The day was celebrated with the theme “Celebrating Life in Kengkhar- Local Culture and Traditional Knowledge in Kengkhar”.
The event was a part of the cultural exchange program under the three-year Preserving and Leveraging Bhutan’s Cultural Diversity (LCD) project funded by Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation and European Union.
The Lhops and Khengpas joined the celebration with their local dances and songs with the school children and the Kengkhar community.
The communities of Murung and Nanarik under Mongar dzongkhag showcased and demonstrated their skill of making jandop (alcohol cask) and wooden masks.
An official under the LCD project Kesang Choden said “The highlight of the celebration was an exhibition of the photographs of the way of life in Kengkhar and handicraft items put up by the students and teachers of Kengkhar Lower Secondary School.”
During the event students were taught digital photography. It was mainly intended to explore and document the way of life in their communities.
Through this event students could interact with their elders and strengthen their inter-generation dialogue and initiate discussions about the value of time-honored cultural heritage in the process of modernisation.
“It was a lifetime experience for the craftspersons of Kengkhar to exhibit and demonstrate their products to a large public and it’s a source of encouragement for us to preserve our age old tradition, knowledge and skills,” said Ugyen from Murung.
Pemo a participant from Kagtong, Ngangla said it was a good opportunity to interact with people in Kengkhar, Lumbey and Lotokuchu.
The Project Coordinator Kunzang Dorji said “for many Bhutanese the urban towns are frequent destinations, but general Bhutanese population have no reason to visit remote villages and such exchange program enabled them to walk into the villages to see and gain firsthand knowledge of how fellow Bhutanese lived in different areas with diverse culture and tradition”.
The overall objective of the LCD Project is to show that Bhutan’s Cultural Diversity contributes to poverty alleviation. Also it aims to improve the livelihood and enhanced local ownership through capacity building, intercultural dialogue and preservation measures.