Sunday, June 22, 2014

Gungtong the empty households - From a positive lens

I visited most of the remote villages in the country in the past five years as a radio/TV reporter. I also read articles and stories about the Gungtong (empty households) and Rural Urban Migration. However the issues are slightly different from the way I see. I may be wrong, but I have different opinions. I discovered that many who left villages were mostly parents who are living with their children or with some close relatives. Now, let us consciously realize the expectations of our parents. Our parents sent children to school despite facing lot of hardships in remote villages. They do this with a hope for a better life style in future with their children when they grow old. This encourages them to commit their children to education. Parents  prefer or say that they will stay with one of their children in future. Therefore many of us prefer our parents to stay with us once we get a decent job. I think we all at least prefer our parents to stay nearby especially when they grow older rather than keeping them far away in remote villages. I am sure many of us feel sorry for such parents when we come across them, living in remote villages and their children living in towns. I was very emotional when some elderly people shared their admiration for those who stay with their children, far away.
But I also know that there are some parents who prefer to stay in village, in their own house but they are mostly the wealthy ones. But I am talking about the ones who own their children as their only property. So, I think we cannot abandon our poor parents in the old poor villages for the sake of this simple issue. By doing this we are not only taking up great responsibility of taking care of our parents but also preserving very rich social values by having them around to share their wisdom and experiences with today’s diverse challenges.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ritual of Twelve World Religions in the Netherlands- Europe

13th April, 2014

My Short Speech at Ritual of Twelve World Religions in the Netherlands

Om Ah Hung Benza (vajra) Guru Padma siddhi hum- I am neither a religious personnel nor a religious person. So, I am bit hesitant to speak on this very very huge complicated subject. Please forgive me, if my speech doesn't make any sense.

Ladies and Gentlemen good afternoon!. To introduce myself, my name is Kuenga Tashi and I work as a Camera Journalists in Bhutan Broadcasting Service. I am here at Radio Netherlands Training Institute for 3 months pursuing a Broadcast Journalism Course, which ends this months.

To begin with- Om Ah hung Benza (vajra) Guru Padma siddhi hum literally means-May I accomplish the state of Guru Padma Sambhava. And this is Guru Padma Sambhava’s mantra, and he is a precious buddhist master also known as Second Buddha. Om Ah Hung are general prefixes symbolizing the enlightened body, speech and mind of the buddha respectively. I am sure a lot can be said about these syllables but in brief they represent enlightenment through the physical form, verbal speech and enlightened spirit of the buddha. They are attached to many mantras.

Hung at the end is also a common suffix for the mantras. The middle part Benza(vajra) guru padma siddhi hung indicated the unique reference to Padmasambhava. Siddhi is accomplishment and guru padma refers to Padmasambhava in this case.
The mantra is thus a short prayer wishing to actualize the state of Padmasambhava for oneself and all sentient beings.

I am sure the mantra can also be explained in greater details by explaining its outer, inner and secret meaning but perhaps I am not the right excuse for not knowing much..ha..ha.

Generally mantras, in brief, are powerful spell to help the practitioner on the path of enlightenment. They come with a lot of power invested in them by the enlightened beings such as Padmasambhava. A mantra also represents the Buddha in a word form just as the enlightened person is a Buddha in an individualised form.
It is believe that all sentient beings who see, hear, or remember this mantra will gain limitless amount of merit for now and future.

All, what I say is not my own, I am just trying to interpret in the similar way of our buddhist lamas and scholars. Therefore, it may not be as good as lamas/Rinpoches though.    

To be honest, I recite this mantra more seriously and continuously especially when i am boarding the flight, and this is truth.  

Om ah Hung Benza (vajra) Guru Padma siddhi Hum-Thank you to the organizer for this wonderful opportunity.

Thank you.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

“Thukpa”- A Stigmatized food

Home Made Thukpa

“I will not eat Thukpa any more, I had enough when I was young” says one of my cousins. listening to his story of having Thukpa three times a day made me realize how pathetic they were in their times. However on the positive note, we must also thank someone for this wonderful recipe for making thousands survive.  

I also have few interesting story of Thukpa to be shared. For me Thukpa was always been a choice since as a kid. Being eldest in the family, I also knew some of the difficulties of my parents. Therefore I sometime used to insist Thukpa as our formal meal to cut down the cost. When Thukpa was ready, I used to call my brothers\sisters saying “Wai…Thukpa Zalay odo” in the top of my voice, meaning come for a Thukpa.  My parents use to scold me, not to shout fearing our neighbors would hear, and I don’t repeat from next time.What I am trying to say from the above two stories is, what’s wrong  in eating Thukpa sometimes. Why people think its worst than drugs and alcohol?, Why is it being stigmatize?. How many us really think in the same way?.

Now, who all really take Thukpa? Its everyone, of course in an important occasions. Thukpa is the first food being served in every household in most important occasions such as, Blessed rainy Day, Meeting of Nine Evils, Chueni pa Losar and Daw Dangpi Losar. So the question is why this simple food plays a big role in our society. A food that is being down looked are sometimes considered as most important..Why? Why and Why? 

Now what I think is our own attitude towards this simple food. It’s not the food that is changing with time but it’s we the people who are viewing it from the different attitude with times as if we are watching whether is it by or for choice. Rather Thukpa is also recommended by diet specialist most of the time for balanced diet. Such food will burn your complex carbohydrates slowly and will make you full for long time. 
Some may wonder why I am writing on such an immature subjects, but it’s just because such stigma still prevails in this 21st century even among the educated lots.

Thank you for reading, even its boring. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Tshechu, Business and Gambling –A New Cultural Evolution

Lingmithang Tshechu, Mongar
Tshechu is a grant religious event performed in many different parts of the country in different times. During the Tshechus, various mask dances are performed by the monks, Gomchens and locals with the purpose to receive blessings, gain merit and washed away sins. According to some history, Tshechus were existed since 7th century during the time of Ugyen Guru Rinpoche to mainly teach Mahayana Buddhism in a form of demonstration. in such occasions, it also gives opportunity for Bhutanese to showcase some of the most beautiful Bhutanese arts and paintings during Tshechus.  
Business at L\thang Tshechu, Mongar
Well, Tshechu doesn't end with one sole purpose, there are some other events being organized along with Tshechus. Especially in the east, since there are lots of Gomdeys, Tshechus are common in every village.Simple small businesses are being set up in every Tshechus to get advantage of huge gathering. In some occasion, there are hundreds of business stalls being set up and captured the crowed more than the Tshechu. I have also seen, some Tshechu Grounds are left almost empty because people are more interested in other entertainment like games and fun events.  

At Mongar Tshechu, 2012
Now, the serious one seems to be the gambling. Though it is not considered as gambling legally, I came across lot of people during Tshechu who lost lot of money in playing. Some even lost over hundred thousand.  During Mongar Tshechu Last year, I came across group of tourists who asked me about banned of Gambling in Bhutan. One of the tourists told me, how can they do open gambling when it is banned legally. I didn’t have words to say anything at instant, but later just said that we have our own definition of gambling.

My concern is neither to promote nor to restrict any of the events, but about the very principle of such events. Now the question is, is it concerning that we need to do something or we all can accept as one of the acceptable Cultural Evolution  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Election and its side affects

Election Campaign at Tsakaling
Election:I wanted to write this article long ago, but I was just waiting for the right time. Now, everything seems cool and I assume that it might not hurt anyone. While the nation was heading towards the 2nd Parliamentary Election (2013 Parliamentary Election), I was taking part in it for the first time. Until then, the rumors and stories of the past election was just a natural gossip and two own brothers became enemy after the 1st Parliamentary Election was like a fairy tale for me. However this election dragged me and I could not avoid from taking part in it.
When internationally, it is believed that Democracy is the best form of Government, I feet that it is also contradicting severely with some of our values of social relationships.  Easier said than done, everyone says, vote is a secret one and one should not have any hard feelings for liking one party or the other. But the fact is how many of us can resists someone saying bad to the one you like? Everyone knows each other to whom they will vote for.  Election Campaign became as if it is to defame one party rather than focusing their own plans and policies/pledges. 
Thanks to God, for those family, close relatives and friends who were supporting the same party but it was a disaster for those groups who were supporting different party among them. some superior among the families, relatives and friends were trying to influence them toward the party they prefer. But this wasn't tolerable to many and thus occurred misunderstands among the closed once. Some were also even warned by family and close relatives from not cooperating with them saying that they will not render any support in time of emergencies. But some of them did not listen while some were reluctantly had to vote or filled the ballot.
Poll Day, Primary Round
The story doesn't end even after the vote. The cold war is still going on especially in the villages. They are divided and trying to pull down each other. Recently I came across two small cases in some of the villages, accusing one another. They just want that simple issues to magnify, and I as far as I know it can easily be avoided. While talking to them, it appeared to me that they are divided themselves into two political parties, I found it very dangerous, because this small issues was likely face heavy penalty among them and none of them are going to benefit anything from it. 

I also have similar story, even I was dragged in and I couldn't avoid either but had to play politics in my own little way. I received various warning from my close once and not so close in the form of advice and some in the form of request. Some even tried to emotionally blackmail me while some with the threatening words. The best way was to act innocent and ignorant. But being ignorant was more difficult being a journalist. It was indeed a most difficult challenges i ever faced.
But the question is, after having all such troubles, who is going to win? I can’t see win- win case here in anyways.

realize that the job of a Journalists is something that you really need to be someone like a Buddha. Yes, I voted for one, but I have never compromised my journalistic ethics at work at all times.I am just wondering what would be the situation like in 2018???