My Village

Some people, who give more importance to their health, consider my village as one of the best places to settle in. It’s because Paro Hospital, one of the biggest hospital in the western part of Bhutan, is located near my village. Others say that since it is located near Paro International Airport, the only airport in the landlocked country, and Paro Dzong, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, it’s best site for constructing hotels and shopping malls. Old people say that no matter whether your village is under a bridge or not, it will be the best place for you to live in. My village is famously known as geptay, land of happiness. It is located in the western part of Bhutan, and it falls under Paro district. It covers a hundred acres of land, and approximately 2,000 people live and work in it.

The houses are not crowded; instead, they are built away from each other. If a person walks on foot from his or her own house, he or she will take minimum three minutes to reach his or her nearest neighbor.  In the past, when I was a kid, I used to hear one neighbor calling another neighbor from their windows. I used to hear a community messenger shouting and conveying the message, sent by community heads, from door to door. However, nowadays, due to an increase in the number of people using cell phones and telephones, I don’t see or hear anyone shouting from outside.

Most of the houses are two- storied Bhutanese style houses. They are mostly constructed by local carpenters. The upper story is used for people and the lower story is mostly used for storing grains and crops. Most of the house owners own their own play ground in front of their houses.  They use it for different purposes such as to let their children play, to take rest, to dry their crops, and to park their cars.

Most of the people living in Geptay are farmers, and they mainly depend on their farmlands for their income. Their farmlands are located half miles away from their houses. Since the village is located in quite a hilly area, the houses are located on hills, and the farmlands are located on the lower planes. Although they used domestic animals such as oxen to plough their land, and horses to carry their goods, today, they use tractors and new advanced farm machines to do farm work, and vehicles to carry their goods.

In the middle of the village, there is a big oak tree, where all the children gather together to play games and sports. Children from rich families come with their expensive toys and bicycles. They bully the poor small kids while playing games such as hide and seek or touch and run. They always coerce the poor kids from poor backgrounds to either chase them or search them. Although, parents are not near to their children, they can easily keep eyes on their children when their children are playing under the oak tree. Since the oak tree is in the middle of the village, they can easily see their children from all the directions. Therefore, the parents dispatch their children to play under the oak tree.

Since the village is located near Paro Hospital, it has many shops and hotels. There are two main roads, a road that leads to the hospital and another one to Olathang Hotel, one of the oldest hotels in Paro. The roads are always busy with different types of vehicles passing by.  Besides the roads, early in the morning and in the evening, farmers come to sell their fresh vegetables and homemade products. Government servants and tourist usually buy their goods there. Young beautiful village girls also come to sell their dairy products, and hot tasty boiled corns. Students are their daily customers.

Just one kilometer away, above the village in the hilly area, a small temple was constructed in 1940s by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, Tibetan monk, in order to protect the villagers from harmful devils and demons. Women from each household always go once a week to the temple to pay respect and worship our local deities. They offer a bottle of fresh milk, a bowl of red rice, and a hand of banana or other fruits. Nearby the temple, there is a stupa constructed by the affluent people to help all the living beings to purify their mind, and to terminate their sins. It’s a place where we can see a larger number of old people chanting prayers, and narrating their past stories to each other.

Almost all the people living in my village are Buddhist; therefore, early in the morning, when the village seems as fresh as cucumber, we can smell the smell of butter lamp and hear people reciting Buddha’s doctrine from almost every household. Then, until the night falls, we can see the villagers busily working as bees. When night falls, at around 6:00pm, the caretaker of the temple blows a shell trumpet which stops the people in the village from continuing their work. They, then, call it a day and go back to their respective houses. The next day, the same routine begins again, and it remains the same except during special occasions.

Red rice, hot dry red chillis, green vegetables, potatoes, pork, beef, and dry yak meat are the daily diets eaten by the people in my village, and it is considered tastier when it’s cooked by the mothers. Most of the children and adults love to have red rice, hot chillis mixed with cheese, dry yak meat, and suja, butter tea, as their lunch. It’s mandatory for all the family members to be on time for breakfast and dinner. Family members make a big circle with father, head of the family, sitting near the windows.

Although the village seems small, people inside the village are living comfortable lives. There is no severe gender or racial discrimination. Every individual is given their rights to express their thought and ideas. The unity among the villagers, grassy hills in and around the village, colorful prayer flags flattering on the top of the hills, green farmlands on the lower planes, and uniformly constructed traditional Bhutanese houses on hills always make the village more attractive and beautiful place to live in.








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