Royal high­land fes­ti­val to ex­hibit its cul­ture

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing

The third Royal high­land fes­ti­val will be or­ga­nized on 23 and 24 Oc­to­ber on the gen­tle hills above the Laya vil­lage in Gasa, Lan­gothang which lies at an al­ti­tude of 4,000m above sea level.

While we live in mul­ti­cul­tural so­ci­eties, there must be a need to learn about other cul­tures and re­li­gions. This fes­ti­val is an ab­so­lutely un­for­get­table cel­e­bra­tion of the cul­ture and reli­gion of high­land.

To un­der­stand some of the tra­di­tions, the fes­ti­val is a unique op­por­tu­nity for vis­i­tors to Bhutan, as well as the Bhutanese, to ex­pe­ri­ence the high­land way of life.

The two day fes­ti­val will show­case the high­land com­mu­nity’s in­no­va­tion and ex­hibit the high­lands as a pride of Bhutan. It will dis­play of tra­di­tion and cul­ture of high­land com­mu­ni­ties in­clud­ing tra­di­tional songs and dance com­pe­ti­tion, games and sport, dress, arts and crafts, and bja ( yak fur tents).

The fes­ti­val en­ables the high­land com­mu­ni­ties to so­cial­ize and ex­change their cul­ture her­itages. And for the out­siders, it is per­haps the best way to ex­pe­ri­ence the amaz­ing cul­ture of high­land com­mu­ni­ties.

The fes­ti­val will bring to­gether high­land com­mu­ni­ties from other parts of the coun­tries to ex­change val­ues, knowl­edge, skills and best prac­tices re­lated to high­lands and yak farm­ing. Yak herders from Haa, Paro, Thim­phu, Gasa, Wang­duepho­drang, Trongsa, Bumthang, Lhuntse, Tashigang, and Tashi Yangtse dis­played their an­i­mal prod­ucts dur­ing the fes­ti­val.

The fes­ti­val is be­ing or­ga­nized to sen­si­tize the high­landers on the de­cline of yak farm­ing with in­creased vul­ner­a­bly from in­stantly shorter in­come gen­er­a­tion ac­tiv­i­ties that seem to be chal­leng­ing the sus­tain­abil­ity of liveli­hoods in fu­ture in the high­lands.

Dif­fer­ent high­land re­lated tech­nolo­gies will be show­cased in ex­hi­bi­tion stalls con­sist­ing of yak prod­ucts. Be­sides con­test and judg­ing of high­land an­i­mals like yaks, house and dog shows will be a spe­cial fea­ture of the fes­ti­val.

The fes­ti­val is also aimed at cre­ate aware- ness among stake­hold­ers on the im­por­tance of their spir­i­tual par­tic­i­pa­tion in en­hanc­ing their eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity and pro­mote the sus­tain­able liveli­hood of high­land com­mu­nity.

The live­stock fes­ti­vals will cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties to earn from home stays owned by the Laya vil­lagers where vis­i­tors, in­clud­ing min­is­ters, will be lodged in home stays.

As part of the fes­ti­val, the Laya Run span­ning 25- kms, open cross- coun­try will be flag off from Pon­jothang ( mo­tor road end) to Laya. In its first se­ries of run in 2016, the two- day race started from Gasa Tsachu and ended at the fes­ti­val venue span­ning 53- kms.

Run­ners have to hike along the banks of Mochhu River un­til the up­hill point at Takt- se­makha army camp. Ac­cord­ing to the an­nounce­ment, the route is tougher and the fin­ish­ing point id at Lan­gothang, Laya.

The fes­ti­val is also a land­mark ac­tiv­ity of Gasa Dzongkhag’s vi­sion of Good to Great Gasa. The Good to Great Gasa is a vi­sion in­spired by His Majesty’s pas­sion to make the coun­try great.

The first Royal High­land Fes­ti­val was held from 16 to 18 Oc­to­ber 2016. It brought to­gether all high­land com­mu­ni­ties of Bhutan in Laya vil­lage.

His Majesty The King graced the in­au­gu­ral edi­tion of the fes­ti­val on 17 Oc­to­ber 2016 and also vis­ited the homes to meet the peo­ple liv­ing in scat­tered houses in the vil­lage.

The first Royal High­land Fes­ti­val was held from 16 to 18 Oc­to­ber 2016. It brought to­gether all high­land com­mu­ni­ties of Bhutan in Laya vil­lage.

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