Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Paro Tsechu

Paro Tsechu (Religious Festival), a grand social time and parade of finery as well as spiritual significance. Our Bhutanese hosts/family rose early and dressed us all in traditional handwoven silk kiras, bejewelled with antique red coral and turquoise necklaces, and attended the festivities in the very early morning at the five story high dzong. (built in the 16th C and houses the courts, government and monastic offices for the area). Before the sun moved around through the morning hours onto the giant tapestry, we had an opportunity to kiss the painting of Guru Rinpoche, in hopes of tashi delek (good luck, as spoken in the national Dzongka language).

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Puja, a time for family prayers, appeasing the deities and feasting for hours. Puja has some elements of our North American Thanksgiving, but the chanting, drones of the horns and drum playing by the monks in the alter room definitely reminds me that we are in Thimphu, not home enjoying our typical roast turkey feast.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bhutan/Canada: country of large open spaces and few people

It seems to me, that there are courtyards at the heart of the local hotels, beautiful grounds at the private and public schools and many open spaces housing rice terraces and apple orchards in this scenic Paro valley. It reminds me of the wide open spaces that I hail from in northwest, British Columbia. Perhaps there are larger crowds in the capital city, Thimphu, just an hour's drive away, but I am very comfortable with the rush minute traffic and friendly people that I meet on my daily walks. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Picnic beside the Paro River

Yesterday, on the extended King's birthday holiday, six of us 4 x 4 drove to a secluded river bank to feast on ema datse (green chillies cooked with cottage cheese), a rice cooker pot of red rice and dried beef fried up with green string beans, DELICIOUS! Jigme (6yrs) and Dechen (8yrs) played in the water catching and releasing rainbow trout minnows and insect larvae. A very sunny 17 C day. Archers came as we were leaving the site to target practice. WOW! Can those guys shoot accurately from a long distance. I was happy to depart asap. BTW: The King turned 31 and is a well loved, respected, compassionate and handsome one.

Friday, February 18, 2011

King's Birthday

Next Monday is the King's birthday and declared a national holiday, so everyone is heading up to his grandmother's palace here in Paro, for the festivities. Private and public school children will be performing traditional dances and songs. Bhutan is such a photogenic country.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Exciting weather!

Three months too early for the monsoons, yet it has poured rain for the past six hours. Now the downpour is punctuated by thunder with wet snow. This really is wild Himalayan mountain weather!