Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Mountain Girl’s Story - where I come from

Another blogging challenge from Jenni from Story of My Life. If you have been keeping closely with me I participated in her Blog Every day in May challenge. She has  come up with another amazing Blogtember challenge to keep our toes on blogging. Blogtember, isnt it nice a word? To know more about the challenge, click on the blogtember button and yea don't forget to join us.

Sadly, I couldn't make it to its end in May Blogging Challenge. But I'm geared for this challenge this September. Bonus point: If you dread blogging on weekends, Jenni has been kind enough to let us have the weekends off to ourselves. With September seeing a lot of local holidays on weekends, you can stay away from blogging and come up with awesome posts on weekdays. Win-win. :)

The first prompt in this challenge asks you to describe where or what you come from. The people, the places, and/or the factors that make up who you are.

Here’s another opportunity to let my readers know more about me in this challenge.  Whenever, I’m out of the country, people assume me for a Chinese because of my eyes, which is relatively small. When I say I’m from Bhutan, it’s like I’m trying to explain about a drop of water in the ocean. 
People don’t know where Bhutan is; they think it’s in northeast India. And I can’t blame them. It’s the isolation policy Bhutan opted until the 1960s. Can you believe television and internet was introduced in the country only in 1999? I couldn't express my delight when we had our first television set at home. It was a revelation of a whole new world inside a tiny box. Life was perfectly okay then. Ignorance is bliss. Now that we have internet and television, I can’t live a day without opening Facebook. 

Image Source: Google search. This is the best map I could manage

With 38,394 km2 area and approximately 7 lakhs population, Bhutan became the youngest democracy in 2008. Like in any Asian country, rice is our main staple of diet with plenty of potatoes, chillies and cheese. Normally we take rice for the entire three meals and chilli is not a spice to us, but curry.
I’m a small town girl; I’ve lived my entire life in Wangdue, central western Bhutan. Though I moved to Bumthang for the major part of my schooling and later to Trashigang, my heart belongs to Wangdue. 

Soon after I hit my teenage years, I was sent to a boarding school (Day school was not there in my locality those days) and boarding school was the only option to my parents. 
As a young teen away from home, I had my fair share of bullying at school, in the dormitory and among friends. 
I searched for solace and found it in the depths of the books. I used to read and read and I was basically living the life of the characters in the book. Poverty, loneliness, depression, happiness and laughter in the book used to have an impact on me. However, that had helped me to be fiercely independent and shape me into who I’m now and I’m grateful for that. 

People mistake me for a Sharchop (Easterner) given my looks but I’m a Lhotshampa (southerner). I don’t know if I've termed it correctly (Corrections required here please). Originally I’m from Sarpang, southern part of Bhutan but I've never been a resident there, so when people ask me about the location of my village I find it difficult to give them directions. I don’t know my village folks much. And I’m not proud of it. 

And my name, I’m accidentally named after the popular Bollyhood actor Rekha. It’s not that my parents were fond of her. My uncle, dad’s brother had gone to the village civil registration to register my name soon after my birth and he couldn’t remember my name since he couldn’t read or write. And he told the registration officials that my name was something that sounded like “Re” and guess what, those people assumed and named me Rekha. 
Since everyone in Bhutan know the bollyhood actor Rekha, I used to be the subject of fun in the class because of my name. People have never told me, “You have a nice name there,” because everyone has heard the name before. Some physics teacher in the class used to tease me with the bollyhood actor Dharmendra/Amitabh Bachaan. Again another series of bullying used to continue because of my name while I would turn beetroot you see, and at the back of my mind I didn’t know whom to get annoyed at, my dad or my uncle.

I’m sure many of your names must have been altered by the civil registration folks. And this happens in Bhutan only.
After college, I became a Thimphu resident for the past 5 years. I struggled to get through the Civil Service Examination and landed in a job and now I look forward to what life has to offer, unsure of it at times. But I like it here and this is where I come from. 

Tell us more about yourself, where you come from, the story behind your amusing name if you have one like me or join us in this blogtember challenge.

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