Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Here's a story as told by a Yak who wants to live and continue

In a Yak world, thats how a father is suppose to look,
decorated, muscular and healthy
If "Bhutan Needs Yak and Yak Herders" then Please read my story.

My name is Gangri Norbu, and I am probably 8 years old? I usually rejoin my herd late like the late spring of the place. Spring and summer combined are the most prosperous months in a year and lasts about 5 months. I graze with my herd and keep myself healthy, strong and most of all muscular. That’s because I have a business to defend my herd form irritating young intruders. When it’s winter again, the grass becomes scant and I leave my herd for better pastures to graze on. The cycle continues over and over again.

I have a loving owner that cares me and my herd more than he cares about himself. He keep on following us everywhere we go because he fears some notorious wild dogs and elusive tigers hovering in the jungle might attack us like they did to my predecessor, Hamsey Dawa.

Of late, I have heard many people discuss about the fate of my relatives in areas like Merak and saktheng in the East. Dagala, Sephu, and Bumthang in the central region and Soe, Yaksa, Laya, Lingshi, Lunana and Haa in the West.  Unending and relentless discussions like those bring chilling sensations to my spine and instills a sense of worry and anxiety in me.

 It has not only become a hot selling news in print and broadcasting media but has also been discussed extensively on online forums, blogs and even on facebook and twitter.  I think of it every day and every night and reality is even more saddening because decades down the line, I foresee prospects grim and ebbing for my species in many aspects.

 Firstly, free education our country has played its role. It has become a fashion of educating people in the name of literacy and development. People pursue education in the want of fame, prestige, title, and honors, and yes, money too and not of need for learning morals and ethics. Sadly most educated people today are nothing more than a half empty drums that jingles most. I will not be surprised if a survey shows that the most educated and trained people are perhaps the least productive players in an organization.

Education today has become a desire driven and desires, as lord Buddha said are the main cause of the sorrow. To be very practical, who would want to live a remote life as nomad?  The stains of milk that stinks are too much for the clean nose our educated lot!

Secondly, Global warming is seriously hampering our habitats. They call it an effect of climate change. I don’t know what that shit is all about but surely the air has become bit warmer. There has been decline in the frequency of snow fall. Fast disappearances of White Mountains in the north are today the living testimony to prove that. Mind you I got bitten by mosquito last summer, at an altitude of 3800 meters above the sea level.

Thirdly, the noble initiative from the golden throne has been used as against the royal intentions. The decree that that legalized the harvest of a fungal plant known locally as Cordeycepts has further made the lives of our owners not only easy and comfortable but also made them lazy and easy pickers. They were already making good fortune form the milk which actually belonged to my calf(s). They actually thrived selling our products like Butter, Cheese, milk, and chugo. They even shaved our whole body and took away all our fluffy hairs and usually kept us cold all through the season!

 Human greed are limitless and they are by far the most cunning and cruel species on this planet. In some part of the country, my relatives are mercilessly slaughtered. And it’s even more painful to know that our remains are considered a specialty of the region. As Yak sha, (yak meat) Yak masha (raw yak meat), Yak sha juma (the sausage of  yak intestine)

Coming back to the fungal plant harvesting, I sincerely feel that, it has done more good. The boom harvest surely was a boon that lifted the standards of our owners to next higher level. The amount of monetary income it fetched enabled our owners to acquire anything between earth and the sky. From a land in metro cities like Thimphu and Phuntsholing to building mighty five storied building. From latest hunting bows and arrows to high tech boots and north face garments. From ray ban glasses and weather proof jackets to tissot watches and Swiss knives. The test of the fun and easy life in cities have lured them and lured them deep.

For our owners, to return to their origin and run after us will just become a history in coming days, because everything is evident that they no longer wanted to be an unpaid border guard, especially in the north when they are already having tough job in hand with us. As long as they have the means to relinquish their settlement here in the north with us, there will be no stopping point for them because the Article 7, sub section 7 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan confers them the fundamental right to reside (everywhere) within Bhutan.

Of late, my loving and caring owner has fallen sick and it’s been about a month I last saw him. Without him, I see a bleak prospect when it comes to our survival. This is because; his children are dead against their old father running after us in rain, in snow and in sun. They think it’s a tough call for an old man to run after ever expanding and multiplying herd.

 Whatever may be the outcome, it has always been my pleasure and privilege to have grazed on the most fertile grazing pastures in the beautiful mountains of Shingkhar. To have met such a loving owner is even more heart melting. 

For now, I wish my species will not only survive but will thrive in the sacred valley of Drukyul, because just like any other species, we too don’t want to face our extinction. It is my only hope that we continue to thrive here and here only, for there is no better place  for us to  continue our generation than this beautiful mother earth. 

To elaborate more, Bhutan and yaks share a very special bond. This dates back to the days of my predecessor Lhadar Gaw, when he went on to became the favorite pet animal of the third dragon king. Not only that, few decades ago, legendary yaks like Singye Dawa, Dongka, Dongkar Sechung, Yangka Norbu, Serpola  and Lhasa Wanngchuk  and all used to be the talking point amongst the folks in the idyllic and yak conducive atmosphere of Shingkhar. 

Thank you all for listening to a story from a Yak like me.


  1. It's Naomi ^^4/21/2011 1:03 PM

    I don't know that you also talk in yak's! ^^ It's so nice of you to voice their aspiration in a romantic way like this ^^ I guess, I love this writing best! ^^

  2. Thanks Sister Namoi,

    I come from a region where once, the animal called yak thrived. Now its nearing to disappear altogether. And I am very afraid that one day we may not have any of those beautiful animals in my locality. That is what worries me most.

    I have a great emotional and sentimental attachment with those animals and Least thing i Would want to see is that They facing extinction.

    so for me its a very touchy thing and Thank you once again for liking my post.......

    Have a nice day then


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