English | Dzongkha Saturday, March 17, 2018

Bajo hotels, restaurants to remove meat from menu during auspicious months

Komal Kharka, Wangdue Phodrang
Feb 28, 2018

There are over 90 hotels and restaurants in Bajo. Recently, they sat down to sign a petition, pledging to take meat off the menu during the 1st and 4th months of Bhutanese calendar.

These two months of Chomthruel Dawa and Saga Dawa are considered auspicious Buddhist months.

While the sale of meat is prohibited during these months, hotels and restaurants stock up enough meat before hand to last through the ban period.

This practice defeats the whole purpose of meat ban imposed during the months of Chomthruel Dawa and Saga Dawa. Thus, hotel and restaurant owners in Bajo decided to axe meat off the menu.

The idea was initiated last year but it could not be implemented successfully.

A committee formed to initiate it said this time, all hotel and restaurant owners jumped on board to be part of the initiative. “It was not imposed,” Phurba Namgay, a committee member, said.

“It was left up to them to decide and all supported and joined the initiative. We hope it would inspire others to do the same.”

Even the customers have welcomed the decision. “Initially,  I thought it would be difficult to explain to the tourists, especially Indian tourists, but once we explain to them nicely, they understand us,” Choki Dema, a hotel owner, said.

There are plans to strengthen the initiative in the near future. “Presently, it went well in the core town areas but for the future, we are planning to take it to the gewogs as well,” Sangay Wangdi, another Committee Member, said.

“The long term aim is to gradually make the entire Dzongkhag meat free during the auspicious months.”

There are plans to make the initiative formal by getting it endorsed by the Dzongkhag Tshogdu. This is expected to ensure the initiative is implemented strictly.

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