Friday, February 27th, 2015 - 6:27 AM
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WHAT WE DO WHY WE DO: Marchang is type of serkem or alcohol offering in tantric Buddhism, which we have already discussed. Literally marchang refers to chang or alcohol with mar or butter. In the Bhutanese culture, the marchang offering is made to launch an auspicious event, mark an important occasion or receive an honoured guest. Alcohol is put with fermented grains in a container, often a decorated traditional vessel called trho, with [... Read More]

Celebrating the New Year

10858005_423911304432336_6879047334024491392_nCrystal Ballroom at Namseling Boutique Hotel

CELEBRATION: It is time to say goodbye to 2014. We look forward to the coming of 2015.

If you want to welcome the New Year by partying hard, Viva City is one of the clubs to party in Thimphu. The club is preparing for a grand celebration. There will be local bands playing around a campfire.

Rinchen, the owner of Viva City, said the main purpose of setting up a party place outside is to [... Read More]

Perseverance is the key

YOUTH IN FOCUS: I work in an office. Everyone says that I am lucky to get this job, but I feel really bored. Is there anything I can do to feel better or should I just quit?

Tashi, Thimphu

I know that doing the same job everyday can feel boring, especially if it is not challenging. However, any kind of work can be satisfying when done with perseverance and a good intention. If [... Read More]

Farewell K2

LAST PAGE: Once every Saturday, I would reach a particular shop that deals with newspapers before Kuensel would reach the place. Summer or winter, I would never mind Phuentsholing weather.

I would hurriedly flip through the newspaper for any stories that I would have missed. Normally, they would not interest me much. What kept my heart beating faster would be what K2 – the weekend magazine that accompanies Kuensel – had in store for [... Read More]

The Gelephu hot spring

IMG_1495Where getting into hot water has the exact the opposite meaning to its usual one

COVER PAGE: The southern spa

It is noon here in Gelephu tshachu (spa).  The sun is intense.  It’s a busy time.  There is a long queue.  Kuenzang Tshering is in shorts, ready to jump into a hot spring pool.

The hot spring pond at the right-hand corner is crammed with children and grey-haired people.  There is no space but Kuenzang Tshering wants to get in.

Kuenzang Tshering, 55, is from Mongar and he has been visiting [... Read More]

Koma tshachu The less frequented hot spring


SPA: Despite having to walk for more than two hours into the deep forest far from villages, for Chotso, 66 of Chumey, Bumthang, her decision to come to Koma tshachu (hot spring) wasn’t wrong.

Chotso came with her 75-year old husband, following severe joint pain and backache.  They were 15 people in two groups from Bumthang, mostly elderlies, carrying cooking stuffs, tent to make temporary tents and clothing.

Flashing a big smile, Chotso said, “I [... Read More]

Thugdam after death

WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO: Thugdam, literally integrity of the mind/heart, refers to meditation practice. A person who is in meditation is described as being in thugdam. In the specific context of thugdam after death, the Himalayan Buddhist tradition believes in the ability of some persons to remain in meditation even after death and thereby also slow down the process of physical disintegration due to transformation of the mind. Thus, when we hear [... Read More]

Tshachus – Popular but polluted


HYGIENE: Bhutanese believe that soaking in a tshachu (hot spring) cures all ailments, physical and mental.  Many consider hot springs holy even.  So thousands go to tshachu every year.

And because many people visit the few tshachus in the country, sanitation around the hot spring is a problem.

Surroundings near the tshachu ponds stink of urine.  Of course, there are three properly built toilets.  But there are just too many people visiting the tshachu.

Phuntsho Wangdi, [... Read More]

How to get back into shape

HEALTH & FITNESS: I’m 29. Although I love to play basketball regularly, I’m not able to play much. So I got into volleyball. I drink beer frequently and mostly right after game. Now I realised that my weight has increased to 85kg and I have developed a potbelly. I hate that. This is also because of the nature of busy and late night work schedule. I’m very keen to work out but don’t [... Read More]

Duenmang tshachu – Where the monkey is king

LAST PAGE: Praling is the gateway to Duenmang tshachu (hot spring) in Zhemgang.  The road ends at Praling and winds downhill to the bank of furious Mangduechu. At the bank of the river is the tshachu. This tshachu is known to heal joint pain, ulcer, gastritis, piles and UTI, among others.

Praling in local language means “kingdom of monkeys”.  And there are so many monkeys there indeed. Forest here is mixed conifer. Terrain is [... Read More]

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