The family was taken to court for refusing to participate in the community festival

The 30-year-old woman, who allegedly refused to participate in the community’s dancing festival at Kamdar chiwog last month, submitted before Lhuentse dzongkhag court that the community is bullying her and her family.

Eight residents of Kamdar chiwog sued the members of a household last month after they allegedly refused to participate in the community’s dancing festival.

The festival, locally known as drochhung (dance), used to be held annually by the three villages of Kamdar, Tangmachu and Phagedung. It was however not observed for the last four years.

Villagers revived the tradition this year but one household in Kamdar that traditionally contributed dropoen (lead dancers) refused to participate this year. The case was first reported to Maenbi gewog administration and although the gewog officials intervened by requesting the residents to participate, they refused, stating that they do not know how to dance and sing. The villagers then took the household members to court.

In her rebuttal to the community’s charges on September 18, she said that her father had participated in the local festival throughout his life as a dropoen. “It is not fair for the community to drag our family to court when my father is old and physically challenged.”

She also questioned the process that instated her family as the dropoen.

The woman also submitted that there are no male members in the family except for her father and everyone knows that he is too old to dance. The community members explained that the woman’s family has to be the dropoen because it was a form of tax they had to pay for owning land. Members of the eight households alleged that the woman’s family was now evading the tax system, as they got the land in their name.

The woman, however, refuted the claim and said that her grandparents and father became dropoen because no one in the community knew how to dance well and the members requested them. “We were never the main taxpayers and I find this totally unacceptable.”

The members of eight households will submit their rebuttal on September 28.

Tashi Phuntsho | Lhuentse