05 October, 2015

APPRECIATING OUR DRINKING-CULTURE


I lived all my younger days as a timid who, had no guts to break rules or disobey others. Except for a few petty mischiefs, I never experienced an adventure of being outrageously naughty. Today, when I recall the journey I have travelled, one of the inadequacies I had, was not having appreciated our drinking-culture enough. I don’t know if, that too was due to my timid nature. I should have been a sensible drinker than being a non-drinker. However, of late, I have converted myself from non-drinker to a social drinker.  I did this not just for the taste of alcohol (Chang/Ara) but in my exertion to appreciate our traditional offerings. Our tradition of offering Tshok Chang is just too beautiful. It signifies solidarity, expression of respects, emotional bonding and mutual affections. How can one refuse it when it is offered with such a symbolic gesture and with all good intents?
                      At Tshok Chang offering (Picture courtesy: www.google.com)
Consumption of Chang/Ara is not an alcohol abuse, provided one ought to know the limit and the occasion to drink. Just as, too much of anything is poisonous; so is with Chang/Ara.  Of course, there is a difference between social drinking and alcoholism. Social drinking takes place on a specific occasion with friends / family members either to celebrate good times or to comfort bad times; whereas, alcoholism is an excessive use of alcohol leading to intoxication of self, misbehaving with others and ruining one’s own health. 

In our society, Chang/Ara has been a central substance during social, cultural and traditional gatherings. How interesting it is that, Chang/Ara is known by a different name depending on the occasion it is served. For example:
  1. Dong Chang or Pheb Chang – Welcome Drink. Served as a welcoming gesture by the host to their guest,
  2. Tshok Chang – Greetings Drink. Offered to a guest as a gesture of solidarity, expression of respects, emotional bonding and mutual affections,
  3. Tse Chang – Longevity Drink to prolong one’s life. Served during the longevity rituals,
  4. Yang Chang – Affluence Drink served during rituals to enhance prosperity,
  5. Tshong Chang – Trading Drink, served amongst the Traders at the time of negotiating their deal,
  6. Tashi Chang – Auspicious Drink. It is usually served towards the end of the ceremony to foster auspiciousness,
  7. Zim Chang – Bed time Drink. Served just before one retires for the day to have a sound sleep.
  8. Shakpa Chang – Forgiving Drink. Offered to beg pardon.
  9.  Joen Chang – Departure Drink. Served by a host at the time of departure to wish their guest a safe journey. It is at this time, the guest leaves a token of gratitude for the host, it can be either in cash or kind, or even both.
  10. Lam Chang – Journey Drink. It is offered in a closed container by the host to be consumed by guest during the course of journey and 
  11. Many more….
I sincerely hope the readers will appreciate our drinking-culture as much as I do. Don’t just forbid yourself from accepting our traditional offerings. I am not encouraging anyone to drink but to appreciate what is there in our tradition. The point to remember is, to be  mindful while drinking and not to get drunk or intoxicated. 

All said and done, excessive use of alcohol leading to intoxication of self, misbehaving with others and ruining one’s own health & family bond is strongly discouraged. 

8 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Only shows how much love drinking. Hehe... keep 'drinking' - oh I meant blogging.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The older I get...,the more I appreciate our traditional ideals. Now, I have updated my status from non-drinker to social drinker, I will be a sensible drinker as well as sensible blogger and enjoy both drinking and blogging...lol

      Delete
  3. In my community some more such as Tochang (before meal time), Shaichang (drinks after meal), Zurchang (side drinks), Shuichang (farewell drinks), Tongchang (console drinks), Zomchang (drinks during meet), Zhengchang (wake up drinks), Dhetsichang (holy drinks), Torchang (torma drinks) etc

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What about Thrue Chang(served after bath)? Would be nice during colder times.

      Delete
  4. Au Jambay.. too bad u were not even a social drinker when we were living together.. maybe we need to join up sometimes.. hahhaa.. I was also told that in the east/kheng people feed chang for letting a baby sleep well.Will that be "Yaktsha Zhim Chang"? lol!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right. We can always make up for what we have missed, we are not far from each other. I've never heard of Yaktsha Zhim Chang but if so called 'Yaktsha Zhim Chang' exists, omg! cant imagine the kick that tiny tender brain would get from it ...lol

      Delete