Bhutan: Sale of meat items at annual Tshechu and religious events banned

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Thimphu [Bhutan], March 17: Now the sale of meat items, including eggs, during the annual Tshechu and other religious events in Gewog Ihakhangs village blocks of Dagana district will remain restricted, the Bhutan Live reported.
For such occasions, it was decided to serve only vegetarian items on the menu at the recently finished Dzongkhag Tshogdu. According to the local authorities, offering meat dishes during religious gatherings is not in keeping with religion.
The motion was made by Dagana Dzongkhag Tshogdu chairman Tsendagang Gup, Bal Bdr Rana.
Acccording to some members, several local authorities consequently agreed with the decision. The annual Tshechu and other customary ceremonies performed in Gewog lhakhangs, according to some members, have become costly affairs for both the government and individual organisers.

Mani Kumar Ghishing, Gessarlig Gup said, “I served as a procurement officer during the Dagapela Tshechu a few months ago. I had spent around Nu 50,000 just to buy meat despite strict control. And I spent around Nu 25,000 on alcohol. Therefore, it would be nice to ban meat and alcohol during annual Tshechu and rituals because Tsechu is all about religion.”

Chaor, Kana Gup said that first serving vegetables during the annual Tshechu and rituals would help low-income families conduct any religious activities. He added that secondly mask dances during the annual Tshechus teach devotees about what we should not do to avoid sins, but it is useless to witness Tshechu if we cannot avoid consuming meat during Tshechu, he added.
Sangay Wangmo, and Gozhi Gewog Mangmi said that in his Gewog, they tried to impose on using meat during religious functions. So he was supporting the motion, reported Bhutan Live.

The restriction will take effect after the appropriate offices have received the Dzongkhag Tshogdu’s resolution.
According to Bal Bdr Rana, Lhakhang is a place where we gather merit and ask for favours. Yet it is not a good example and it is wicked to consume meat and wine during the annual Tshechu and in the lhakhangs.
Three significant annual Tshechus have held in the Dagana district: Daga Dzong, Dagapela, and LhamoiDzingkha Dungkhag. On auspicious days, chiwogs across all 14 gewogs perform customary rites.

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