Bringing highland communities together
T he third Royal Highland Festival ended just a few days back in Laya. It brought together all highland communities of Bhutan in Laya. The festival was a unique opportunity for visitor to Bhutan, as well as to the Bhutanese, to experience the highland way of life.
The main objective of the festival is to highlight the importance of the highlanders and their lifestyle for the social, political, economic well being and security of the nation. The festival also helps to preserve and promote unique culture, arts and crafts of the highlanders.
The festival is designed to promote and attract tour operators in developing our highland as hot tourist destination.
The festival enables the highland communities to socialize and exchange their culture heritages. And for the outsiders, it was perhaps the best way to experience the amazing culture of highland communities.
This year's strong women competition and wrestling amongst participating highlanders Dzongkhag was the highlight of the festival. The participants in the festival were also provided an opportunity to take part in the open five km cross country race in and around the festival ground.
The two days festival gave opportunities to earn from home stays owned by the Layaps. All visitors, including chief guest lodged in home stays except for some officials and tourists.
While making money from home stays would bring a new life to the villagers. The gentle hills above the Laya village, the festival venue lies at an altitude of 4,100m above sea level where the stalls were housed in traditional woolen tents.
The festival is organized by Gasa Dzongkhag to promote the sustainable livelihood of highland communities and to support in promoting and conserving our age old traditions.
The Royal Highland Festival started in 2016 and His Majesty The King has personally graced the first and second edition of the festival. The festival aims at promoting a vibrant Bhutanese highland which is well conversed in culture, tradition and values with a developed socio- economic condition.
The main aim of the festival was to bring the highlanders together and know them well. It is just the beginning and with the organization of more of such events, we will know each other well and will help in fostering peace and harmony in the society. Not only that the highlanders felt the importance given to them but also will renew their efforts in carrying out the development activities in their area and in safe guarding our northern borders.
With such an imitative for the improvement in the life style of our highlanders we foresee an overall development of our country. We must move together in our national goals and fulfill the aspirations of our people.