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An age-old culture in the face of modernity

Review: Kesang P Jigmee’s new release Serga Mathang can resonate with people that are aware of this concept, which literally means ‘golden cousin’ a marriage between cross cousins. In some parts of the country, this age-old tradition is still widely practised.

What’s interesting in this movie is that Dechen Wangmo and Tshering Phuntsho, the protagonists, are also chungngen, which means they are married from a young age consented by both the parents.

Not aware of the repercussions it might have when they grow up, Dechen Wangmo and Tshering Phuntsho are close-knit like siblings and don’t live a single day apart.

Serga Mathang is perfect for those also wishing to watch a movie about the joy of living in a village.

Surrounded by lush green forest, Ugyen Dorji lives with his daughter Dechen Wangmo in a remote village. He is a farmer and his priority is for his daughter to get a good education. The family is close with Ugyen Dorji’s cousin Aum Zam and her son Tshering Phuntsho.

As fate might have it, Dechen Wangmo and Tshering Phuntsho’s bond and affection for each other is put to test when Tshering Phuntsho moves from a village to a city for his higher studies. Not only is his perception of this age-old tradition tested but also his loyalty to his roots and his love for Dechen Wangmo.

The movie starts with the actors speaking Tshangla but they later speak in Dzongkha. Although the acting from the overall cast is commendable, there are a few inconsistent scenes that are not edited well, which takes the audience by surprise. Despite that, there are plenty of melodious songs that can accompany one to the end of the movie.

Serga Mathang is being screened at the Lugar Theatre in Thimphu. The movie is two hours and 30 minutes long.

Thinley Zangmo

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