In his essay titled "Blessings of Shingkhar" Dr. Karma Phuntsho has written extensively about Shingkhar Rabney. He even wrote about the most coveted topic that I wanted to write. (Of rubbing Foreheads, Chankgkor and Bum Fights in Shingkhar) In his five page essay, he has captured Shingkhar Rabney form start to end. After reading his essay for about ten times or even more, I feel enlightened all the more. I have no doubt that any reader will feel the same. Through his writing, I am able to unearth more mysteries about the very village I was born and raised. I feel so happy. I am sure any reader who reads it will feel the aura and blessings of Shingkhar Ranbey themselves. As for me, its an honor and privilege to read his write-ups. So thank you Acho Dr.
Before I share his article on my blog, I am here to make an attempt -to write on the topic that I had in my mind for many many years. But I don't know from where to begin. Rubbing forehead, Changkor and Bum fights, they all look so so tempting topic.
Let me begin with Changkor. Rough translation of Chnagkor in English would mean "drink session". Such practices are common in many parts of Bhutan. But what is interesting about Changkor in Shingkhar is that people form group and move from one house to another drinking and singing. - mostly in the night. A round starts from one household, (usually from Naktsang) and ends at a house next to Naktsang. Mid way, some would fall flat, drunk and dizzy. Some would still drag on, puking and pulling. By the time people are done with the first round, it would be already dawn. It was then when village had around twenty households. Now things have changed slightly. Shingkhar have more than thirty households. This means completing a round in single night is out of question. So they divide the household in such a way that none is left unvisited in five day Rabney. Today even the young ones, as young as ten form their own group and go singing and dancing. But they do not drink, they ask for the money!
Drinking to a highlanders like Shingkharpas was mostly seen as fun and opportunities for fun, such as these just came once in a year (during the Rabney). To this one Shingkhar lama is believed to have authorized the villagers to make nine such rounds during the Ranbey. He may have said this to make his people enjoy after a years hard work in the burly and buckwheat filed.
Unfortunately, this year, I had difficulty completing just one round even on tea. I missed few houses. This made me feel not so good on the one hand. But on the other hand, I took it as an indication that, I am going to make next year for Rabney just like I did this year.