Thromde: Gasa dzongkhag thromde’s Drey Chamsa constituency has no registered voters. This is not because the name of the constituency means “a place where ghost loiters.”

But the people didn’t want to change the name even if it sounded odd. Nobody knows why it was called by the name.

But in the east, in Trashiyangtse, locals grasped the opportunity when the election commission officials came to consult on the dzongkhag municipalities draft delimitation plan. They wanted to change the name of the Tongchen constituency.

Tongchen meant a vast field of emptiness not something the residents wanted their community to be known for. Residents of the new municipality said that even lams had cautioned them to change it.

They submitted to election officials that they wished to abandon the widespread name they had been associated with all their life. Several consultations were made with lams in the country and abroad. One asked them to wait for three days which meant missing the Election Commission of Bhutan’s deadline. Another had left for Tibet.

“We were overjoyed when Rabjam Rinpoche gave the name,” 75-year-old resident, Tshering Dendup, said. “Lhendrup Gatshel is a beautiful name.”

In some dzongkhags, people wanted to revert to original names, no matter how bad it sounded.

Residents of Bagochen constituency in Trongsa proposed that name of their constituency be Bagochen (settlement of huts) and not Poengar (residence of ruler) as reflected in the draft delimitation plan.

“It was a name those who migrated from another place suggested,” Nubi gup Tashi Peldhen said.

Chief Election Commissioner, Dasho Kunzang Wangdi, issuing the final delimitation order on July 15 said that the names have been finalised in consultation with the communities and the names were decided considering that they are historically, logically, and culturally correct.

However, some are not happy with names of their constituencies. Some lost the meaning in translation.

The draft plan during the public consultation mentioned the present Samtse town as Tshongdusa. The gewog proposed Penpai throm, the original name of the place.

“There used to be a market every Friday so it was called Penpai throm,” a gewog official said.

The gewog accepted Gangtokha for Daragaon, but proposed lower and upper Gairigaon be named as Masathang and Poktothang respectively, and Soeltapsa as Gurung yul.

Except for Gangtokha and Lhamoiney, the final delimitation order does not show those proposed names. Upper and lower Gairigaon are mentioned as Norjangsa toed and Norjangsa Maed. A gewog official said there never was a cattle shed in the area to call it by those names. He said translators must have thought ‘gai’ as cattle.

Local leaders said that residents appreciated the consultation, and keeping the historical names of their places.

“Legpagang is a beautiful place and there was a tree in the place and there is a song about the place too. So keeping that name meant we’d remember it for a long time,” Gangzur gup Karma said.

Tshering Palden