As the paddy field around the magnificent fortress of Tashichoedzong turns yellow and just before the farmers hassle to harvest the bounty rice from the golden field, the sound of trumpet and drums, royal dancers prepping for the cultural performance leaves peasant eagerly waiting for the grand event of the year – THE TSECHU and I want to marry after Thimphu Festival.
Early days of October is the loudest time of the year in the capital city of Bhutan, the most delightful and splendour month of the year in Thimphu. With the passage of time, local festivals are gaining momentum all over again. People from all walks of life and ages gear up to witness the biggest religious event in the courtyard of Tashichoedzong.
The presence of traffic police and the patrol team makes the bustling road even louder. The local vendors put up stalls to gain a bit of bunce from their products during the festive occasion and this year somewhere in the land of Singapore, a lover soon going to be someone’s fiancee heart was pounding… for he was travelling to Bhutan for culture and festival tour with the group and in the group was his girlfriend. Rest remains the history after attending the Tsechu…..
The Stylish Entrance
I have attended festivals in other parts of Bhutan but never in Thimphu, Tashi Choedzong. It was my first time witnessing festival for three consecutive days.
The experience, however, was not the usual Tsechu experience. My friends and I got late to the festival avenue and had to sneak in from the rare entrance of Tashi Choedzong. Dressed in the finest cloth and highest heels and have had to walk in mud and wet grass was not pleasant at all but it was quite a memorable experience.
Usually, Thimphu Dromchoe is performed inside the main fortress of Tashi Choedzong and the tsechu is performed in the courtyard outside. Many desuups and volunteers direct the people witnessing Tsechu inside the courtyard. During events like this one, volunteer groups simply come together to cater better service, clean vicinity and manage the crowd for the swift festive event.
For the first time I was shooting the video for my vlog on camera and to run around the courtyard was a hassle. Although I was having fun viewing the wide-angle from the lens the amount of energy that I had to invest to carry the tripod and the public staring me almost got me sweating. Just when I was taking a break from the shoot, there was a magical moment ….
In the midst of a crowd just near where we were resting, a man bends a knee to the ground and proposed his girlfriend for marriage. The engagement seems like a surprise planned by the man (obviously) because the lady weeps and in shock said YES to the ring. The crowd nearby gathered, cheered up the couple & congratulated for the new endeavour. I was silently crying a tear of happiness, deep down wishing someone propose like the man that went on the knee (wishes indeed).
I had my phone in hand so I instantly captured their candid moment. The serendipity moment was the HIGHLIGHT for me. I never realized events like Tsechu could serve the purpose for engagement in the midst of thousands of Bhutanese people in their finest costumes looking like one of the brides and grooms themselves.
I posted the video of the couple and went viral in the country later, the Singaporean bride to be found me on social media (Instagram) and we became social friends. If not for the proposal and Thimphu Tsechu we would have never connected. There is magic in social media and events like Tsechu, they bring in people and let the story unfold for the rest of their lives.
Bhutan could be listed as a hot wedding destination in the world. Who knows.. The next post will be on Bhutan- Dream Wedding Destination.
Highlights of Tsechu
Exhibition of Finest Bhutanese Textiles Wedding destination
Talk to tourists (Cultural exchange) Volunteerism
No Thongdrel during Thimphu Tsechu
This post is in collaboration with DrukAsia ( one of the biggest travel specialist in the kingdom). If you would like to travel to Bhutan, Contact Drukasia to plan your itinerary prior to 6 months.