Sunday, April 13

Paro Tshechu and my Angay's Makeup Set

Of the many occasion and memorable moments of her life,my late granny,Angay Bou,recalls Paro Tshechu like a Christmas evening party at space34.It is a moment not just of social call but of what best attire and ornament you want to wear on this most awaited event.

She was just 16 years old.Not far away from our home,there was a emerald tiny lake.Known by her beauty,she was chosen as beauty pageant by the community.The best thing she could do as an ambassador is to offer the mermaid of our locality, the precious gifts and best foods.This would in turn bless our village with abundant peace,prosperity and harvest.

Image source:Dasho Sonam Kinga,Madam Sonam Dechen,facesofasia,bbs,bhutanculturalatlas
There were other three girls who had body,personality,smile,energy and intelligence.The oracle of asha POW,(who performs the rituals) design an artistic tormas(ritual cakes) with beautiful color patterns to impress the mermaid.My granny would wear a willow crown,put on her best attire and they do the usual choir surrounding the tiny lake of our village.An incense offering and musical tune will make the lake dance to the rhythm.Many people would turn up to witness the rare event.Such was the harmony and co-existence of our people with the nature.

Three months prior to Paro Tshechu,many of the young pretty girls of my village would start preparing themselves for the occasion.Well my Angay said, people had the most valuable time of their life.By witnessing the Tshechu,not only blessings are invoked,but even the sins get wiped away.Besides, each mask dance has significant role for understanding and knowing the faces will help you conquer your fear after the life.

She climbs up to the highest hill to collect the best resin from the finest pine.While gathering firewood,Bou would also make sure to get some bean sticks as well.With all the cones,she happily turns home.The simple but comprehensive resin makeup would be on her face for next 3 months.Subsequently she applies the resin to her hands and feet.This process continues till she ensures everything is done.

Every girl from the household would look onto others as the trend for fashion draws more crowd. Angay would wear her favorite ornament.The reddish coral necklace sandwiches the cat's eye which would add extra luster to her glowing skin.She puts in her gold carved betelnut box as her Kushuthara kira gives her a butterfly look .Exactly after three months,on the full moon day the resin would automatically peel off from the face,as she finally pours the clear spring water on her cheeks.

Along with other family members and relatives,they pack the most delicious and yummy lunch.Local dried pork,seasoned red chillies,turnip leaves and several gashamos(laughing mushrooms) would make the best picnic of times.

Well there were lot many things she did share with me.As far as i could recall,these are her greatest moments in her teens.

Paro Tshechu for me had been the most special juncture.I remember childhood days like playing watergun,going out with friends for gambling(Tambola,zecko,parala,beer fishing,luck tip,car racing and many more).It is a special event for all the Parops and people across Bhutan who come to seek blessings especially on the Thongdrol day.

As we continue to receive all those grace of happiness,peace,prosperity,family union and social harmony,I pray that our younger generations  appreciate and take forward these wonderful heritage of our ancestors.Like other values,it will be the symbol of connectivity and immeasurable wealth of our country in times to come.

Happy Paro Tshechu to all..!!!
May you get the blessings of happiness and good health,
May you continue to be a good human being..!