Bhutan’s Thimphu Tshechu Festival!

One of the biggest annual festivals in Bhutan is the Thimphu Tshechu. Tshechu is a religious festival meaning “tenth day” held annually in various temples, monasteries and dzongs throughout the country. This year the festival will take place between October 3rd – 5th in the capital city of Thimphu! This festival is in honour of Guru Rimpoche who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in the 8th century. The Tshechu is also considered an occasion for praying and receiving blessings.

Photo Credit: Tourism Council of Bhutan
Photo Credit: Tourism Council of Bhutan

The highlight of Thimphu Tshechu is the showcase of ethnic folk dance in colourful costumes performed in the courtyard of the famous Tashichho Dzong. Many of the dances performed at the festival are designed to teach lessons about how one’s behaviour on earth affects the afterlife, while others are believed to influence the actions of the spirits or to purify sacred ground.

To learn more about the Thimphu Tshechu and to see a calender of events in Bhutan, visit the Tourism Council of Bhutan’s website!

Blessed Rainy Day

Happy Blessed Rainy Day! Marking the end of the monsoon season, Blessed Rainy Day in Bhutan is celebrated this year on September 23rd. According to old Bhutanese beliefs, all the waters in the country are considered holy on this day. Therefore, the citizens are encouraged to take an outdoor bath in order for the past misdeeds and bad karma to be cleansed. This holiday marks the end of the farming season and the start of the harvesting season as well. Government institutions, schools, and businesses are closed during this holiday.

Photo Credit: Andrea Chisholm - Blessed Rainy Day 2013
Photo Credit: Andrea Chisholm – Blessed Rainy Day 2013

See how Andrea Chisholm and her family celebrated this holiday in 2013 at A Blessed Long Weekend and Ann Bermans post from 2012 Blessed Rainy Day.

Blog of the Week – SEN Conference Thimphu

BCF teacher Angela Sutton, who is teaching Special Education at Khaling LSS in Trashigang, travelled to Thimphu in July for the national Special Educational Needs Conference organized by the Ministry of Education and the Bhutan Foundation.

Photo Credit: Angela Sutton - SEN Conference
Photo Credit: Angela Sutton – SEN Conference
Photo Credit: Angela Sutton - BCF teachers Vicky, Ian, Angela and Kezia
Photo Credit: Angela Sutton – BCF teachers Vicky, Ian, Angela and Kezia

“The SEN Conference gives the opportunity for the schools serving students with special needs to network, discuss, collaborate and learn. This was a great opportunity for me to connect with others around the country implementing a special education program and for me to observe the information presented in order to follow up with training at Khaling.” – Angela Sutton

View Angela’s blog post to learn more! – SEN Conference – Thimphu

Bhutan Scouts Association

Much like the scouting organization we have in Canada, the Bhutan Scouts Association is a youth organization providing value-based educational programs to youth in Bhutan. The BSA caters to the needs of young people through numerous activities that focus on helping them to develop personal values to pursue excellence and a positive attitude towards life!

BCF teacher Angela Sutton, who is teaching Special Education at Khaling LSS in Trashigang, was present for the initiation of the scouts this past Saturday!

Photo Credit: Angela Sutton
Photo Credit: Angela Sutton
Photo Credit: Angela Sutton - Scout Initiation
Photo Credit: Angela Sutton – Scout Initiation

Sections in Scouting:

  1. Contribute towards the development of young people to achieve their full potentials as responsible citizen.
  2. To inculcate team spirit and creative skills in relation to environment, social and civic responsibilities.
  3. To develop leadership capabilities in students through outdoor educational and experimental learning activities.
  4. To promote true understanding of nature and educate youth on social and cultural values.

International Literacy Day

Happy International Literacy Day! September 8 was proclaimed International Literacy Day by UNESCO. “Literacy is a basis for lifelong learning and plays a crucial foundational role in the creation of sustainable, prosperous and peaceful societies.” – www.unesco.org

Photo Credit: Unesco.org
Photo Credit: UNESCO – Poster 2014

READ Global shared this 3 minute short film with us about 10 year old Thinley from rural Bhutan, and how libraries are creating a culture of literacy in Bhutan.