Revival of Traditional Bhutanese Dining

The Trashiyangtse dzongrab, Lam Dorji, said that since the handicrafts were locally produced, it was found to be relevant for the dzongkhag to use it, especially during official meetings and functions.

Traditional Bhutanese dishes cooked in earthenware. (Source: http://www.tourism.gov.bt/about-bhutan/eating-habits)

 

To promote and preserve the age-old culture and tradition of Bhutan, Trashiyangtse dzongkhag tshogdu (DT) members have introduced a system of serving meals in the wooden bowl (dapa) and phob.

The DT members were each provided with a dapa and phob procured with the support of the finance ministry.

Finance minister Namgay Dorji, during his recent visit to the dzongkhag, encouraged officials to use locally produced handicrafts like dapa to serve food during official functions.

Following the visit, the finance ministry released Nu 300,000 for the procurement of dapa and phob.

The Trashiyangtse dzongrab, Lam Dorji, said that since the handicrafts were locally produced, it was found to be relevant for the dzongkhag to use it, especially during official meetings and functions.

“It would also encourage local producers and at the same time promote our culture and tradition.”

The dzongkhag procured 60 dapa, 80 phob and six pa-dapa (large wooden serving bowl) and distributed them on March 5.

Promoting Trashiyangtse as a cultural hotspot in Eastern Bhutan

The initiative is one of the several measures in the pipeline to promote Trashiyangtse as a cultural hotspot in the east.

The dzongkhag education sector introduced the use of toray (a white cloth piece used to serve rice) and phob in a few schools last year.

Although the practice was not implemented regularly, Lam Dorji said that during school activities such as sports meet, students are required to come with the toray and phob.

Jamkhar gup, Karma Tshewang, said that as a model town, the dzongkhag strive to develop without undermining its cultural and traditional practices.

“The initiative comes to us as an opportunity to further promote Yangtse as a cultural hub,” he said. “As the representative of the people, it is upon us to show them the way forward in the quest to promote our rich tradition.”

Trashiyangtse is referred as a model town for its architecture of two-storey buildings constructed with local materials.

The action area plan (AAP) for the Trashiyangtse thromde allows the construction of only two storeys, technically known as G+1 buildings, in town.

Curbing the import of plastic plates and utensils

Toedtsho gup, Dechen Wangdi, said the initiative would help curb the import of plastic plates and utensils and also promote local products and encourage entrepreneurship. “This would also set an example to the rest of the dzongkhags on culture promotion.”

Meanwhile, the dzongkhag in the 12th Plan has planned a series of activities that are focused on promoting and preserving tradition.

One of the activities, according to the dzongkhag-planning officer, Sonam Thinley, is to organise indigenous games and sports such as dego, khuru and archery.

He said that until now, the games were organised privately and were played individually on different occasions.

Sonam Thinley said that in the 12th Plan, the dzongkhag has allocated a budget of Nu 100,000 for the promotion of indigenous games and sports.

 

By Younten Tshedup in Trashiyangtse (This article has been edited for the New Bhutan Times)

This article first appeared in Kuensel.

 

 


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