Tuesday, March 25, 2014

BHUTANESE RITUAL - TSHO-BHUM


Offerings
Hey guys! Sorry for not updating in such a long time, and I got no excuse…so I am hoping a sorry would suffice J. Anyways, today I want to do an article on “tsho-bhum”. It’s a Bhutanese ritual that’s of great deal. Tsho-Bhum basically means one lakh offering and prayers. It helps you gain luck in both this life and the next life. It takes place for days even weeks sometimes. But the one we had was for almost four days, one day for the preparations and next three days of reciting prayers in an attempt to recite it one lakh times.
A lot of goods like snacks, fruits, rice and so many items are offered in the alter and decorated since that is one of the most important offerings of this Tsho-Bhum.
We had around seven people reading the prayers...we usually get monks but this 
 but this time we had a monks and villagers who know how to read the prayers. The aim was to get those prayers read, so it was okie to have anyone who could read it. 
It almost looks like annual ritual that most Bhutanese have, because the Chhops (people reading the prayers) used dungchen, lingm, ngga and rim (you can call it religious instruments...lol) because honestly I dont think they have English translation. Anyways it’s loud and takes all your attention. 
My nephews and aunt chanting prayers


It’s a nice liberating feeling because for three days we chanted our prayers, did prostrates and made many offerings. Whenever I attend religious rituals, I feel like its cleansing me. I hope you get to feel what I felt through these images.

The following pictures are just an additional write up on the famous Bhutanese butter lamps; I helped preparing for it so I captured the process.

1. Wash the the containers and wipe them clean. 

2. Make small strands of thread using cotton. It needs to be clean since its an offering made to God (sorry I didn't show the picture of how that thread is made). Now we have to fit those strand of tread into each container (each container has a tiny hole to fit the thread in)

3. Arrange all the containers in a line and start filling them up melted butter. But to be honest butter lamps are offered on special occasions or rituals, usually hydrogenated vegetable oil is melted and used.

4. We light all the lamps during the ritual and it’s a pretty sight  J
Beautiful Butter Lamps offered 




10 comments:

  1. Great to know about the Tsho-bhum, thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very good post, keep blogging!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Replies
    1. Thank you and I ll definitely keep bringing more :)

      Delete
  4. Hi,

    I have just visited Bhutan last week and was googling for some recipes and came accross your blog. Please blog more about your life in Bhutan. Very little about Bhutan is documented. And after seeing that China has already taken over part of Bhutanese land in 2005-2006 and is attempting to take more, i wish every tiny bit of this Last Shangri - La should be documented. I am afraid that Bhutan may end up like Tibet.
    People should know what life could be like with proper governance and no greed. So bloggers like you have a important role too especially since there are not many bhutanese bloggers.
    You live in a beautiful country with amazing people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Anonymous, Thank you so much for your kind words and showing your concerns. You have definitely inspired to update my blog more often and I shall really try to do so. If you have any thing you want to know about Bhutan, leave a comment and I shall try to write an article on it. Thanks again :)

      Delete
  5. Lovely to know that i inspired you to blog more. =)
    I came across a group of youngsters dancing on a Saturday afternoon in front of the local cinema theater in Paro. There was one person playing a string instrument and the other boys and girls were singing and dancing to it. It was really gentle, melodious and fit the beautiful surroundings. Just vocals and one string instrument. I know it is a traditional dance form but i know very little else. It would be great if you could blog of traditional Bhutanese dance forms and music - even with some youtube videos if you are able to find.

    Also, I would love more recipes (like that of Suja and any dish using radish and chillies - i had several radish with chicken or beef dishes there and loved it all).

    It would be nice to read with photos about Gho and Kira. I never knew that men going to Dzong have to wear a shawl - and colour of the shawls denotes something - white for normal people, yellow for royals, others for government officials.

    There are several other things intrinsic to Bhutanese culture that i was mesmerized by which i would love to know more about but i think these are harder to blog about for a regular person (like devotion, monks, prayer wheels). But in general, I would love to read anything related to Bhutanese lifestyle in general. Added your blog to my list of favourites btw.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for all your suggestions and I shall try and write an articles on all of your queries and anything related to Bhutan. And I am so glad that my blog made to your favorites list :) I will write soon...one article at a time

      Delete