“I work in the fields, cultivating wheat and buckwheat. I am 65 now, and I am from Ura. After the passing of my mother, I was brought up by my grandmother who put me in a school in Ura.

The school started as a small hut, and eventually a small structure was built around it. We learned English, Dzongkha, Hindi, and mathematics. Simtokha lopens would also come to teach us Dzongkha grammar. I went to school until class 6. There were no other girls in the class. Some of my classmates left for Paro, to study with His Majesty the Fourth King. There was a school in Jakar that my teachers told me to attend, but the angays at the time believed a girl shouldn’t be studying. They made us work at the local hospital, cleaning up after strangers. When I was around 15, I took my chhangje (gift) and went to the Dzongda at Jakar for work. I didn’t feel like I had to keep studying. The English teachers discouraged us from learning Dzongkha, and the Dzongkha teachers said we didn’t need to learn English or Hindi. We would end up just trying to pass our classes.

I got married at 25. In the 10 years between school and marriage, I spent time with my family, doing what I was told and helping my angay. I have 2 sons and 2 daughters now. My daughter and her five children live with me in Ura. The others are married and have their own children too.

Sometimes I do regret not doing certain things, but I realise that it is a result of my karma from my previous life. However, I wish I’d become a nun and practiced dharma instead of leading an idle life. As the monks say, pray for others to be reborn as enlightened bodhisattvas, and wish them well while being content with what you have. That feels like something youth are losing now.

My hope is to live in a nunnery, but my kids want me to stay back home right now so for the moment I’ll take care of my grandchildren.”

#HumansofThimphu #HumanStories #Bumtang


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