This is the Buddhist shrine that local Bhutanese visit, many of them
daily. It is a form of morning prayer. The faithful circumnambulate
the structure spinning prayer wheels and stopping from time to time to
do full prostrations. A local women jumped into a photo with our
guide Thinley. The devotion of these people is impressive.
Next we visited the large national school of traditional Bhutanese
arts. This place is where all of the traditional arts are taught and
preserved. Thanks painting, sculpture both wood and clay, embroidery,
archery, weaving. Students study eight hours a day for six or seven
years to gain mastery. These painters are who do all of the
astonishing painting on the buildings all over Bhutan. There was a
sign on a classroom wall that struck me: "If you are a good human
being, then the skills and knowledge you acquire will benefit the
whole society. Otherwise, it's like giving a weapon to a child.". We
watched these students at work.
We had a traditional Bhutanese lunch of red rice, vegetables and
chilies with Kesang Namgyel the owner of Gangri Tours in Thimphu. In
the afternoon we spent three hours with a master thanka painter, Mr
Pema Tshering. He gave us a private lesson in beginning thanka
painting and lectured on thankas. He invited us to a private puja for
the Green Tara being held in his residence. Seven monks were
performing a ritual in his family shrine.
Then we visited a paper making factory. The day has been overwhelming.
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