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Young writer embraces ancient festival with ‘Lomba’

Book review: If you are looking for something adventurous and exciting to read this summer break, Pema Euden’s new novel ‘Lomba’ will be available on the shelves of bookstores in Thimphu.

The youngest writer in the country has managed to bring out a novel, which is satisfying to read and filled with mythical creatures and adventures.

Spun around one of the popular festivals, lomba, which celebrates the beginning of a new year in the western parts of the country, the novel takes the readers into an unknown world beyond the festival.

You are immersed in a tale of great friendships and bravery as you immerse yourself within the pages of Lomba.

The story starts with Seday, the protagonist of the novel, moving to Haa from Thimphu after her father gets a new job. Dreading her new life in a new place, Seday is sad to leave her old life and her best friends in Thimphu.

Her life takes an unexpected turn after she joins a new school and forms new friendships with people who are funny and genuine.

Seday starts liking her new life in Haa. She is happy and her life is back to normal until the night of lomba. Her belief or more of her non-existence belief in the age-old tradition of lomba is challenged that night.

Pema Euden revives this beautiful festival of lomba in her book. She manages to descriptively capture the ancient tradition of celebrating it with hoentay – a dumpling made out of buckwheat flour with stuffing such as dried turnip leaves, cheese, chilli powder, salt and pepper among others, a delicacy relished during the festival.

Through this book, Pema Euden manages to bring out important lessons to be remembered in life such as not taking things for granted but valuing them instead, good will always prevail over the evil and that there are certain things in life that are best left unexplained.

Pema Euden was born in 1996. Her first book, Coming Home, was released in 2008. She is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in Mathematics at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Thinley Zangmo

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