An expensive gala

Tshechu: It is 6am. Deki Yangzom, 16, of Yangchenphug Higher Secondary School is getting ready for the second day of Thimphu Tshechu.

It’s her first day at the Thimphu Tshechu this year and she tries to look her best. Her grooming session starts with a light make up using some of her regular face creams and eyeliners.

It’s not often that Deki gets to pamper herself with all the fancy jewellery and makeup. “It’s a special occasion today and I have to not only look good but also feel great because everyone else will be at their best at the gathering,” says the tenth grader.

Deki goes for a new look. So she decides to curl her hair with some help from her mother. This way Deki saves around Nu 2,000. “Usually I don’t get to experiment with such stuff but today I get the freedom,” says Deki with a mischievous smile.

Going to the tshechu is an expensive affair. Some borrow clothes from friends while others make do with those of their parents.

Deki is donning an orange lungsem (silk) kira that perfectly blends in with her golden brocade tego along with a white pearl necklace. The kira, she says was woven by one of her aunts and costs about Nu 80,000. The brocade tego is Nu 4,000. Her pearls and the gold-plated brooch come at the price of Nu 1,000 and 2,000 respectively.

A woman wears jewellery worth more than  Nu 800,000

A woman wears jewellery worth more than Nu 800,000

For the special occasion, Deki has also bought a new white wedge shoe at Nu 2,500. On her left shoulder is a silk rachu worth Nu 2,000 while on the other, a brown branded handbag hangs.

Deki is adorned with more than Nu 0.1M worth of accessories for the tshechu celebrations.

“It’s difficult to dress up with all these heavy ornaments but it’s fun at the same time,” said Deki. The 16-year-old light-heartedly added that although she doesn’t really know the reason for dressing up so heavily during tshechus she said maybe it’s to stand out in the crowd of thousands and get noticed for a while.

But the crowd at the tshechu comprise of all people in their best attire in silk, brocade and decked in gold and precious gems.

A Thimphu woman was wearing a full silk kira worth Nu 80,000 and a sky blue tego worth Nu 5,000. The woman, who wished not to be identified, was also wearing a necklace made up of gold and original pearls worth Nu 800,000 excluding her three-eyed dzee.

She was also wearing a pair of gold earrings and a bangle worth Nu 40,000 and 200,000 respectively.

In total, the lady was wearing dresses and accessories worth more than Nu 1.2M.

Tauchu, one of the spectators at the tshechu, said she doesn’t know the main reason for dressing up with all the decorative attires and expensive jewellery during such occasions. She said such has been the tradition for ages. “We’re keeping the age old tradition alive and at the same time it’s a pleasure for our eyes to see several beautiful colours once in a year,” said Tauchu.

Younten Tshedup

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