Music: To honour and recognise the country’s most distinguished performing artists, two veterans singers were awarded Bhutan’s Living Treasure for Culture Award in Thimphu yesterday.

Aum Tshomo, 88, from Trongsa and Aup Karma Rinchen, 76, from Zhemgang were presented medals, certificates and cash prizes by the home minister Dawa Gyaltshen.

They were recognised for their lifelong musical achievements and their outstanding dedication in imparting, developing and preserving the music of the country.


The annual event that was started since 2010 was organised by the Music of Bhutan Research Centre (MBRC).

MBRC’s Executive Director, Kheng Sonam Dorji, said the objective of the event is to bring increased and wider recognition to our greatest traditional artists. “The award is intended for elder artists who have demonstrated outstanding lifelong commitment, dedication, achievement and who have had a significant impact on the cultural life of the nation.”

The Bhutan’s Living Treasure for Culture Award provides recipients with tangible demonstration of appreciation for their many contributions to the country. The award provides an opportunity to bring positive attention to traditional music and dance and to heighten awareness among the young people who may not be aware of their cultural history and heritage, Kheng Sonam Dorji said.

“The traditional music and dance is a centuries-old beautiful and complex art form that carries themes, values and aesthetics sensibilities central to Bhutanese identity. It is critical in the face of changing society we foster respect for an interest in these vital forms,” Kheng Sonam Dorji said, adding that the award is to encourage, appreciate and recognise the traditional music and singers in the country.

Along with the veteran singers, contemporary musicians and singers were also present, bridging the gap between past and present.

Receiving the award on behalf of her mother, Aum Tshomo, was Sangay Yangzom, who was elated to receive the award. “My mother would be happy and grateful for this generous recognition. It is indeed an honour for her to be recognised for her works at this juncture of her life.”

Aup Karma Rinchen, with a smile on his face, said, he is thankful for the award. “I never expected I would be honoured with such a recognition”

Along with the award ceremony, performances by traditional singers and dancers from Trongsa and music videos were also presented to the audience.

Thinley Zangmo


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