Someone said life under Himalayan shadow depends on the uncertainty of the nature.
This thought became clear in my mind when I woke up in the morning of March and saw Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan turned from colorful city into monochrome with icy snow.
Bhutanese has been waiting for their first snow for so long. When the calendar turned to March, many people gave up their hope to see snow until this morning.
This might be the first snow of the year in Thimphu but for someone who came from tropical country like Thailand this was the first snow in their life.
Snow in the beginning of the spring, how lucky we are!
The exciting eyes and joyful smiles sprung on all Thai tourist’s faces. But for us, two documentarists who had a mission to do in this touring trip, lucky snow might be a big worry.
As expected, within a few hours Bhutan’s one and only main road was blocked with thick snow. The government traditionally announced an official holiday. That means our plan in Phunaka, the next city in the schedule, was officially canceled and we had to be frozen in Thimphu for 2 more days.
Before I went deeper in disappointment, there was someone trying to wake me up.
“Ouch!” Heavy snowball flew from Guide Sonam’s hand directly to my head. His annoying smile explained it all. The war had just begun!
If you accidentally wandered in the town on the first snow day, please be aware of not being in the middle of Bhutanese snow fight.
From elders to youngsters, students, policemen, or even Lama came together and turned the street into the battle field without showing any mercy. They all seemed to be skillful fighters attacking with velocity, strength, and precision. This didn’t surprise me because the skill of archery which is the Bhutan national sport seemed to run thick through their veins.
In this war, there is no grudge. Bhutanese believe that throwing snowball on the first snowing day is a kind of blessing. Happy Snow fall!
Till now, the coldness of icy flakes seemed to put my mind at ease.
Bhutan location causes unpredictable disastrous climate all year long. This shapes how Bhutanese interact with the uncertainty of life. It’s the most logical principle of life Bhutanese always hold in mind, if you cannot resist the nature, just enjoy it! If the road was blocked by landslide and they had to be struck in the road for 2 days, they just poured some tea and patiently wait. If the town was frozen in the snow storm, instead of being trapped in the house, Bhutanese still can find amusing measure in this circumstance.
Life under Himalayan shadow might be a bit tricky and needs patient but it taught us that the mindfulness attitude can bring nature and people together in harmony.
KK Producer of Tipitaka
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