All enthusiasms and planning to make a great joint celebration graced by Their Royal Majesties and His Holiness. The area for staging the celebration seems limitted of space. The rehearsal photo in Kuuensel confirms the space constriction.
Haa has a great traditional and naturally formed open stadium on the other side of the Haa Dzong site across the Haa river. It is near about or maybe larger than Changlingmithang stadium in Thimphu. Certainly far more scenic. Haa river flows on one side and on the other side rises the huge hill known locally as Jho Tok- Khap. Few would know that this hill is the Singye
Karmo-Ri and about the bowl shaped stone in the midst of Dumchho village said to be the milk bowl of the Snow lion. I was educated about this legend by an elderly friend from Dumchho village.
The most historical event held in this open stadium ( much before my birth ) was during the reign of His Majesty Jigme Wangchuck the Second King of Bhutan. The ground is popularly known as Dha- Chab- Sey- Pang ( Official archery ground of Haa Valley when required and all other times the cattle grazing area of Wangcha village ).
At that long ago historic national event an archery match was played with players selected from all geogs of Haa and the two teams led by His Majesty King Jigme Wangchuck and the His Excellency Dasho Deb Zimpon Sonam Tobgay Dorji. HRH the Crown Prince Jigme Dorji Wangchuck the future Third King and Dasho Haa Drung Jigme Palden Dorji the future Prime Minister were present. Both " so young and handsome and great friends " and so it appeared to elders of my village who were never tired of repeating the tale. I wish I had paid more attention to many oral history witnessed live by them during their extraordinary days of history making.
A grand Tokha was held for the people of Haa. The future King and Prime Minister handed out the the Royal sorlrey/ shudrel of silver coins to the congregation. My father who was one of the archers thought the two future great leaders of Bhutan were competing in youthful spirit to outdo each other in the coin distribution. I guess most would have shared the same thought. In Shudrel Phuentsum Ceremony the speed at which shudrel is offered to the gathering is that of sportsmanship competition spirit.
Today this natural stadium is still a huge open ground except that IMTRAT has fenced off access to Haa Public and has converted this Traditional Official Event Stadium cum cattle grazing ground into Indian Army golf ground.
And poor sorry Haa Dzongkha Administration had no courage or traditional duty sense to hold perhaps the most historical event ( this 2017 National Day Celebration ) since the reign of the Second King, at this ancient naturally set open stadium. The Spirits of our Forefathers must be perplexed by subdued spirit of Haa people. It was far more fiery and dedicated to Palden Drukpa pride at one time of Haa history.
So dear fellow Haaps let us cramp ourselves in the couryards of Lhakhang Karpo whilst golf balls fly about from foregn hand held clubs at the spacious natural stadium.
Happy National Day! And its never too late to assert one's rightful rights! With Risum Goenpo as our collective witness and inspirations, wishing all for brighter sovereign days ahead.