Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Thimphu Domchoe

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As reported by BBS,
Government offices, schools and institutions of Thimphu remained closed [on Monday] to observe the annual Thimphu Lhamoi Domchoe. The Domchoe is considered to be uniquely special and one of the most sacred religious ceremonies in the country. This year marks the 300th uninterrupted performance of the sacred ceremony.
The courtyard of the Tashichhodzong was packed with thousands of devotees to witness the annual Thimphu Lhamoi Domchoe.
Some came as early as five in the morning. They all came dressed in their best attires. Many elderly people who came to witness Domchoe say that it is believed that one who attend the Domchoe will be bestowed with luck, gain merits and their wishes fulfilled.

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Back when I was in grad school, we had a lot of discussions about the meaning of 'authenticity' in a cultural/heritage tourism context. Many tourist destinations have been altered for the sake of providing a commodity: staged 'authentic' experiences for visitors. One of the best things about Bhutan as a tourist destination is that even the biggest tourist attraction, the festivals, are 100% genuine and significant for the people who live here. These are not concocted 'cultural shows' performed daily for bus-loads of tourists. These are real, meaningful events that foreign visitors are permitted to observe.



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