Lugo Bay Lugo Bay

To bring fortune and good luck for a year, the women dancers of Bongo village nick name the archers on the third day of the Bongo archery and Losar. It is called Dha Kha Log Ni.

The Lyrics goes Lugo Bay Lugo Bay. Dha Kha Log Ni is one of the awaited programmes during the three day archery and Losar in Bongo village. It is one part of an event where women calls all men archers by their nick names, as they gets ready to shoot their arrows. The old and the young archers are all teased with their nick names. No one is spared. Whatever the nick name the archer gets, it stays along for the whole year, until the same programme is repeated one year after and the men archers again gets their new nick names.

The origin of such teasing is not known but in Thimphu and other areas but we do see two opposing archery teams bringing their set of women dancers who tease the opposing men of the team to miss the target. But ‘nick-naming’ the men, we are not aware if such happens in other part of Bhutan. But in Bongo, it is really a fun part of the three-day archery and Losar.

We have always wanted to video document this important and interesting part of Bongop Losar. This year, we succeeded and we have the video here for you to view, laugh and comment as well.

We hope our Bongops can take interest to be part of such events in the future. The feeling of being cleansed by the nick names that we get and starting a new year with a new name is exciting.


Lifeline for Bongops of Baeyulkunzang and Geduphu is a Ropeway over Wangchu river

Bongop Tshogpa is pleased to share this video of ropeway over Wangchu river which we have desired to produce for a long time. Such ropeways as a means of transport and as part of the livelihood are non-existent in Bhutan now. But for the 68 families of Baeyulkuenzang and Geduphu villages in Chukha, it is their lifeline.

Every summer, they take great risks to their lives to cross this river and reach the other side to buy their necessities. Every winter, they spend many days of labour to build temporary bamboo bridge.

Men, women and children use the ropeway without much maintenance and care. Accidents have happened in the past. Nine people have suffered varying injuries. Some injuries suffered like broken ribs and internal bleeding from the impact of the fall from the faulty or broken rope resulted in lifelong damages to them.

This video is dedicated to all of them who paid high prices with their lives and body and to all who are still using the ropeway. We are eagerly waiting for the suspension bridge that has been ‘coming’ for a long long time, from one Five Year Plan to another. Some voices are just too weak to reach the ears of fund caretakers and distributors in the government!



What I Know About Annual Bongo Archery – by Rinzin Bataykaap

This writeup about Bongo Archery is from the facebook post in Bongopas group by Rinzin Bataykaap.

Like Haap’s Hoentoe, Parop’s Lomba, Ketob’s Nyaruu, Bongops also celebrate 1st to 5th days of 11th Bhutanese month as an important Bongop festival, at the same time with Parop’s celebrating their Lomba. On the 29th and 30th of 10th Lunar month, Bongops perform public rimdro and starts archery on 1st of 11th Lunar month.

Long time back , during my childhood, all men who can play, plays archery, no matter, number of players from each side and those who don’t play archery, they have to join the team as Pazap, that’s one men from each house hold. All players, women dancers and pazaps have to gather in Lhakhang before 6 am, that is as soon as Lhakhang keeper ( Koenyer) finishes his Lhapsang. So they starts their procession from Lhakhang to archery ground singing Lebey and pazaps shouting ‘Aey ho hoo’. I saw late comers serving zhugdrey and even have to serve bangchang of atleats  eight chhang drey.

About punishment, there were 5 senior members as decision taking board and to control Driglam Namsha. If anyone quarrel, fights, or creates any serious problem in the gathering from 6 AM to 5 PM, the cost of one OX or the pig shall be levied on him or her by the senior members that is the final decision of public too. But during that time, people use to bring their own pack lunch and drinks.
Later, elders decided to cook for all and for the benefit of visiting guests from outside and from other villages.

They decided to collect rice, vegetables,ara, bangchang, singchang ( Tsogchang) and fire wood from the village, that is from each house hold and the cost of meat what ever and soelra for dancers and helpers should bear by the outsiders ( Govt, employyes, arm forces, business man) joining the archery festival.The left over cash amount will be kept for next year. Since that day the annual archery festival is also marked as Annual Family Gathering.Every year on the last day they elect one host or Archery tshogpa from village and one from outside.The new host or Tshogpa from the village receives khadar from the retiring Tshogpa and then takes over the cash balance in presence of all members.
In the same year Gup Jangchu and other senior members made an agreement with the outsiders that all Bongops wherever they work, whatever they do, all have to be present during Annual Bongo Archery festival. Failures have to pay penalty of Nu. 300 with written justification through one of the elected Tshogpa from outside.
During that time, many young Bongops were working in Thimphu and everyone had to rush home on 30th of the Bhutneese 10th month. Everyone eager to go home, so Au Pema Dorji, Au Penjo, Dasho Kinley and other senior workers have to run from office to office to request leave for young officials. Ha haa sometimes, have to make fake wireless messages and some bunk from office. many of us use to catch 3rd Phuntsoling BGTS bus that reach us at Gedu Laptsa at around 3.30 to 5 Pm. From there we walk whole night to Bongo so that we can show our face in Lhakhang before 6.30 AM. next day.

Now we have good road till archery ground, that is just 4 to 5 hrs. drive from Thimphu and Phuntsoling, but every year hardly 10 outsiders join our important family gathering. We have to think, Let’s try and make our gathering successful.Lets join to celebrate with the community. If you don’t know how to play archery, it is not compulsory, you being there is more important.Remember its on 22nd December 2014 .See you there. ( Sorry If my writing is bad)
Today I have posted video clips of last year, so next video clip posts will be ours. be ready.

An Old Song Danced in Bongo 13 Years Ago

Here is the video of an old dance videographed by Lopen Thinley Namgay, Husband of Bongop Sister Keza in Bongo. The video was retrieved from a VHS Tape and post processed for better viewing. We post it here so that we can dance to this song again. For now, as much as we are aware, we haven’t seen our women dance it in the village as well. Hope it was melodious to all others as much as we enjoyed and hope some Bongops may be interested to research on it further to have the song danced completely. Enjoy.