The Heartwarming Community of Harmony, Happiness, and Humility
‘I am a homemaker. I earn by working in the fields and selling maize and millet. With no schools nearby and my parents’ financial plight, I could not go to school. I am one of the youngest of eight siblings. Life at Wangchuck was different before, we did not practice agriculture, lived in small huts, and did not interact with one another. The community also had issues with the water supply and sanitation. A recurring event from my childhood that I can still remember would be the occasional day-long journey into the forest to collect wild food items. When we were running out of food at home, the entire family would go into the forest with sacks. We would worry about encountering bears and getting lost. Looking back, we did not have enough food at home as we had not included staple foods and grains such as rice in our diet.
My parents are the recipient of the Tarayana House Improvement aid. Now, we live in a bigger house that has a safe water supply and a properly built toilet. We also started working in our fields and have reduced our dependence on forest food products.
Our Lhop community has many unique customs and traditions such as the husband entering the wife’s house after marriage, the Lhop ritual of Chhinta, and monastic public Rimdro. We also perform Dow Lha a ritual for the rooster-headed god that is placed on the roof of our houses. The public monastic Rimdro, also known as Yomka Luen Kya Yan in our Lhop
language has been organized three times. This year it was organized in January after almost two years.
The village was prone to windstorms and thunderstorms, so the community came together to initiate the public Rimdro for the well-being and safety of the villagers as well as the domestic animals. While recalling the event of January, I feel great joy as it was the first gathering after the pandemic. I finally got to socialize and meet my friends. There were over 150 people from the villages of Jigme, Singye, and Wangchuck gathered at the Tarayana Desho paper factory. I went to the gathering with my family and took some offerings as well. I have been told the next public Rimdro will be for three days and I am very excited about it.
I also attend official local government meetings. With men working labor contracts outside the village, more women attend these meetings. These local government gatherings are important for the development of the community. In general, I feel the occasions and events where the community members gather are vital as we can properly communicate with various people as well as share insights.
These community events were successfully initiated because the Tarayana Foundation intervened to curb countless issues allowing us to live with peace of mind. With the basic needs met and secured, the village is filled with calmness, altruism, and unity. I live in a harmonious and peaceful community with no major issues between individuals.
There is a strong communal bond between the three villages with marriages between members. I feel community harmony and vitality can flourish if we constantly support and openly communicate with one another.’