11. At Thimphu festival, Bhutan


I was fortunate to witness the annual Thimphu festival, an annual colourful and happy occasion held in Bhutan annually to celebrate the birthday of Guru Rimpoche – the enlightened soul who first introduced the country to Buddhism in the 8th century CE. Thimphu Festival attracts thousands from all over the country, and abroad.

Dances based on Buddhist traditions and mythology, various exciting cultural displays including archery are staged. People participate enthusiastically socialise and receive blessings in a sort of Buddhist Mardi-Gras atmosphere.

This was a beautiful lass in traditional dress and wearing the jewellery fit for the festival.  Her hand woven kera, an ankle length outfit  is worn with an inner blouse. An open jacket is worn over the kera. Jewellery includes exquisite necklaces made from turquoise, corals, pearls and the precious agate  (tiger eye stone).  I was told that the decorations, colours and jewellery worn define the woman’s social status and class. I was struck by the innocent yet vulnerable look in this girl’s eyes, which in turn inspired the painting.


Original:  Oil on canvas ; 8 x 10″  (203 x 254 mm)) ; framed

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Sizes available: 8 x 12″(203 x 305 mm); 12 x 16″(305 x 410mm); 18 x 24″(457 x 610 mm); 24 x 32″ (610 x 813mm)

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