Choki Traditional Art School
Choki Art School
"Empowering the unprivileged youth as custodians of distinct culture"
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Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Washington DC, USA

Smithsonian festival, USA

Last year In July 2008, for two weeks, Bhutan participated in the Smithsonian Folklife Exhibition in Washington D.C.,USA. Choki Traditional Art School was indeed very fortunate to get the pportunity to be represented in this festival. The school was represented by Sonam Choki, Principal, Kuenzang, Dawa Gyelsten and Sangay Tenzin. At the exhibition we were able to meet lots of people and talk about our school. The artifacts produced by our students which were also on display were well received and appreciated by the visitors. The participation to the exhibition was funded by the Himalayan Youth Foundation. The experience was enriching for the school and we would like to thank all those who have contributed to HYF for this trip.

DAWA GYELTSHEN - Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Washington DC, USA

Dawa Gyeltshen, Smithsonian festivalMy Name is Dawa Gyeltshen. I am studying in the final year of carving section and I will be graduating from Choki Traditional Art School (CTAS) from this December 2008. I was very fortunate to get an opportunity to participate in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Washington DC. This journey was my first journey outside Bhutan and the very first time I was lucky to start my trip to America. I heard about America and have always imagined it with high buildings, lots and lots of people, big shopping complex and also thought there will be lots of high mountains higher then what we have here in Bhutan. I was also very excited to go in plane and at once it almost scared me off especially when the plane takeoff and land but I enjoyed my very first experience.

On the other hand I was little bit worried about how I will be able to keep up the expectation of the festival work and also about my health. The food we get there are completely different and the kind of food I am used to was chili and spicy but somehow I enjoyed the foods which are served to us and have managed well. After the 2nd day of the festival, I got confidence and was able to carry out my task very well. I did the carving of four friends, dragons and small masks. I was very amazed to see more people visiting the festival everyday and they were very impressed with our tradition and culture. I have never felt so proud in my life to be a carver. I was motivated to work harder and provide good quality work and I also felt that if I work hard there is good scope in future.

Dawa Gyeltshen


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