Traditional household items and farming tools on display in Bartsham, Trashigang

Traditional household items and farming tools used by the ancestors of the people in Trashigang’s Bartsham Gewog are now facing extinction. The rapid advancement of modern technology and machinery has gradually replaced these treasures, resulting in the loss of both the village’s age-old culture and its historical roots. To learn about the past and preserve it, a weeklong community photo exhibition was held in the gewog.

These farm tools, such as watermills and oxen-driven ploughs have now become relics of the past. They have been replaced by modern machines that require less labour.

Recognizing the importance of passing on their rich culture and tradition to the next generation, an exhibition was inaugurated a few days ago.

The exhibition featured household items and farm tools used by the ancestors of the people of Bartsham, offering a glimpse into their way of life.

Additionally, photographs were also displayed to showcase the community’s cultural practices and the natural beauty of the area.

“These things are losing but these things have traditional values. By seeing and using this, touching and learning how to make this, we can learn the history of that village, from where they used to get raw material like trees, iron, so we can learn history through these old utensils,” said Yoshiki Ishiuchi, Research Officer of GNH Community Engagement Centre Project.

Nearly 100 people, including students, visited the exhibition centre, eager to explore and learn from the displays.

“I have seen some of the things but some I have not seen. I saw a saddle not made of wood but one which is made of leather and metal. I like to explore new things. I feel incredible to see all these things. It is going to help me by reconnecting with the old people in those olden days,” said Yezhin Youden, a student.

“I have not seen such items in my life. This is the first time. Through this exhibition, I have learned a lot. I feel like carrying out research in the future, interacting with the elderly people and writing books and starting a small museum,” said Kinga Wangyel Sonam, another student.

The GNH Community Engagement Centre at Sherubtse College in collaboration with JICA and Bartsham Gewog Administration organised the exhibition.

The organisers say that Bartsham Gewog’s religious sites and beautiful landscape have the potential to attract both local and international tourists.

According to the organisers, the exhibition is a significant step towards establishing Bartsham community museum in the future.

Sonam Darjay, Trashigang

Edited by Tshering Zam

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