13th Tarayana fair begins

The three-day fair is being held at the Tarayana Park at Chubachu

Festival: The 13th Tarayana fair, with a promise of nothing but fun-filled activities and philanthropy kicked off in the capital yesterday.

Her Majesty the Queen Mother Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck inaugurated the fair at the new Tarayana Park in Chubachu. The annual Tarayana fair will be held at the park from now on.

The Founder and President of Tarayana Foundation, Her Majesty the Queen Mother Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck during the opening of the fair, said Tarayana Foundation turns 13 this year and continues to touch and positively transform the lives of people in the country, particularly those living in the rural villages.

“As of last year, Tarayana worked in partnership with both the Gross National Happiness Commission and the National Environment Commission as local implementers of projects on the ground,” Her Majesty the Queen Mother said. “I believe that this method of service delivery is bringing about quicker results, whereby, local communities are empowered to take the lead roles in bringing socio-economic development at the grassroots.”

The Tarayana fair is dedicated to His Royal Highness The Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck.

“We are most grateful to Their Majesties for this wonderful gift of peace, stability and hope of continued progress and prosperity for the people of Bhutan. The Royal Birth is our collective good fortune. It is my prayer that Bhutan will grow from strength to strength and the future is brighter and better,” Her Majesty the Queen Mother said.

“In celebrating the future, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce Tarayana’s meritorious award for outstanding service in the field of community development that is being instituted to honour the birth of our precious Gyalsey. This year, we pause to reflect on the contributions made by Tarayana to the lives of many communities who we serve,” Her Majesty the Queen Mother said.

Her Majesty the Queen Mother awarded three for their service in the field of community development

Her Majesty the Queen Mother awarded three for their service in the field of community development

I’m both happy and proud of the achievements made in improving lives, living conditions and livelihood in the under-served villages thus contributing to the National Developmental Goals, Her Majesty the Queen Mother said. “It is my greatest wish that through our collective efforts, Tarayana’s service, as we know it today, will soon not be needed. Of course, Tarayana will evolve and stand ready to serve in other capacities where our service is relevant.”

Tarayana’s meritorious award was given to Passang Tobgay, Namgay and Sonam Jamtsho for their service in the field of community development. They have worked for more than a decade in remote rural communities living and working with the people, effecting change from within through local empowerment. They are employees of Tarayana Foundation.

About 50 community members across the country are displaying their crafts, cultures, histories and traditions at the fair.

The fair also displays improved stoves and handicraft products such as textiles, pottery, traditional paper products, wooden, cane and bamboo products. Cultural performances and a wide range of delicacies and traditional cuisines including locally brewed alcohol are also being offered at the fair.

A Tarayana community member from Kengkhar in Mongar, Sangay Tshering, 45, has been participating for the past three years.

Kengkhar is widely known for their bamboo products mainly the wine containers usually made from bamboo (palang).

Sangay Tshering is selling a wide range of palangs, which ranges from Nu 1,500 to Nu 4,000.

“If organisations like Tarayana don’t help our community, the art of making bamboo products are dying with the older generations,” he said. “The fair provides an excellent platform to not only sell but promote our indigenous products.”

Today, there are 15 instructors and 10 students who are learning the art of making palangs at Kengkhar.

While Gacho Lham, 29, from Dorokha in Samtse is selling locally brewed alcohol – tongba and bangchang – at the stall. This is her fifth time participating at the annual fair. She said that the sales are much better at the fair.

Today, Tarayana serves about 305 villages in the country.

Thinley Zangmo

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