This morning, math returned in the form of a test. I was a little scared, because if I do not get a score of 90% or higher, I must retake the test. I gladly got a 93% and slipped right by. After my math test, we kayaked the Mo Chhu again. Dad and Kali started at the camp and Mom and I were driven by Karma to a section of easier water. We would be picked up by Kali and Dad when they boated the upper section and floated to where we put in. Mom started with me because she decided to take it easy for a day since her last kayak experience was not so good. We jumped in our boats when we saw Dad and Kali floating down peacefully. Everything went great and I avoided the middle hole on the hardest rapid!
After boating, we drove to the village of Lobesa where we planned to eat lunch. We wished to visit Chhimi Lhakang, the temple and monastery of Drukpa Kinley, the "Divine Madman," built in 1499. This is the temple that people visit before and after they have a baby. When a couple plans to have a child, they go to the temple for a blessing to insure they get pregnant and have a healthy baby. When the child is born, the family returns to the temple to receive a name for the newborn child. In the temple, the couple picks up a small book and flips to a random page. On the random page is a name for the child. The Bhutanese believe that the Madman Saint chooses the child's name and blesses him. I flipped to a page in the book, and the Divine Madman named me Kinley Gyaltshen. This was interesting as this is the same name given to Karma's son. It also is the same name as the Divine Madman. I guess I fit in perfectly with the crazy side of the Bhutanese culture.
In Bhutan, all couples do not have to pick their child’s name out of the Temple book. Other times, the baby’s grandparents may pick the name. Very, very, rarely do the parents decide. Drukpa Kinlay, the Divine Madman, was known for his rowdiness, humor, and sexual jokes. He brought a wooden phallus from Tibet and inspired people to use it as a symbol. Now, many stores sell wooded phalluses and some houses have phalluses painted on them. This symbol is thought to bring life, health, and fertility to the home.
When people visit Chhimi Lhakang temple, they get blessed by the wooden phallus that Drukpa Kinley brought with him from Tibet. In the blessing, a monk taps you on the head with the phallus. The Divine Madman introduced this tradition so that people would be happy and the human race would not die out as everybody was having babies. I am not sure I want to share this with you, but, yes, I too was bonked on the head with the seven hundred year old silver wrapped phallus.
Walking through the rice fields back from the temple, we saw several kids playing and jumping in hay. They were friendly and I took pictures of them and showed them the results on the camera. With the children, was a group of adults thrashing and separating the rice harvest. As they trashed the grain, they let me watch and take pictures. I am very prod of my work. My pictures rock!
Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!