The Perils of Dha – Bhutan’s National Game

Dha (Archery), the national sport of Bhutan is a double edged sword – while it is entertaining, it can also be dangerous.

 

Dha (Archery), the national sport of Bhutan is a double edged sword – while it is entertaining, it can also be dangerous.

Every now and then, one hears of injuries that the sport causes. It could be a hit on the leg or a strike on the skull.

We, the Bhutanese, do not count them as trophies but as threats.

On September 23, Kuenzang Dorji from Merak was hit with an arrow on his forehead. He has since been taken to Guwahati, India and is still under medical observation.

In another case, an MP had to be airlifted as a result of getting hit by an arrow in the head while he was deeply immersed in the game. Even from remote places as far as Lunana in Gasa, people hit with arrows had to be airlifted.

Safety is of prime concern. We can still recall the time when an arrow flew from an archery ground at the police camp in Thimphu which unfortunately hit a woman doing a sincere round at the National Memorial Choeten.

The organisers of the games should seriously consider safety first. The arrows that come flying into windows are no blessed shafts of Drukpa Kuenley from Tibet.

However, injuries are inevitable because this national game involves playing with weapons. Even if the sport is played far away from communities, accidents can happen due to various factors such as alcoholism, inconsiderate actions and ego.

No doubt, archery is a dangerous game but injuries can still be averted. Games should be played far away from residential areas. A small initiative like this can go a long way in preventing injuries and even deaths.

This article has been edited for the Bhutan Times.

Photo by Kencho Wangdi for Druk Asia.

This article first appeared on Kuensel.


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