Phub Dem  | Paro

The preparation for the Paro tshechu is in full swing despite COVID-19 scare.

However, the tussle between pragmatists and traditionalists is becoming louder by the day. There are those who feel the tshechu ought to take place whatever the case, COVID-19 or no COVID-19. Others are of the view that the tshechu could be postponed until such a time that it is safe for the people.

Bidha, 74, said there were instances of a flood when the tshechu was delayed by a day. There were mention of serious natural disruption because the people had not adhered to the true tshechu date, she said.

Others in the locality say that if the tshechu is not conducted on the same date the people of Paro will not have good harvest. Drought and storms will destroy everything. This is the traditional belief.

And there are those who say that offering soelkhato the local deities should take care of things.

Pem, who decided not to skip tshechu this time, said: “It is an individual decision. If there is Tshechu, we go. But care must be taken.”

Hungrel Gup Gyem Tshering said that Paro tshechu would be different this time. Homestays and handicraft shops would have no business.

Doteng Gup Lethro said that many people asked him about the tshechu. 

He said that  if there was no “emergency” Paro tshechu might happen as usual.

Paro Dzongdag Tenzin Thinley said that there was no specific directive from the government.