Friday, November 11, 2011

Ter Chham In Bumthang

The famed Naked Dance of Jambay Lhakhang Tshechu, typically called as
"Ter Chham" by the Bumthaps started two days ago. My friends and i started as soon as the dusk fell since we didnt want to miss the Mey-wang. Ironically, i believe strongly in Mey-wangs and have always tried to make my presence in most of the mey-wangs in Bumthang. Despite, the least i can do is purge my bodily sins by receivin...g Mey-wangs as frequently as possible. Truth be told, i never had opportunity to witness the Naked dance during my decade old reign in Bumthang! I balme it to the odd timing(Ter cham starts not earlier than 12 midnight!) and extremely cold temperature. Personally, i thought if it wasnt this year that i see it, then it is never going to happen in my life. So, I equipped myself with a enough warm clothes to brave the cold. Just as you might like to read what i wore: My made-in-Dhaka trouser topped with my Nike trackpant. On it, i wore my nearly faded Wrangler-jeanpant so that i dont let my silverbones go icy cold! On my pectoral girdle, i had two shirts with my old sweat-shirt and over it, my red North-face jacket. That aint enough: i had my muffler(i borrowed it from my son..hehe) around my neck, a pair of gloves to take care of my bony fingers and a good woolen pull-overs to warm my head! As i walked with my friends, i could see my shadow being cast on the ground and seriously i never thought i was fat enough. I thought the shadow remarkably looked like an astronuat walking on the moon!
So we waited for the time to pass by. With such a dress up over my body, i have discarded any thoughts of trying to wink at girls. We hopped into bars and had our share of drinks to boost our warmth and also our morale. After much waiting, it was
announced that the cham would be shortly started. I had to leave behind my half filled glass of beer get myself seated at about 7th row from the front. There it came! Some 18-19 dancers, all at their au naturel except for their face! Interestingly, there were four or five small children in the group too. They had nothing much to boast! But the excited audiences did shout,"Lichi juice" at them, hinting at their peaceful sizes.:). I was straining all the muscles placed around my eyes trying to keep a good focus on what i was watching so that i wont regret later. Few rows in front were, groups of Sharchop Aums and girls intensely involved like me. One of an elderly woman whispered as loud to her friends,"Tshe bang ga ta la na , halam thur!". They burried their faces into their palms and burst into peels of laughter. Yeah not bad, i thought to myself! Ha ha.
By the time i reached back home, it was 3.45 am in the morning. There was no regret but a sense of satisfaction. Naked dance it is...

Good weekends, friends.


  1. i watched this dance in 2001, i was in class seven then.....i still remember how these dancers come covering their faces with kabneys....and how they dont allow anyone to click photographs.....jambay lhakhang mey wang is also one of the most dangerous thing i remember....yet people flocked in thousands and get blessings

  2. haha...."halem thur ta la na" have heard of this but i never got the opportunity to see it....this goes in my bucketlist now...thank you for sharing it la.....wonderful article about an amazing culture...:)