Saturday, June 15, 2019

Toilet in Korea, but not in Bhutan

If there is one thing to talk about Korea, I can talk or share my admirable experience of toilet facilities and system of Korea for days. Perhaps, it was just breath taking. It was classic. It was world class, and it was excellent everywhere.

Let's solve this puzzle and our biggest challenges. The question of –Who is responsible for the toilets in Korea? How did they manage all these stuff?

Amusingly I found toilet in Korea is same everywhere –public toilet, hotel, private, highway, subway, airplane, etc. No water problem. No management problem. No paying system. Zero smell. No stain, it was perfect everywhere, and anytime. However, you may think Korean do not use toilets or do not poop, pee, etc. The answer is absolutely no. They are like anyone of us. But, they have better civic sense, well educated, good mindset, good habits, and above all they have this so called sense of belonging. Every toilet facilities given to them in the open, street, subway, train etc…are their own properties, everyone's properties. They never take home, they never destroy them, they never temper with them, they never personalize them, etc...But, rather they care and use it mindfully. 

I have also learnt that every Korean people from very young to very old are well educated and given all the good values at school, home and community. They have invested million times more of our total GDP of 100 years into education. Their teachers are highly paid. Today their schools are one of the best in the world. Education in Korea is everyone's business –parents, students, teachers, public, community, local government and central government. They leave no on behind for education because they firmly believe that education is the wealth of individual, family, and country. They strongly believe that education can bring home money, peace, wealth, good mindset, in fact everything. They did this not very long ago –they have done it just over 50 years ago and here they are today. Looking at their education system –it seemed they have sacrificed a lot in education system and into their curriculum, into their infrastructure and teacher education. They strongly believe "One world, One future" concept for all the Koreans. Undeniably, everyone commits themselves for any kinds of work. I can easily see and feel that they have done it and now they are heavily enjoying their hardship.

However, ours is very different and a unique case. We talk so much of quality education, importance of teacher, importance of school and sending every child to school, etc, etc… But, how badly we criticize our own system, our own education system. Therefore, bad toilet is our poor mindset due to poor education.

Ours is very easy if we come into common consensus. Unlike Korea, we have hardly seven hundred thousand people, which is even less than the people in their smallest village. Therefore, it's easy in our case. Less people means less burden, we need very less budget to fix our toilet problem. However, we all need to work together, we all need to think as one nation, we all need to have civic sense, we all need to take individual responsibilities, we all need to think public properties are our own property. It's a country's wealth and it's for everyone.

Don't we have right to enjoy clean toilet, smell less toilet and other good facilities in our toilets?

First we have to build our strong mindset, we have to commit ourselves, we have to work hard together spirit, we have to have sense of belongingness, and toilet is everyone's responsibilities.

However, we have a sad news as well – "the water pump drawing water to Tamchog Highway Restroom was stolen few nights before". What a breaking news in the Land of Happiness? I cannot imagine how this has happened. Who did this mischievous act? If such act keeps on happening, we cannot fulfil our wish and we still need to rely on pit latrine, and disgusting toilet without any water and other facilities. God! Only knows the truth.

If we can firmly commit ourselves to above points, we just need few years to have our own good smelling toilet everywhere. Perhaps, BTO is doing a great job. They need everyone's cooperation, helping hands, good mindset, and commitment. Theirs motto is everyone's motto. Theirs spirit is everyone's spirit. Let's work together to make our toilet mission a grand and a successful one for now and to our future generation. 

The followings are some of the restroom facilities for everyone. However, urinals and most of the toilet pots and works with sensors and even other hand dryers and water basins works with sensors. 
Urinals in one of the Primary School, Seoul

Urinals in one of the Korean restaurants, Seoul

Urinals in one of the subways, Seoul

Toilet pot in one of the hotel, Seoul

Hand Washing basins --everywhere in the restroom

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Chopstick Lesson in Korea

Street of Korea is an extremely beautiful place to explore. They not only produce beautiful faces but also smart mind. One can obviously see the quality of work done and the punctuality of people for their work and subways. Public toilets are so good everywhere. Advancement in technology and automobiles are extremely amazing and fascinating to watch in and around the cities. 

However, more important is knowing their culture and way of life. More importantly, when you are in the big city like Seoul, one need to be careful and cautious about your presentation. It matters a lot to cross the traffic to how you look someone. However, I have some embarrassing and baffling experience of Chopsticks odds in some Luxurious Korean Restaurant to take home and learn again.

Although, I have started using chopsticks quite early in my childhood days. However, I left the idea before I became confident due to a number of reasons. One it could be due to different culture and the way of life. 

However, today I am in the land of chopstick without knowing what to do, -quietinnocent and louche. But, nevertheless I am trying my best and harder everyday to adopt around with different foods, people, traffic and culture, etc...

On 8th of June, we had a visit to Korean Folk Village in outskirt of Southern end of Seoul City. It's almost one-hour drive from the place where I live (Park Hotel). The guide we have had was amazingly beautiful, rich in history and out-spoken lady in early 70's. In fact, lady of substance in Korea. Throughout the journey, she entertained us in the best of her capacity. She has shared not only the interesting facts but also many difficult times faced by Korea and Korean people from Japan, China, Russia, Vietnam, etc... She even has shared some unwritten and secret history of Korea in the entire journey. I feel lucky in thousand ways. 

Entrance to Korean Folk Village, Seoul

Beautiful show by Korean Village Girls

Live show by Korean Village boys

Everything went as planned except for –Lunch and Chopsticks.

Time for lunch. We all were seated. I and few other friends have chosen Korean Village Life Style Seat (it is exactly very same like how traditional Bhutanese eat in circle, seated on mat). As we took our table, our guides have served us our individual lunch pack from the canteen. I have Korean Grounded Beef and rice in front of me. Chopstick was the only means of eating our food, no hands (laughs). Although, before we guzzle we were briefed about the chopstick usage but not very useful. We tried our best but only to end up funny and odd. Anyway, we tried and finished all the food served and perhaps, it was memorable in Korean Style(laughs

I don't know about others but after I leave Korea, I have to learn more to eat with chopsticks. It's my personal home assignment I am taking from Korea. Thank you Korea for the chopstick lesson.

My heartfelt request to anyone planning trips to Korea must know how to eat with chopsticks. It's their culture. Every restaurant has chopsticks system. You must give it a try. They would feel happy, proud to see non-Korean eating with Chopsticks. It's simply a matter of practice. 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Kheng to Seoul (Korea)

Initially, I was bit confused when I got an offer to visit South Korea for 2019 KOICA/UNESCO Joint Fellowship Programme (3th June to 29th July). I had no idea of outside world, because farthest I have travel was some parts of Darjeeling and Jaigon City. However, before I headed to Metro City of Seoul, I got some months to prepare myself officially and do some follow-ups with the KOICA and APCEIU office. Whatever, I sincerely Thank Mr. Penjore for picking up my good luck for 2019. 

Honestly, I had no idea about the country except for few school students dancing some K-POP songs in some school co-curricular activities. Every time, they have fascinated me for beautiful dress and some unique steps on the stage. However, at the same time, I always have some big Puzzle on how our students could very easily understand and swallow the Korean Song's Lyrics and steps without attending any Korean classes. In fact, they were genius. I bet you they were better than Albert Einstein

On the same note, I sometime used to loosely joke with them –how comes simple Chemical Formula becomes so difficult when you all can easily perform Korean Dance (no personal intention to harm anybody). And surprisingly some even speak some basic Korean Language. Some were damn good in their dress and looks. I must say the influence of K-POP Stars to our younger generation is so much. I wish they learn school curriculum and prepare themselves to be in the land of Morning Sun/Calm. So, that they can actually feel Korean Looks, Country and Culture. 

I do not know about them but I find them little more artificial and unmatching to K-POP Stars, because Bhutanese are not Korean. Whatever, most of the Bhutanese kids have a dream to be in Korea and wanted to live a life like Korean people and moreover they wanted to look like Korean Star–fair and beautiful.

In few days of time, I will update more about Korea, Seoul City and many more. 

Stay Tuned...!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Nangkhor CS in Limelight, Zhemgang CS in their Best Mood

Recently Nangkhor CS from Pemagatsel District has made a cultural exchange tour to Zhemgang CS. Their three day's tour have successfully ended on 24th April with the exchanges of handshakes, good wishes and safe journey messages on the bumpy roads of Pangbang to their Home

We have welcomed them with our open heart, and ushered them with every best possible way we can. 

We hope that their stay in our campus would have become memorable and worth visiting the place. Although, Zhemgang lies far away from modern touch. However, the place is serene and beautiful in its accord. The place is rich in culture and biodiversity.

We have shared officially as well as unofficially as many things as possible on how to improve the education quality or teaching in our schools. So, that our students walk out of our campus with best valuesattitude, and education. Nevertheless, Zhemgang CS have been one of the great learning institution so far and we hope to continue with the same spirit. We have safe and enduring campus for our studentsstaff and visitors. For educating purpose, we leave no stone unturned. We create bigger platform for our students to learn both academic and non-academic part in school. We care our students in every possible way we can since we believe that school is "home-sweet-home". Not to forget that we have good management system in place for everyone. 

Although, school has very young teaching faculty however, everyone is talented in their own way, everyone has special quality that made us very unique and undefiled from rest of the schools in the District. We have strong unity amongst teaching staff and non-teaching staff that made us superior in many ways.

Like Nangkhor CS, we also practice holistic approach in educating our students. We came to know that both the schools have many good practices in common that made both the school one of the best schools in the country academicallyculturally, and aesthetically

However, overall the cultural exchanged program between two titans went very well. We get to exchange not only academic part but also get to see new and beautiful faces of two schools. We hope and pray for better change hereafter. We hope to meet in future with similar program between two schools. 

Friday, April 19, 2019

My Proposal to ShaMa Foundation

This is my sincere request to ShaMa Foundation on 16th, April 2019 which I made for my school and students. I am hoping for the positive reply from the foundation soon or within few hours as stated. 

Respected Sir or Madam,

With due respect, I Sancha Bdr. Rai, (teacher) would like to sincerely request your foundation for some urgent help. Since, over the years, I have devotedly followed various social service work and programs initiated by ShaMa Foundation. I have learned of different lives and communities that are change and benefitted by your kind and commendable activities. Therefore, I found your foundation to be an ideal source to seek help.

To state some backgrounds of the school –Zhemgang Central School was established in the year 1958 and has been functioning as one of the great learning institutions which lies in the central part of Bhutan. According to the population and housing report 2008 and 2018, Zhemgang is still one of the most remote and economically backward District in the country. Further, the place has a perennial water shortage problem for so long.

Therefore, school has some urgent need of some Water Storage Tank since school restrooms/toilets lack running water facilities. School get water only twice a day for one hour (i.e. morning and evening) which is not at all sufficient to meet our daily demand. Therefore, it is extremely becoming difficult to maintain good sanitation and healthy life style for all the students. The other is the Sanitary Napkin Disposal Unit/Can for our female students, which I found is equally important and necessary for maintaining good sanitation.

Although, we have a very clear law which state equal right for clean water and sanitation or access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, due to lack of fund, school have failed on several occasions to procure these items.

Therefore, school administration has observed that there was a serious health related impact on younger students who were more prone to sanitation and hygiene related infections, causing frequent sickness and thereby increase in the case of absentees from school, which hampers in their daily learning.

The following is the information about Zhemgang Central School, Zhemgang.


The following are the items proposed from your foundation.

Quantity required
Water Storage Tank (Polythene Tank)
(1,000-1,500) Litres
4 numbers
Sanitary Napkin Disposal Unit/Can (Girls)
6 numbers

Therefore, school would remain obliged if your generous foundation would help us in the proposed items. We are looking forward for the positive reply from your foundation.

Thank you

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Photography More Than a Club –III

So, here comes the next lesson on Genre of Photography.

Sport photography

This category involves getting up-close to the action in a very fast-paced and action-packed setting. Usually, sports events are captured with very long lens. As one chooses to freeze the movement, always remember to use a high ISO value, which would enable the use of faster shutter speed. Faster the shutter speed, more and better the image. 

Street Photography

It's one of my favorite genre.

Street photography is all about capturing ordinary everyday life in public spaces or life as it happens around the city, or town, etc…, It involves the real-life scenes coupled with some other scene behind.

Food photography

A very popular type of photography one can see around that are used mostly by restaurants, websites or bloggers to cajole customers to try and sell their products.

While doing this genre of photography, one must always remember to use natural light. Since, many unwanted elements get captured with Flash Light. Which might destroy the natural flavor and the texture of the food items.

Fashion photography

With change in time, this type of photography is not only becoming very popular among youth but also with adulthood's. It is typically used to sell something, to lures customers by glamorizing the product. One need to be very creative, as the image should visually needed to be very interesting, fascinating, and captivating.

Remember, the locationmakeuplighting, and the model play a very substantial role. Therefore, fashion photographer should always prepare in advance.

Aerial photography

This type of photography not only includes taking the landscape or city scene below from very high places like airplane, etc…, but it can also include from high buildings, trees, towers, mountains, hills, etc…,

Night photography

Source: google

It is not as easy as one finds it. Although, it is great way to document how the world transforms after dark, but it is extremely difficult to get a good and quality photograph.

Since, this type of photography is all about the proper use lightshutter speed and aperture. Remember, only good combination of these three elements can give a good and pleasing image. This type of photos perhaps is more interesting as the viewer gets to see some unusual aspects that cannot be seen by the naked eye.

Thank You Very Much for Your Time and Energy! 

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Our Everyday Problem

I can see problem everywhere, and every day, and with everybody. Zhemgang has unsettled drinking water shortage. Thimphu over crowded with our own people. Phuntsholing, hub to highly polluted air. And Gelephu the Land of Elephants. However, the common problems of ours are – toilets, our waste, poor time management habits, and water shortage, etc…,

Everywhere, every day, and with everyone.

How can we solve this puzzle of ours? Do we need to hire some foreign brains to solve this simple matrix? How long shall we keep our volunteer service alive or go on?

Where are we actually failing –education system or policy level or poor mindset of our people?

I feel GNH country should not behave in such a rude manner. Some time, I pity myself as a deep Buddhist practitioner and a follower. Our time is now. We all must act now. We can. Our population is still manageable. If not now, we can never in near future?

First is our Public Toilet/Mass Toilet. "Everyone's property becomes no body's property." Lately, I have been engaged into pool of quite unusual Toilet Business. I jokingly told some of the students that our toilet pots have turn into a great antique now. Further, it was very sad to see most of the toilet doors in very bad conditions, completely destroyed. With such conditions, our toilet looks like Ghost. Looks like it was abandoned for thousand years. Looks like some pigs have used it.

What a shame?

Perhaps, water shortage was their blatant respond. However, I suggested them to make a habit of carrying water while making it to toilet –be it short or long toilet. Always Use Water! Such simple good habit can solve our toilet problem everywhere. I am happy since everybody promised to use water hereafter, everyone promised to cooperate –for whatever maybe the situation. Together we can. I concluded with –thank you very much!

Second is Our Waste. Despite special reminder and request, we can still see all kinds of waste everywhere. Recently, I got a chance to shared one small successful story of our own Greener Way. The renowned brand name in Thimphu City. However, we don’t feel as good as Karma Yonten feels for the waste. Someone's waste is someone's fortune, someone's money, someone's living, and someone's good luck. I told them –what it does to our environment? How to manage our own waste? How to make a good habit for it?

I am sure some felt for it and few unmoved for it.

Third is Poor Time Management Habits. Particularly, I found Bhutanese are very poor in managing time –be it office time or casual gatherings. Of late, I shared about good time management habits and its benefit. Simply, I want them to be punctual for work, or wherever.

I told them – "time stops for no one. Time waits for no one. And your excuses will never slow down time." It keeps going, and going, and going…!

I have been into the teaching service for seven years now, and the biggest challenges was almost 99% of us come late for school and other activities. And no one bothers, and no one cares about it. Particularly, it is not good for education institution. I don't know the reason, why? However, in my case it is little different, with chest wide open, I told them for these many years, I have never come late for school and to other works. Further, as a student and a college student, I have never been late for any activities. Not even a minute late. How? How did I manage to do this simple task? It's very simple. I don't follow time. I do everything on or before time. Before I go to bed, I mentally prepare what to do the next day based on priority –first thing first! Next morning, I wake-up and prepare myself for the day's work.

I have my study duty on Thursday Morning which commence from 6:20am (for 1 hour). I make on time there as well. So, how? I wake-up at 5:50am and prepare myself.

Further, everyday my duty starts from 8:10am. So, how do I manage? I set priority –first thing first! I prepare for the day accordingly. Thus, there is no question of late for my work. It's all about how you take things, and manage things. Being positive to oneself is very important. Being honest to oneself is very important for a successful and happy life. For me, there is no question of this and that excuses for someone coming late for their work. I must tell you, coming 10-15 minutes early for your work would ease you and your work. Your day would become beautiful and you will enjoy your work life immensely. There is no harm in coming few minutes early to your work. Remember, your work is lifeline!

Therefore, to make it better and reliable, I have narrated what had happened recently with "Japan's Olympics Minister. He was forced to apologies for being THREE minutes late to meeting." Can you imagine, it's just 3 minutes late. Here we don't mind coming late for 1 hour, 2 hours and 3 hours...

In Japan, being unpunctual is a crime and it's the sign of disrespectful to other people.

We need same here. We need law that protects people who works on time. This simple rule of life can make everyone happy. It can solve toilet problem, waste problem, time problem, and even water problem. All we need is good life discipline.

Toilet in Korea, but not in Bhutan

If there is one thing to talk about Korea, I can talk or share my admirable experience of toilet facilities and system of Korea for day...