A Sleepy Village
Do you enjoy long drives crossing quaint little villages? You’ll love the ride towards Pemaling (take right before crossing the Gelephu to Zhemgang checkpost gate)
The beautiful highway towards Pemaling is one of the most scenic road trips I’ve ever taken. The drive takes you along picturesque one-storied homes surrounded by banana and betel nut trees. The settlements are spread out on a part of the terrain where the hills meet the plains.
We make our way towards the village of Pemaling with barely 70 residents. The small mud houses feel cool in the spring warmth. “A little Bangchang will relax you,” says Ama Rinzin as she starts serving the guests. The Khengpa community in Pemaling is nothing less than family. They also have an astrology temple perched on top of a hill.
After a hearty homecooked meal at Ama Rinzin’s home, the members in the community volunteer to sing me a song while I waited for what came next in our itinerary.
My Khengpa host family in Pemaling sang a song that I never knew existed. Did you know that there’s a cotton plantation song sung by Khengpa as they picked cotton? Each verse in the song depicts the process of picking of the cotton to its final threads woven into textile – an art no longer practiced as cheaper cotton materials are now imported.
Ama Sonam said to me that they’re not very confident with the lyrics and have forgotten some verses. But as they began to sing together the lyrics slowly began to fall in place and the ladies also demonstrated sounds at the end of each verse depicting a process of the cotton-picking. Ama Sonam really got into it and the occasional interruptions by Apa Rinzin correcting some lyrics didn’t seem to deter her at all. Really felt like I was home.
In partnership with Mercury Bhutan Travels
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