Bhutan Photos and updates
Bhutan Cultural Center
Welcome! This Cultural Center project is huge. It needs to be,
because the vision is just as grand. Our world is about to lose a
traditional culture that embodies something magical... harmony, peace, respect and simplicity. Bhutan has been compared to the Last Shangri-La, an invaluable link to the purest of ideals. We feel certain that if we don't do
something now, it will disappear forever.


From L to R, Karma Lhuendrup, Matthew Kelly, Jim Winkler, Rinchen Wangyal
Bhutanese children carving traditional woodblocks


Saving Bhutan's Sacred Texts

Here we are in Thimpu, Bhutan's capital. On our left is Karma Lhuendrup who is single-handedly trying to preserve his country's sacred texts before they all decay and are lost to the world forever.

The lower photo shows Bhutanese children learning to carve traditional woodblocks for the printing of these ancient texts, which are a source of Bhutan's great culture. These children sit on hard wooden floors for hours in a dimly lit room, engrossed in their work. The texts are later hand stamped using vegetable dyes. The paper decays, the woodblocks are eaten by termites.

Mr. Dhundrup is first cataloging the nations written treasures, and then painstakingly copying them to computer. This way they will be preserved for all time, and become available for all the world's benefit.

This project will be under the direction of the Cultural Center of Bhutan.

Ancient Festivals vs. MTV

I took this picture at a festival in Bhutan. These dances date back half a millennium. I felt like I was in another world, another time.

Thousands of men, women and children dressed in fabulous colored clothes laughed and cheered as the dancers, monks, and clowns enacted what is a living cultural treasure.

These festivals embody Bhutan's wisdom and values, but must now compete with an invisible invader from the sky... television. This was just one more reason we felt compelled to build a Performing Arts and Cultural Center in Bhutan.

Bhutanese festival dancer...dancing in Shangri-la
Bhutan Artwork
Artwork as big as a building!

Entering another world

That morning I found myself in Paro, Bhutan. As the dawn was drawing near, hundreds of monks carried out this 10 story high handmade appliqué of solid inspiration. As the first rays of the morning light graced its vibrant other worldliness, my sleepiness vanished to be replaced by awe and the single thought... I can't believe I'm here to see this.

The Bhutanese believe that to merely view this artwork one will have the possibility of reaching enlightenment in this very life, in this very moment. Yet such crafts and skills are being lost as Bhutan faces a "modern" future, one that includes the enormous pressures of global consumerism and entertainment.

Building a living Cultural Center in Bhutan will preserve for the world these treasures, and their message of peace.

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