Bhutanese New Year celebrated with picnic

In order to celebrate the auspicious Dawa Dangpai Losar, I and some of my visually impaired friends got together and went to Paro with our families for a dry picnic today. It was a great occasion for all of us to have quality time together because in the hassle and bustle of busy urban life, social gatherings are becoming rare nowadays. It was also a wonderful opportunity for our kids to have outdoor fun together despite enjoying delicious foods brought by different people. We had planned this event since a couple of months ago and we had been looking forward to this big day for months. But the bad weather over the past couple of days caused some worries in us that we may not be able to execute our plans. However when the sun came up this morning, I knew we were finally on our way to Paro. My children were equally excited about it.

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Me and my Bangchung: a painful episode of my life

I think it was 1998. The New Year’s Day had come and there was a lot of excitement in the air. As usual, my uncle and aunt had planned a family picnic to celebrate the occasion but that did not excite me and my late father because we had never got the opportunity to join them on any of such special events before. Every year, they either joined the community to go on a picnic or arranged the family picnic for themselves on such occasions but I and my late father knew pretty well in advance that we were not part of it. And as expected, we always remained at home taking care of goats, calves and doing routine household chores while they enjoyed and celebrated New Year with lots of good food and drinks elsewhere. At home, we would not have even enough food to eat because my aunt would leave only a calculated quantity of rice in a plate for us and she would lock the rice-container. So, although it was a festive day for others, it was nothing different for me and my late father. This time too, we had not expected to be part of the picnic they had planned. Everybody else in the family was busy preparing for the event while I and father remained aloof. But I don’t know what suddenly went through my uncle’s mind. Just as they were packing up things, he told me I could join them.
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