Saturday, February 12, 2011

What things have we to say about fading Culture?

With the globalization, everyone feels and experience the value of our culture which once had been vibrant is depreciating incredibly. When we say Culture, as said by Foster is forbidding word for most of us. This is because we don’t tend to understand and appreciate the real essence of culture, may be due to the upcoming of science and modern technologies.
Simone Weil has rightly said that, “culture is an instrument wielded by professors to manufacture professors, who when their turn comes will manufacture professors.” Our parents/grandparents were the professors who manufactured us, the present beneficiaries, and it’s our responsibility to wield our culture and manufacture the right future professors, so that they can manufacture next professors or the beneficiaries with the same instrument called culture. We should be in a position to handover the culture that we have inherited from our ancestors to our young generation.
Many people hate to follow the culture due to their own good reasons. People who hate culture, argues saying that, the new world is being created by science, and with science and technologies they can prosper and earn profits. Hence, they give due importance in science and technologies which gives more profit than tradition.
These days we have Television, Cinema and many latest technologies which have replaced the old culture of performing drama. How many of us now practice this culture?  Who knows quite soon we may even see some new invention which will wipe out the Cinema industry and broadcasting house/Television shows. Even today, we can notice that no more people visit cinema hall due to upcoming of Television services.
A few good common examples which everybody is aware are, gho and Kira is being replaced by half gho/kira and paints, Zhungdra and beodra are more likely to be dominated by rigsar, traditional plough by power tillers and tractors, traditional bow and arrows by compound bows. Even people feel uncomfortable to write with their hands. So they use computers even to write their name.
Who is responsible for promotion and restoration of the Bhutanese culture which is already fading away with the time?  Some practices are almost on the verge of extinction and something should be done to revive them! Shall we keep them in the museum just in black and white or with the name tag on them? Will it help to revive and restore our culture? There are thousands of questions that each individual should ask.
As said by Mahatma Gandhi, “No culture can live, if it attempts to be exclusive.” So I feel it’s the sole responsibility of each individual to take care of them as we do to our own property. It’s the common property of every citizen. Let’s give way to our culture to be reborn again in this land locked and GHN country. Let no other external culture replace our vibrant culture. So hope for the best and let’s see whether culture really matters or not in the process of modernization.  

What went wrong with Lhamo’s Life?

In this present century many events are changing day by day and we can perceive all these changes. Forget about the activities, even people are changing in every second tremendously.
It’s not very long ago, a girl name Lhamo was residing in a countryside village. Her parents were not well-off but with great effort they were able to provide her necessity items needed in school. She was a good student in her school and brought good results every year. Her parents expected their daughter to be somebody when she finished her studies. Even the villagers and neighbours had a great hope that she would definitely be somebody and look after her parents.
 But after some years the things didn’t go well as expected. She was sent to study in urban school after completion of her primary education. Gradually, lot of changes took place in her. While in school, she was no longer that shy, meek, submissive and homely creature as she used to be in the past. She was no longer confined through the ages to mere hearth or home. She even fought for her rights according to the situation. She had asserted herself in company and she could face the heavy odds.
Lhamo even started imitating the male sex with regard to fashion, behavior, ambition and endeavors. Jean Pants and hot pants replaced the colouful and well-dignified Kira, a national dress, which gave majesty to her personality. The hair, which was well maintained and plaited dresses were no longer the beauty of her. The boy’s cut of hair gave her a boyish look and took hard task which boys were supposed to do. She didn’t bother what her parents and teachers advised her. She was in her own world.
She started to develop unappreciable habit of spending lots of amount in buying nail polish, lipstick and many other items which made her parents to wonder how she was using the money. She had become more of a painted stick than of a natural beauty with her make ups. She even started abusing drugs, taking alcohol and smoking cigarettes, as if they give some sorts of satisfaction to her hunger and thirst.  These sinful acts rather than giving any benefit to her health all she learned was from one of her friends in school.  Parents send her to school to get good education but she didn’t concentrate on her study and went on chatting and gossiping. In a way she disturbed her friends who had minds to study. She thought that even if she failed in examination she would leave the school and find a husband. Ultimately when she failed she didn’t show any sign of unhappiness. Parents were the losers in any ways and they became the ultimate sufferers.
Luckily, she married a husband who was kind and understanding. He was working in one of the departments as an officer. After one year of her marriage, she gave birth to a child and then another after some years. Though she became a mother, she liked going to parties, functions and meetings. Her lively conversation; her butterfly-like approach, her actress-like behavior added more gaudy colours to the functions. 
It was her nature that most of the time she did not want to stay at home. Quite often she headed towards the town nearby. She didn’t want to miss cinema shows and other outdoor activities. If she was given an opportunity, definitely she would not miss any activities. She had no hesitation in talking to men, no desire to remain reserved and shy. If at all there was shyness, it was a calculated shyness.
In fact, she was in different to her duties as a daughter, wife or mother. Actually, as a house wife/mother of a child, cooking and washing were the sole duty of her but she subdued her gentle husband and let him do all household works. She was the dictator of her family and unfortunate husband suffered under her dictatorship. Her only interest was to derive maximum pleasure out of life. Ending of the life was beyond the reach of her imagination. She thought that she would remain unchanged for forever. Like the girls of the western countries, she was more interested in hooking a moneyed husband. She wanted her husband to take care of himself, she wanted that the baby sitter should look after the children and she herself should remain comfortably like a queen in the palace.
Latest fashions and cosmetics became the most wanted thing in her life. She never realized whether the salary of her husband had been enough or not and was always asking for luxury items. Whenever her neighbor bought new fashion items, she pinched her husband and polished him. If her husband totally disagreed, she would remain enemy for a week or a month.
But at last she died of lung cancer due to heavy smoking. Her husband alone had to look after unhealthy children. But we are not sure what went wrong with her! Is it that because of lack of guidance from her parents and relatives? Or does it mean that teachers were not supportive to her?  I don’t know why? Who was responsible for this?

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Painful Departure

When Wangmo came to spend her winter vacation with her parents from school, she met an awaited boy from the same village. They studied together for three years in same rural school in their Gewog, but in different classes before. After successful completion of Class-V, she was taken by her brother to study in one of the schools in advanced district.
Forget about having inner feelings towards each other when studying together, the boy hated her and even did not feel like uttering a word to her.  But Wangmo having studied for two years in the urban school has now changed and grown beautiful. The poor boy was attracted by her natural beauty. He proposed her and ultimately, she accepted his proposal with great excitement and immense joy. They spent their days and nights together for whole winter. Their love increased day by day and the bond of their love and friendship became tighter like the silken notes. The time has come for them where one couldn’t spend even a single second without each other's presence. Wangmo’s parents were aware of their relationship. There wasn’t any interference from her parents, rather they seemed to be happy and acceptance. Actually, the parents should have guided them as it was not a right time for them to have affair.
Shortly, it was time for them to return to their own school and had to depart from each other. They promised to wait for each other after their studies. Ideally matched, nobody could imagine them being separated. But a twist of fate was to shatter their dreams and happiness. They spent sleepless night together before their departure. They were both inexpressibly sad and couldn’t speak more. The little they spoke was with choked voices and shed tears. They held each other tight. The next morning, Dorji went to fetch horse from paddy field. Since there was no road connectivity the things had to be reached by the horses. He walked as if in dreams with his heavy heart.
At that very odd hour Wangmo and Dorji couldn’t take their breakfast. The thought of their departure itself was really hurting their feelings. For Wangmo, it was really a heart paining fate to go away from her only beloved, who had always occupied a place in her heart. Her neighbours and villagers came to see her off with their limited things like Yu-chum, Datshe, etc.
The journey started at around 9 AM. She was accompanied by her father and other villagers. Dorji actually went to see her off for a short distance, but their love and faith took him up to a day walk distance. They spent the last night together in a small cave, in the forest, on the way.  At least they got another chance to share their feelings. Wangmo’s elder sister and brother in-law, who actually was Dorji's own brother, were also there to see her off. They all spent the night together. The night seemed like a fraction of second for the newly met lovers.
The next morning, Dorji handed her this note:
My dearest Darling,
It’s very hard for me to say good bye at this juncture. As you leave, please take a part of me along. My life without you will be hollow. Do not forget our future together. Please trust me and be true to me. I always pray for your well being and success. Let’s pray for the God that we will meet soon. My love for you will never die. Save journey to you!

Yours forever,

Wangmo’s eyes filled with tears and drop fell on the note. Dorji was unbearably sad, thinking that he won’t feel the warmth of her love and moreover may they meet again or not was a hundred dollars questions in their lives. Her last words to him were;

“My dear, please be happy. I am your only and my love for you is really true. Believe me, I really love you and you will always be part of my life. May no other better soul snatch my love! Please keep my words, I will love you forever."

With this she started heading towards her destination, shedding bitterly and finding herself very difficult to hide her tears from others. As he saw her very uneasy to adjust herself, his tears flowed liberally. Dorji couldn’t do anything. He waved his hands which made her shed more tears. Her lovely cheeks grew wet as she shed more tears and wept for her beloved who was waving hands for her.
Dorji was helpless and with a glance he lost her sight…

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My first day in school

It was back in 1992 when I was taken to admit in Shingkhar Primary School by my brother, the Head Master nearly rejected my admission.  By then I was about to be 13 years old, who was supposed to plough the field at home. 
Actually my parents could have sent me to school when I was quite young and eager but they simply allowed me to remain at home idly. Of course! My father took every pain to teach me religious practices which he acquired from his root lama. I could still feel the moment where I always encouraged my parents to allow me to study in school. Finally, due to too much pressure from me, they agreed to my proposal. It was my brother who took me to school. There were two of us going to school at the same time (my younger sister). We directly approached the Head Master of the school. He was in his quarter that time. He appropriately rejected my admission because I was too old to be in class PP. Some of my friends who were at my age were already studying in class-II, Class-III and even some in class-VI. No doubt, I had little knowledge about English alphabets and numerical up to hundred besides having the Dzongkha knowledge.
The fat and short man took every advantage to interview me on the spot. Somehow I was able to satisfy him with my broken English and dzongkha as well. Luckily! I was admitted in class-I directly. It was only the school in Shingkhar Gewog that time. My formal education started in March 1992. The moment I entered the classroom I experienced a great sense of joy and happiness. I joined my friends in assembly and sang the National Anthem. But the command given by my school captain was not understandable to me. However, I was able to manage myself to look at my senior friends and did partially correct.
While in the class room, I was quite new to my class mates. I didn’t understand what my teachers were talking about. Their language seemed quite strange to me. I became a center of attraction to my friends as I was dull for some weeks. It was really an embarrassing situation for me to be in class-I at that age with small children, whom I called them Nu-Chu. I was appointed class captain by my class teacher. I started learning with keen interest and put extra effort in my studies. I thought, we were all born equal in the eyes of Nature and I could do what others can! All we need is a bit of extra will power. My hard works were recognized by all the teachers in the school. Despite being a new student in the class, I begged the first position from my class. From then…