Sunday, July 5th, 2015 - 8:41 AM
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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]

Adapting to change

IMG_5972Makeover: The ancient will soon become a cafe to cater to curious tourists

Four traditional houses above the expressway in Babesa are bestowed with heritage status. One owner had better idea.

At a time when the Thimphu valley is witnessing rapid urbanisation, with huge concrete buildings coming up everywhere, four traditional houses just above the expressway in Babesa stand as heritage sites.

The houses, with typical northern Bhutanese architecture, were left untouched and declared heritage sites in the early 2000s, when Babesa came under the Thimphu City municipal boundary.  Land [... Read More]

The boob tube in Bhutan has corrupted our kids


Contemporary TV programmes have a pernicious effect on our children, lament parents and teachers

COVER STORY: Since the day television came to the country in 1999, parents and teachers have voiced their concerns over its impact on viewers, especially young people.  Since then, the media landscape in the country has widened by much with the coming of smart phones and the Internet, among others.  But television, by far, has been found to have strong [... Read More]


WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO: Cham is a type of sacred dance unique to the Indo-Himalayan Buddhist culture. It is an extension of the Buddhist practice of visual offering of aesthetic movement, the mudra expression of enlightened spirit and of the artistic and entertaining expedience of passing a spiritual message.

Thus, cham comes in many varieties with different purposes. Some cham dances, such as the Rigma Chudrug cham dance representing the sixteen offering [... Read More]

Squats – A super workout routine


I’ve recently joined a gym in Thimphu. I figured out that I loved doing squats. I would be grateful if you can tell me what are the benefits and drawbacks of doing squats. How can one do it safely without hurting one’s back? 


Deadlift, bench press and squats are among the oldest, most popular and most productive exercises ever.  They are cure-alls for health and athletic enhancement.

Squat is the [... Read More]

The first, only and ill-fated ascent of Mount Jomolhari


The Bhutan-India military expedition team’s conquest of the peak was a pyrrhic victory

COVER STORY: On April 21, 1970, as the first spring sun touched Bhutan’s second highest peak, Mount Jomolhari (24,035ft), Chhimi Dorji and seven men set off to summit the peak from the southeast spur of the mountain.

The night before the Bhutan-India military expedition team made the climb up the razor sharp edges of the mountain, they made a halt at Jomolhari [... Read More]

Start with acceptance

YOUTH IN FOCUS: I am in jail and feel very depressed and sad. What can I do to make my life better?  

Inmate, Thimphu 

Well, the first step is to fully accept that you are in jail. At the moment you might be mentally struggling against being locked up. This is natural. But to overcome frustration and depression, it is important to admit mistakes and to accept that there will be consequences.  This is [... Read More]

Lo choe

WHY WE DO WHAR WE DO: Lo choe literally means annual religious practice. It is a seasonal celebration when a family gets together to make offerings to its protecting deities and have a festive gathering with its neighbours and community. Thus, it combines both a religious and social event for celebration.

As a religious ritual, lo choe is mainly an occasion to make offerings and amends for failures to the family’s tutelary deities. A [... Read More]

The pinnacle of pizza

IMG_5176Aum Zam prepares a pizza

Nomads serve up the fast food favourite for tourists at the Jomolhari base camp

Just as the temperature is hovering below zero, Aum Zam, 65, moulds the flour with her stiff fingers.

Zam and many yak herders from Jangothang in Soe are speeding up to bake as many pizzas as possible to sell it to tourists during the annual Jomolhari festival of the village.

Zam and her friends from the monadic community got a chance to learn how [... Read More]

From soiled and mutilated notes to digital banking


COVER STORY: Tshewang Dorji, 38, is a serious collector of old Ngultrum notes and coins. Banknotes and coins are safely stored in a red box with old stamps and cards.

Given him by his grandparents, old silver and copper coins were his prized possession. Then he began to collect more old notes and coins.

Six years ago, Tshewang heard that banks were buying old banknotes. He decided to sell some of his collections but banks [... Read More]

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