Ten years ago, Kesang left everything behind and headed to the city of dreams, the United States of America. With a concrete plan in his mind he went off with a dream to earn Nu. 5 lakhs. He had everything set of to what he would do with the targeted sum he were to earn. He initially planned to work only for three years and come back home to make something out of himself.
This year, it is his tenth year at New York and he gives himself a laugh on recalling his dreams during the initial stages of his stay at the city. He notes life can’t always move on the pace as we want it to and just like he is still stuck there, at times our destiny seems pointless to where it is headed.
Money, Kesang believes should not be the ultimate goal because the more we earn, the more we spend. There is a point to be noted. Having started his career from scratch in what seemed like an alien land when he first put his foot away from his village at Trashigang, Kesang started off as a butler. With days added onto make years, today he is one of the manager at a five star hotel in the food and beverages department. Kesang currently lives in the Bahamas and has plans to return to Bhutan but with no idea when, he responds with the term ‘soon’
Let us now move onto another common destination for the Bhutanese, Australia. It has become a trend in our society for one to say that they are leaving for Australia and with their repeated statement, Australia now seem like a next door neighbor. Not to forget social media has been a powerful weapon to make this world a global village.
Sonam (name changed for confidentiality) like many other in our society left her profession as a teacher in Bhutan because with many mouths to feed, her income was not able to support her large family. The visa approval to Australia for her master’s degree mustered in her the idea that things were going to change at home with the powerful currency she believed she was going to earn. The wings of the dragon reached her many miles away from home and it was the days that followed made her realize leaving abroad with a dream comes with a price. Desperate to give the curious ears at home a positive answer, Sonam says she went door to door looking for a job and that in a way was no less than a beggar one often come to us in desperate need for some pennies.
On the contrary there are some people placing their roots and for them they seldom have the thought to come back home. What more do we need in this universe than a family beside you. Tshering, who is a photographer lives happily at New York City with whole of his family. Home is where the heart is and though he claims to miss the aura of a homeland he has well-adjusted to a place which has provided shelter for him and his family.
There is no such thing as the majority of us living here and gaining the ultimate pursuit of happiness against many others scattered around the world or to term them the minorities because we are bonded by one common thing. That one thing is ‘culture’.
You may have to go for the food there but your taste buds will always dance to the tune of the home food. You may think you are used to foreign languages but an unexpected hear of your mother tongue will always make you wear a genuine smile. You may think you will not fit in their land with your traditional attire but you will be eagerly waiting for occasions when you can proudly and comfortably wear your traditional clothes. And finally you may get attracted to people from their land but deep within you are still looking and hoping for that someone special from home because you share the same emotions.
While Kesang spends his leisure time in the embraces of the beautiful beach at Bahamas, he also awkwardly confesses he would like to be able to share such moments with someone from home. As for Sonam, she suffered quite a hurdle but her first year of stay in Australia not only helped her clear off her debts but she has some savings too. Tshering is one of the most active social network users and if one is to claim a positive bloggers he sure is. His active updates on life away at the other part of the world and the endless support he renders for national events at home wants us to applaud him for such spirits.
For Bhutanese, our society has always been intact and when one suffer the other cry and vice versa. Whether one feeds themselves on the grass at home or depends on the foreign land, we will always share that bond and that pride in being the sons and daughters of Palden Drukpa and it is this spirit that makes it easier for other races to discover we are from the land of Happiness, from the GNH country.