people have to pay for everything.

A week away from their gadgets and highly networked world, the students said that the trip has given them a chance to explore a completely different way of life.

“There was strong vitality in the community to help each other and celebrate every moment,” Yuka Miura said.

University programme started by Professor K Masaki

In fact, what brought them to Shingkhar was a university programme led by their Professor K Masaki, who is not new to Bhutan.

 

Shingkhar     

Source: bhutanhomestay

 

He first came to Bhutan in 2004 through a JICA project and in 2006 he was the advisor to JICA on a local governance project in Bhutan. The professor became closely acquainted with an informal association called the Shingkhar Dechenling Phendey Thuentshog. Since 2006, K Masaki has been visiting Shingkhar whenever he visits Bhutan.

He wanted to do something for the community and got the support of JICA and Konan University. He claims that this is the first JICA project that is a mini programme targeting 89 households and focused on one chiwog.

With a fund of 10M Yen (equivalent to Nu 6M) from JICA, the programme has revived a milk-processing unit, conserved two water mills and built a flood protection wall along a small stream.

K Masaki said that the milk-processing unit was almost defunct and the structure was about to be given up. However, it was revived when the project installed new equipment and renovated the structure.

More Japanese students are expected to visit Shingkhar

The project has not only revived the cooperative but also trained five youth as a leader of the cooperative. These youth would be invited to Japan to master milk processing skills.

Except during the three winter months, each household provides about seven litres of milk to the processing unit. K Masaki said that each household is paid Nu 18 to Nu 20 for a litre of milk. This is being revised to Nu 35 a litre currently.

The bigger idea, he said is to bring students from Japan and make them experience rural Bhutan, which they have never experienced.

 

Source: bhutanhomestay

 

“Every small gesture my students experienced is very special,” he said.

The three students, he said will be guides for future students visiting Shingkhar and they have been selected through an open competition among 30 students who had applied.

The funding was proposed two years ago and the two and half year long project began in April this year. Except for the flood protection wall, the rest have been almost completed.

The outline of the project stated that it is in the rural communities where people live in close touch with nature and their neighbours, and where better appreciation of spiritual and emotional well-being are being embraced.

With this philosophy in mind, K Masaki said that the project in Singkhar is to assist people to enhance their income and revitalise their collective activities, both of which constitute the mainstay of rural livelihoods.

“Shingkhar will be an excellent model for other chiwogs to follow, given its rich cultural and spiritual heritage,” he said.

 

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

 

 


Related Posts

Haa Develops Tourism Action Plan To Promote Its Rich Cultural...

Haa had the 6th highest visitor arrivals among the dzongkhags in the country, according to the Bhutan Tourism Monitor...

Jul 26, 2018 08:23

Study Finds Homestays And Eco-tourism Helped Preserve Bhutan’s...

The evaluation found that 98 percent of the homestays used exclusive traditional products like local food products and...

Aug 25, 2018 16:17

Bhutan Sustainable Tourism Society Launched To Foster Partnership...

Karma Tshering said that the intention was to bring all the diverse groups together to shape the future of tourism.

Sep 28, 2018 16:41

Tshechus (Festivals) In Bhutan Becoming A Platform For The...

"The impact will be a thousand times more powerful. When a spiritual figure conveys a social message in line with...

Sep 08, 2018 19:00

Dochula Tschechu – Truly Captivating!

What makes the Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival unique is that while the mask dances performed elsewhere in Bhutan are...

Nov 24, 2017 05:19

Concept Of A Model Organic Village Initiated In Bhutan For...

The concept developed through funds from the Asian Food and Agriculture Cooperation Initiative (AFACI) will bring...

Jul 06, 2018 17:17

Latest

News

Co-Funded By The EU, [email protected] Project Launched To Provide High Speed Internet For Bhutan’s Research And Education Communities

A high-speed network called DrukREN for research and education communities in Bhutan was also launched.

Aug 21, 2019 09:58

Find Innovative Solutions For Every Challenge: Prime Minister Modi To Bhutan’s Youth

Prime Minister Modi said that he ‘sees dynamism and felt energised’ while meeting with the future of Bhutan.

Aug 18, 2019 23:58

Features

Bhutan Women Parliamentary Caucus Launched To Promote Gender Equality

It is expected to address the need for women role models at leadership and decision-making levels in Bhutan.

Aug 20, 2019 17:08

Fulfilling His Majesty The King’s Vision, Digital Drukyul Is Set To Improve Public Service Delivery And Empower Citizens Digitally

Digital Drukyul will help create a digital ecosystem for citizens which is unencumbered by bureaucratic red tape.

Aug 19, 2019 15:28

Sports

Two Young Bhutanese Swimmers Competed In 18th FINA World Championship

The duo are proud to represent Bhutan and compete on a worldwide stage for the first time.

Jul 28, 2019 21:32

Bhutan’s Dragon Boys Starts FIFA World Cup Qualifiers With A 1-0 Win Over Guam

Midfielder, Tshering Dorji’s 35th minute strike was enough to make Bhutan win the first leg of the first round of the 2022 World Cup and...

Jun 08, 2019 22:18

Business

Southeast Asian Company Invests Over US$100,000 In Bhutanese Start-up Drukfood

The investment includes a mix of cash and investment-in-kind.

Aug 15, 2019 14:26

Bhutan’s First Crowdfunding Platform Gaining Traction, Opens Doors For Entrepreneurs To Raise Funds

So far, three promoters - Bhutan Alternatives, Freelancer Bhutan and Himalayan food have registered with the Bhutan crowdfunding platform.

Aug 05, 2019 22:10

Travel

7 Facts You Never Knew About Flying Into Bhutan

Druk Asia interviewed Namgyal Wangchuk, Senior First Officer with Drukair to find out what it's like to fly into Paro International Airport.

Aug 07, 2019 23:18

Bhutan Has Great Potential To Be A Top Eco-Tourism Spot: Albert Teo

Despite Bhutan being home to a wide array of flora and fauna, it is still not a top ecotourism destination.

Jul 19, 2019 23:58

Lifestyle

Finding One’s Voice: Rapping In The Kingdom Of Bhutan

The lack of support for rappers stems from the general misconception that most people have about rap.

Aug 10, 2019 23:38

First Bhutan-Bollywood Film Collaboration - Rolong: Make the Dead Walk In The Making

The film is expected to hit the theatres by the middle of 2020.

Aug 04, 2019 23:58

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!