In a momentous event today, Her Majesty Queen Mother Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck inaugurated the Bhutan Tshar Institute, a remarkable center dedicated to the preservation and advancement of bamboo craftsmanship. Nestled in the picturesque Kalapang of Saling Gewog, this institute represents a significant step towards promoting sustainable practices and empowering local communities.
The Bhutan Tshar Institute, situated just a stone’s throw away from Gyalpoizhing, was graced with Her Majesty’s presence, marking a historic milestone in Bhutan’s commitment to promoting traditional skills and preserving the environment. The center’s primary focus is to offer training and education in the art of bamboo craft, unlocking the incredible potential of this versatile and renewable resource.
Following the inauguration, Her Majesty Queen Mother Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck had the opportunity to explore a captivating exhibition that showcased an array of bamboo products crafted by the talented artisans trained at the institute. From intricately designed furniture to utilitarian items, the exhibit reflected the diversity and creativity inherent in bamboo craftsmanship.
Currently, the institute boasts a team of three dedicated trainers and 11 enthusiastic individuals who are undergoing training in basic furniture production. Sonam Tenzin Lhop, one of the trainees, shared his perspective: “Being a farmer, I did not know the different kinds of products that can be made using bamboo, but the training here has helped me understand this and learn the skills needed to create tables, beds, chairs, and more.”
Deki Yangzom Lhop echoed similar sentiments, stating, “In my village, we have plenty of bamboo, and there isn’t any shortage of raw material, but we have been lacking skills and training. But now that I have the skills, I want to help minimize imports.”
In a region blessed with abundant bamboo resources, the Bhutan Tshar Institute fills a crucial gap by providing local residents with the knowledge and expertise required to harness this sustainable material to its full potential.
The institute has ambitious plans for the future, including the introduction of advanced bamboo skill training courses, which will enable participants to explore more intricate and specialized bamboo craftsmanship.
The construction of the Bhutan Tshar Institute commenced in 2019 and was successfully completed earlier this year, thanks to the generous funding provided by the SAARC Development Fund. This investment in sustainable education and skill development is a testament to Bhutan’s commitment to preserving its cultural heritage while embracing eco-friendly practices.
Her Majesty Queen Mother Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck also took the opportunity to engage with the local community, demonstrating her dedication to fostering a sense of unity and shared purpose. She graciously bestowed Soelra and Tokha, symbolizing her goodwill and benevolence towards the public.
In a heartwarming conclusion to the day’s events, Her Majesty Queen Mother Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck spent time with the students of Gyalpozhing Higher Secondary School, inspiring the younger generation to take pride in their cultural heritage and explore the rich world of bamboo craftsmanship.
The inauguration of the Bhutan Tshar Institute serves as a shining example of Bhutan’s commitment to sustainable development, cultural preservation, and community empowerment. As bamboo takes center stage in Bhutan’s journey towards a greener and more prosperous future, the Bhutan Tshar Institute is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the nation’s sustainable legacy for generations to come.