Monday, September 28, 2009

Celebrating the victory of good over evil

What makes this day so remarkable. We are celebrating the victory of the good over evil.

Whether you are in Tendrel Thang observing the tsechu or at home going through the rituals of dassai, it means the same thing. Perhaps, the Bhutanese should, both Buddhists and Hindus, realise that the celebration of tsechu and dassai falls on the same day (Thimphu tsechu). Many of us have never even thought of this co-relation between Thimphu tsechu and dassai.

Tsechu is generally a triumph over evil. The tsechu should be observed at three levels. First, at the visual level, when you observe the dances as they unfold on the tsechu ground. This is just what is presented to you on that particular day.

While many young men and women go for the fun and frolic that the day provides, many elders consider the day as sacred. For the tourists, it is just another cultural event which they can record on their handicams and show off to their friends over a glass of beer and a have a good laugh back home.

Similarly, the dassai is also a time for fun for the young people. In fact, it is a day when the elders bestow their best wishes on the younger ones and the younger ones should be paying their respects to their elders.

But times change. Culture changes. Most of all, we all change. What our fathers followed, we never follow. Perhaps, we may express in modern terminology: the demand and supply is not at a consistent level.

Nothing wrong. In fact, it is the time of the year when the flock of tourist who come for this particular festival that adds on to our national economy. It’s a matter of give and take, to be honest.

All these dances have the power that will enable you to see who you meet after your death, and thereby recognise who you shall meet and how one should deal with them.

It is the belief that if we observe them in this life, we will not fear them when they come to us in our afterlife. Watching the dances and understanding what they convey will help us in our journey after death.

That is why old people pay their respects whenever these religious dances are performed.

Incidentally, the festival of dassai also falls on the tenth day of Guru’s birthday. Dassai falls on the tenth day of the Hindu calendar, vijaya dassami, celebrated as the day of king Rama's victory over Ravana, the 10-headed demon king of Lanka who had abducted Rama’s wife, Sita.

The dussehra festival celebration is unique in its perspective and significance. It is the celebration of the victory of good over evil.

What we all should understand is that no matter what faith we follow, we should understand that the essence is the same. After all, we all come from the same source, no matter what the colour, language, faith, dress or the way of our life that is determined by our geography.

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