Celebrating “Local Culture Day” at the Kagtong Community Primary School in Lower Kheng, 11. Nov. 2012 (4th King’s Birthday)
About 300 people from Kagtong and surrounding villages came to see and enjoy -together with all students and teachers- a day of celebration of THEIR local culture at the Kagtong Community Primary School in Lower Kheng, Zhemgang.
The event was organised and funded by the “Leveraging and Preserving Bhutan’s Cultural Diversity” (LCD) Project implemented by HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Bhutan with funding by the European Union. The LCD project has been active in Ngalatrong -as well as in three other regions and communities in the country- since 2010.
I conducted the Participatory Photo Documentation project at the school in 2011 and 2012, teaching the students about digital photography to explore and document the treasures of their local culture and traditional knowledge. A well received exhibition at the Tarayana Centre in May 2011 was showcasing “Life in Ngangla Through The Children’s Eyes” to an interested urban public.
Now it were the people of Ngala Gewog themselves who came together to showcase and celebrate their local culture.
The architecture of traditional houses, various usage of different plants, a variety of religious rituals and celebrations, many stories and legends from the area, local songs and dances, all kind of handcrafted items and many more fascinating aspects of traditional knowledge and local culture were the subject of this special event. The exhibition showed -beside many handmade objects- around 250 photos mainly taken by the students of class 5 and 6. The students and teachers have also collected rich information about traditional rural life within the community and among the experts of the village. This information was now displayed to the public on well designed posters with informative texts and pictures.
The exhibition was visitied by Dasho Dzongda, the community members, and all students and teachers. All visitors were very excited and happy to get such a vast overview and lively and detailed insight into their fascinating local culture and rich traditional knowledge.
An impressive number of different dances and songs performed by the students and the villagers and a good tasty meal for all visitors contributed to the success of the day.