National language and dress remains a priority

Assembly: To promote the national language, Dzongkha and the national dress, South Thimphu member of parliament (MP), Yeshi Zimba, yesterday asked the National Assembly to create job opportunities for people with Dzongkha-based qualifications.   

MP Yeshi Zimba said that, while considering the national language important and introducing it in all schools and institutions, people with Dzongkha qualification have a hard time finding employment. “Except for teachers and clerks, most people with Dzongkha background don’t get appropriate jobs, as per their qualification,” he said.

He said such people, who were highly learned and not able to find a good job could be the reason why the national language was not developing at the pace it was expected to.

However, the MP also acknowledged that the identity in general was not fading but improving compared to previous years.  He said most people, while visiting government and private offices, made sure to wear gho and kira but, at the same time, because of the ever-growing western influence in the country, and especially with the youth, the risks of losing this identity were formidable.

Labour minister, Ngeema Sangay Tshempo, said that people with Dzongkha background not getting employed was not true.  He said there were plenty of opportunities for them.  Emphasising on self-employment, the minister said, since there were no Dzongkha novels in the country, people could make a living writing novels. “People have made lots of money around the world writing novels,” he said.

The home minister, Damcho Dorji, said that the promotion of the national language and dress remained a top priority for the government with constant emphasis put on its promotion.  He said, with the command from His Majesty The King, the ministry had initiated a division that would look into promoting driglam namzha (traditional code of etiquette) in the country.

He said the division researched the feasibility of driglam namzha and was also in the process of publishing a booklet with all the know-how on it.  He said the division also provided trainings to institutions where it was required.

Lyonpo Damcho Dorji said that the Dzongkha Development Commission was one of the foremost organisations that looked into the promotion of the national language in the country.

He said, while the government must play the lead role in promoting the national language and dress, it was equally important for the people to render their support. “To maintain and strengthen the identity, people needed to understand its value and work towards its promotion,” he said.

The house acknowledged the importance of promoting the national language and dress, as per the provisions of the Constitution, and urged all Bhutanese to understand the importance of this unique identity of the country and work towards its promotion.

The house resolved that there was no need for a separate law to regulate this promotion.

By Younten Tshedup

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