… for the three-day Wangdue tshechu

Business: Around a hundred business people have set up stalls at the Tencholing military ground for the upcoming three-day Wangdue Tshechu.

The ground has been used to display the Tshechu since 2012 when the Wangdue Dzong was razed by a fire.

With no sign of rainfall in coming days, business people are hopeful that their hard work and investment will not go to vain like last year when it rained continuously during the entire three-day tshechu. Not only did the weather disrupt the tshechu, businesses suffered huge losses.

Spaces were awarded based on lucky dip. Businesses have to pay between Nu 5,000 to Nu 15,000 as rent. But they have to set up their own stalls. They are allowed to run restaurants, bars, and games and lucky-draw competitions, among others.

Dema, 50, and her husband have set up a small stall for games. This is the couple’s chance to recover their losses from the last tshechu. “We invested around Nu 20,000 excluding the ground fee of Nu 5,000, but due to continuous rainfall we couldn’t attract many customers,” said Dema. The couple could not even recover their  expenses.

However the weather seems likely to remain clear this time as it is already October. Last year’s tshechu was in September. The couple is hopeful to attract more customers.

Karma Thinley, another businessman is setting up a small restaurant alongside Dema’s stall. He also suffered a loss last year because of the continuous rainfall.  “I spent Nu 150,000 and this includes the labour charge, ground fee of Nu 10,000 and expenses to purchase goods and food items,” said Karma. “We are praying for better weather this time.”

If the weather remains clear, there is no shortage of customers, said another businessperson who is setting up a restaurant at the ground. He pointed out that when it rains the entire ground becomes muddy and slippery.

Dawa Gyelmo | Wangdue