Clowning Around at the Paro Tsechu FestivalMy inspired travel friend, Liz, wanted to go on an adventure, somewhere sacred. Our research uncovered that Bhutan is a country focused on gross national happiness. Five weeks later we were having kind, Bhutanese women dress us in traditional outfits called Kiras.
The Kiras are tied very tight around the waist, creating a take-shallow-breaths-or-lose-your-skirt kind of experience. My wrapped, beautiful, hand woven, material "skirt" was tied on with a thin string. I avoided sitting and moving as much as possible.
We headed through the city of Paro towards the Paro Tsechu Festival. The local people were so happy to see visitors in Kiras.
The ancient, intricately painted buildings around the courtyard of the Dzong, created a powerful scene. Our guide, Sonam, instructed us to say the greeting "Tashi Delek" when we saw the king and queen. Sonam strategically placed us moments before the royal couple entered the courtyard. "Tashi Delek, Tashi Delek!". The queen heard me and turned around to talk to a traveler in front of us. That was fine, we were grateful to get to see a festival that had been going on for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
The warm, bright sun lit up the day. The swirling costumes of the dancers created such colorful moving visions. While the performers were switching out, these red clowns kept the audience entertained. This clown told me quite a story. I didn't understand a word, but had fun hamming it up with him.