1,229 choetens to be repaired by 2016 end

Culture: The government will support the department of culture to complete repair the remaining 1,229 vandalised choetens (stupas) across the country by the end of next year, 2016.

Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay committed “support in its (government’s) capacity” at the inaugural of the 6th national cultural conference in Thimphu yesterday. Lyonchoen said that since the department was able to repair 1,607 of the total 2,838 this year alone, repairing remaining should be made possible.

According to records with department of culture there are about 10,000 choetens and 2,000 lhakhangs and temples including dzongs in the country.

Records with police show that nearly 4,000 choetens and lhakhangs were vandalized in the last 27 years, which is about 148 a year. Last year police recorded a 12 percent increase in cases involving offence against the Ku-Sung-Thukten or statues, scriptures, and lhakhangs.

Meanwhile, the five days conference attended by cultural officers from the 20 dzongkhags will relook into the ‘misunderstood’ roles and responsibilities of dzongkhag cultural officers.

Officiating director of department of culture, Nagtsho Dorji said until today, cultural officers responsibilities were always misunderstood as just conducting chadis (preparation) when they are the key persons to preserve and promote culture in the society.

Cultural officer particularly were carrying out responsibilities such as handing and taking, and repairing of lhakhangs and giving etiquette trainings in the dzongkhag among others, she said.

“By the end of this conference, we will redefine the responsibilities of cultural officers, who are key person in promoting our culture,” she said adding that cultural officers moreover need to work together with Zhung Dratshang and Rabdey who currently own a lot of dzongs, lhakhangs and goendeys.

The conference will discuss ways to find better ways of preserving, conserving, promoting and protecting antiques, lhakhangs, dzongs, libraries, mask dances, other forms of traditional dances and national museums, which are key elements of Bhutanese culture.

Nirmala Pokhrel

2 replies
  1. logical
    logical says:

    Who benefits from the exercise and who loses in the process?
    Zhung Dratshang and Rabdey currently own 2000 dzongs, lhakhangs and goendeys. Who owns the 10000 choetens in the country to care and protect them? If it is called as everybody’s responsibility to care and protect what they do not own or know about, anybody could have done which nobody cared and protected. Yet nobody can blame anybody for not doing what the accuser would have done.
    Accusing anybody for being IRRESPONSIBLE is expression of IRRESPONSIBILITY that can convict the accuser for not doing what he knew to do.

    Bhutanese must realise and stop propagating the causes of the DEAD in the land of the living that creates more disturbances, simply occupying the time and services of police and courts!

    More choetens throughout the country proved as more traps luring many active souls through enticements of the cunning instructors that otherwise could remain useful and productive in the society. They suffer sentencing for exploring the valuables deserted at remote locations without owner. The Law is not at all considerate to favour innocence of the convicts involved in breaking the stacks of boulders. The EMPLOYER should be made fully responsible instead of the employees working with the view of earning some wages to improve life.

  2. sibidai
    sibidai says:

    I know This will sound odd for all those who are piously religious.
    But, when we know that these religious edifice are prone to vandalism why keep building them?
    Govt pays to repair them and with the figure of 1607 being repaired in one year, and taking a conservative figure of Nu 0.2 million per chorten the figure comes to Nu 32.14 million. These chorten are of pure religious satisfaction and not necessarily actual necessity that govt needs to burden with.
    So, would it not fare better to use that kind of money to reach electricity/ drinking water or communication connectivity? Chorten can be always built by people who want to do so for their personal satisfaction rather than government taking it up zealously and pouring money on building a edifice that gives no return except to the contractors ( and the vandals).

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