English | Dzongkha Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Keeping age old tradition alive

Aug 28, 2012

An age old tradition is still being practiced in Bartsham under Trashigang Dzongkhag. Popularly known as Chador Wang, Bartsham villagers come together every year to keep the tradition alive. No one knows exactly when the tradition started.

During the rituals, villagers and students carry the religious scriptures (Kanjur) around their village. The main relic is a statue of Chana Dorji, locally known as Mem Chador. Mem Chador is considered as the protecting deity of Bartsham village. The festival is known as Mem Chador Wang.

According to the locals, the statue was brought from Khar in Dungsam, now known as Pemagatshel. “Since then ever year on the seventh Bhutanese month, we take Mem Chador around our village,” said Lobzang Yeshey, one of the villagers.

The statue is carried around their village for three days before it is taken back to Chador Lhakhang. Locals believe that receiving Mem Chador in their house and village will bring peace and prosperity in their community. The people say they fear bad luck will befall their community if the tradition is not followed.

A masked man closely follows the Chador Statue. He is locally known as Mem Yongba and is believed to be the protector of Mem Chador.  The post of Mem Yongba is considered hereditary and cannot be taken by others.

Apart from being a tradition, the occasion is also an opportunity for Bartshampas to get together. People from neighboring villages also gather to receive Mem Chador blessing every year.



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