I am back. I mean back to Thimphu and back to my blog. I have been away on a long walking tour to Lhuentse that took us to all the eight gewogs (sub-districts) and to almost every village and households. Well, to describe everything in one sentence – the trip was just enlightening! In every sense I must say.
Let me share some of my experiences.
First of all, we live in a beautiful country. I may sound obvious but at times between all our mundane problems and challenges posed by our sophisticated modern life in Thimphu, we forget the obvious. And a trip like this is a pleasant reminder that we are blessed to be born, and to be living, in such a beautiful place. I have travelled to many countries around the world. So you can trust me when I say this. I place a picture of a hamlet in Kurtoe to further support my statement.
So, if an opportunity comes to you to get out of Thimphu and go to these places, just do it!
Second, the true spirit, or the character, of Bhutan is out there – in the villages, among those farmers and in the eyes and faces of thousands of people we met along the trail. But these places are getting empty as more and more people are attracted by the urban limelight and modern paraphernalia. So it makes me wonder what would become of our villages (and our country) when this group, living there now, leaves this world.
So, if there is anything you could do to retain our villages, just do it!
And lastly, this fall I plan to take my children to see what I have seen so that they grow up appreciating what is truly Bhutanese. Raising them in Thimphu, I am afraid, is no different from raising them anywhere else. We have TV, we have iPods, we have cars, we have everything that are quite un-Bhutanese. A journey to discover our own country is perhaps what my daughters need – especially the elder one who is moving to her teens few years from now.
Well here, I must say, create an opportunity to travel back to your roots. Forget Bangkok or Hong Kong for once. You will not only re-discover your own country but you will also find 'yourself'. Your essence of being a Bhutanese, and may be, a better human being. I am sure it would be something you and your children would cherish forever. Just do it, man!
(Here is a haiku (a form of Japanese poetry) sent by She Yo En inspired by the above photograph. Thanks She Yo En!)
Behind the distant mountains
The white fluffy clouds appearing hopeful
While the hamlet at rest