English | Dzongkha Monday, May 20, 2019

Patang- who is it for?

Aug 21, 2013

PatangBhutanese men- be it ministers, elected members of the Parliament, government secretaries or other important post holders in the government– are entitled to wear Patang or a ceremonial sword. The Patang is considered a symbol of authority.

Women, unlike men, are not entitled to a Patang even if they are ministers, members of the Parliament or government secretaries.

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After the first parliamentary elections in 2008, there were discussions among women parliamentarians not being given the Patang, but nothing came of it. The same discussion has cropped up again, especially, with Lyonpo Dorji Choden being the first woman minister.

Divergent opinions emerged after an article by Kuensel, raising questions about the Patang being a mandatory symbol of authority and if women in important positions must have something equivalent to the Patang?

9 Comments for “Patang- who is it for?”

  1. sonam

    A patang (sword) is only for worries. The ones who are arguing for patang should look beyond ones pond of water.

    Swords were used in combats and as weapons of self-defence on the battlefields during olden days throughout the world. Now a sword is commonly worn as a ceremonial item in many military and naval services, not by the politicians!!!

    I as a citizen of Bhutan would prefer to see those patangs only in museums, not worn anymore by the people. Museums are the best places to learn and cherish the history of a nation.

    Dear Lynpos/Lynmos or Dashos of Bhutan, don’t worry no one will come and attack you with a sword. Rather you must be prepared and ready to defend intellectually. At least one must realize that we are in the 21st century where the whole world is driven by intellects, and NOT BY THE SWORDS!!!

    • Samchar

      As cited by sonam I am second to person to support his view we do not need weapon of sword as practice by our forefathers this tradition will be important for the monument purpose just to keep as historical significance in the museum of paro or some where else in Bhutan. But what we need is not sword but the intellectual giants who will reconstruct the Bhutanese economic and resurrect Bhutanese education which will be textually and contextually fitting for the dawning to 21st century and closing to 20th century. I am not against all the practices but this tradition should not prioritize leave the country behind horizon. We need to follow where world is moving. We should not debate useless things for no reason I watch national assembly for the one phrase they spent two to three days . Example ex-minister Zanglay was pro-chancellor and ex- minister Dorji Wangdi was pro – Director. This issuance was un-necessary debate wasted lots of time . Our leader should not debate for small vocabulary rather they should come with new vision, mission , goals and lead us to 21st century technological world . we wanted to see those farsighted leaders giving new hope for Bhutan. We wanted to see such leader who has vision and who will impart this vision to his fellow citizens. We are not interest your Patang issues. If Am Dorji Chodon is without Patang let her work peacefully for the better future of Bhutan.

  2. Anna

    Personally I feel, even if these patangs culturally are not for women, no problem, because a true leaders should not craze for showing power but should serve the country. Their hard work, actions and deeds should earn power and respect like that of Mother Teresa, Mrs. Indira Gandhi and many other women leaders. Patang is physiological identity of power but the most important thing is deed.

  3. Kams

    Do we really need patang to carry out our duties. If we go to jungle we might need but in the office it may not be required. Let us not break our head thinking on this issue. Focus on fulfilling the aspirations of the people and the country.

  4. rangzhin

    Why do we need to talk about PATANG ? Why? woman not wearing patang is not an issue. nothing will happen when some really power hunger woman minister doesnot wear PATANG.
    common citizen of Bhutan.

  5. Tazii

    Patangs are worn by men in olden days as an armor. I never heard women wearing patang since my childhood. I have seen many village women with the sickle hooked on back. In this case, if these parliamentarian are after their identity, men should wear patang and women should hang sickle, otherwise they have forgotten what they have said during campaign. we have selected them hoping that they will serve as people’s representative. This is just my point…

  6. Tashi

    With due respect, I think to establish equality of gender justice, it is must that women must have Patang but first precedence must be to discuss and debate on important issues or problems that country needs to be addressed.

  7. Migto

    It is very sad that Bhutanese people especially the younger generation are confuse about the tradition and culture of his/her own country. The concerned institute need to advocate the importance of preserving ones own culture and tradition for the security and sovereignty of the country.

  8. lola

    Patang is more of a nuisance than of any benefit. It is even worrying that people are being more open to frankness, less social hierarchy, stratification and doesn’t like to be limited by Driglam Namzha. Which foretells that people might fight or hurl things at each other in the future parliament of Bhutan. That time Patang might be used as weapons – God forbid if it doesn’t turn into a battlefield with all 47 MPs wearing a Patant each. We only heard Battle of Changlimithang and in future it may be Battle in the Parliament!

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