Sunday, May 24th, 2015 - 7:10 PM
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Carrying a weapon is a sign of weakness

Whenever I meet lama in town at night, lama always told me not to carry a knife and to take it home. But I feel safer with a weapon. It gives me a feeling of strength. Please advise me more.

Rigzin, Thimphu      

YOUTH IN FOCUS: Well, Rigzin, when you carry a weapon you raise the level of aggression. You may not plan to use your knife but only want to carry it [... Read More]

Choe lhag ni: Why do we recite scriptures

WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO: The recitation of Buddhist sutras is a very ancient tradition. After the Buddha passed away, his teachings were passed down orally for about three centuries. The master would recite and transmit the teachings to the disciple who will memorise, recite and pass it down again. Such line of oral transmission from mouth to ear is called nyengyud and people who are very learned were also called mangduthoepa [... Read More]

The winter descent

IMG_4913A highlander prepares for the winter

Zam is from Lungu in Laya.  She is 28.  She has been in Punakha for more than a month.  Today, Zam and family are preparing to go back.

Zam, a mother of two school-going children, comes down to Gasa and Punakha every year with her husband and children.  While in Punakha, they pitch tents in Zomlingthang.  By March, they return to Laya.  On their way back, they stop near Gasa Dzong to spend the night.  By [... Read More]

Punakha Dromchhoe, a moment of pride for the people of Wang-Tshochengay


Local leaders of the eight gewogs are busy preparing for the Dromchhoe that begins next week

COVER STORY: Every year at this time, men of Wang-Tshochengay (eight great clans of western Bhutan) transform themselves into pazaps (warriors) and reenact the war scenes from the times of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel.

Monks are busy. The 15-day Goempai-Wangchen is underway, at the conclusion of which, the three-day Punakha Dromchhoe will begin from February 23. The gups of eight [... Read More]

Building muscles the right way

HEALTH AND FITNESS: I have recently joined a gym. It has just been over a week. What are the biggest mistakes that people make at the gym? What should I eat before going to the gym? And how should I prepare physically before going to the gym? 

Tashi, Thimphu

Dear Tashi,

Depending on how you approach this journey, you alone will be able to dictate the results. Find an experienced, educated and passionate individual to guide [... Read More]


WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO: Tendrel literally means ‘dependent and connected’. It refers to Buddha’s theory of interdependence or dependent origination or law of causation. The Buddha explained that our life and existence are results of causes and conditions.

There are three features to this natural law: 1. Things do not come out of nothing. Otherwise, everything will occur everywhere or not occur at all. 2. Things do not come out of [... Read More]

Dago, the proud and fearless warrior

side2Blessing: Dago wants to be a pazap as long as he can

It was 1999 when Dago first took part as a pazap or warriors at Punakha Dromchhoe. He was 19, shy and hesitant. But he was determined to wear the red pazap gho, the khamar kabney (scarf) and iron helmet of the traditional warriors. In tshoglham (traditional boots) and with a patang (sword), he really looked and felt like a warrior.

He was also one of the pazaps selected to perform the Bay (ceremonial dance) at the [... Read More]

The Changzamtog that once was


In the space of fifty years, a bucolic village has changed utterly into a bustling urban neighbourhood

COVER STORY: The fields were vast and fertile, land was plenty, so was water, and farmers cultivated both paddy and winter crops.  They owned much of what today is Changzamtog.

Cultivated fields started from the flyover near the truck parking to Lungtenzama bridge.  The Druk School area was a tsamdro (grazing land), and above that not many would [... Read More]

Go with your interest

YOUTH IN FOCUS: I graduated college last year, and I am wondering whether to keep looking for work in Bhutan or to go overseas. What is your advice?

Zangpo, Thimphu

Well, it really depends on your personality. If you enjoy exploring new things and are outgoing then working in a foreign country is probably for you.

However, if you prefer stability and don’t enjoy the challenge of new experiences, then perhaps you should stay at home and [... Read More]


WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO: Phowa literally means transference. In phowa practice, the consciousness of a person is transferred to enlightenment or a higher state of being. It is often practiced or applied by spiritual people at the time of death. Phowa is generally associated with the transfer of consciousness to Sukhavati or Dewachen, the happy and peaceful realm of Buddha Amitabha or Yoepame, where it is believed to be easy to reach [... Read More]

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