Right tatoo

It's a dragon

It's a dragon

The last big picture was easy. Too easy. Almost all of you seem to know the answer. Frankly, I’m amazed. And I feel silly. So I’m declaring the results before I feel any more sillier.

Yes, it’s a tattoo. Yes, it’sa tattoo of a dragon. And yes, it’s a tattoo of a dragon on Jurmi Chhowing’s left arm.

Jurmi, who’s also known as Taliman (not Taliban, dear Pompom), got this “lifetime marking for a temporary insanity”, as Ugyen put it, at Naktsi Tattoo Parlour. The parlour is located in Lhaki Lam in lower Motithang. It is owned and run by Sonam aka Brother John.

The prize goes to our friend Archibald, who sent phtographic evidence to back up the correct answer. Archibald: please contact me for your prize. You’ve won a lunch at Musk. But, since you may not be in Bhutan, I can send you, if you prefer, Nu 100 in lieu of lunch.


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  1. Yes the answer was a little too easy….but it feels nice to know the answer even if we don’t win the prize hehe (wink)

  2. But Your Excellency..you never asked for evidence la. We were only asked to identify and in fact my answer was much precise…Dragon tatoo on the left arm…

    anyway…no hard feelings la…better luck next time..

    • You are right, i didn’t ask for evidence. But, I had to give Archibald extra points for the “evidence”. Plus he did mention “Jurmi”. I’ll try to come up with something more challenging the next time

  3. great. was really planning to forego the lunch prize since it would really be impossible, but the coin is truly and gratefully appreciated. 🙂

  4. I prefer Taliban to Taliman..hehehe..the name suits him, don;t you think so?

  5. Next time OL please make the prize a dinner date with you.. i will make sure i win as i have a lot of questions to ask you personally!

    • Please contact me, by email or telephone, if you want to discuss your questions – over a dinner date, working lunch, tea. Or you could drop by my office, anytime…call first, to confirm that I am there. On my part, if you have question….I have questions.

      • Dear OL,
        People gracefully regard Teaching as a very noble profession, but IT is the ONLY motivation.
        Lately, i have a feeling that Teaching is a dead end job. That you are stuck in it for the rest of your career.
        I once loved and enjoyed teaching. Those days are long gone now.
        Teachers are being attacked from every angle possible. There are a lot of restriction that binds teacher in our society. We have to survive on our small salary and support our growing families. We can’t have a side business as it is against the norms of the profession. And recently what happened was teachers are now slowly being restricted from applying for studies and jobs.The announcements specifically states that those who are in the teaching profession may not apply. Do you think it is fair? If the teacher has the qualification and the potentials for the slot, don’t you feel they should be allowed to apply?
        After all, not many graduates want to take up this NOBLE profession. It is always the last resort for everyone. The ones who are already in the teaching profession are always looking for a way out. This indicates that there is a serious problem with this profession. The Ministry makes a lot of changes trying to improve the “so called quality of education” but i feel there is nothing wrong with the quality. What lacks in our schools are the age old values, tradition and this thing called “tha-dam-tse da lay-jum-dey”. The respect that teachers enjoyed in the glorious day are gone. Teachers have now become mere scape-goats for the parent’s failure to raise their children the “proper” way, the ministry’s rash decisions, the principal’s ignorant ways of management, and eventually the society’s failure to produce “quality citizens”.
        What is OL’s opinion on that?

      • Hon’ OL i m still waiting for your take on this topic!

  6. Pompom…Cheeky Yet Again! (But iLike The Sound Better…T>A>L>I>B>A>N Has a Sinister Ring to it!

    NB: Thanks to the PDP President for this publicity. Lot of our youngsters sport tattoos these days

    (and really- some of the [procedures are just plain dangerous- like Sewing Needles…One Needle For All…Drawing Board Pins—etc)
    I’m helping Brother John (Sonam) and I forgot to mention to the OL Sonam’s Mentor- Ata Palden (They Are Both Good, The Best in Thimphu in my opinion) and They Have the Right Tools-of-the-Trade…Proper Machines, Safety Measures, How to Take-Care…etc…

    The First Tattoo Parlor proposal submitted by another young pair of boys was rejected by Trade citing “Dangerous-Health-Risks.”

    Which is precisely the reason why they should allow it…and regulate it. A lot of youngsters will then avoid what could be fatal infections, diseases…and Sport Real Tattoos…

    Which Professionally Done is a Work of Art!
    Sorry folks..Became a diatribe!
    Ps: Naktsi Tattoo Parlor number For Those Interested: (+975) 1786 6242
    cHEERS aND enJOy tTHE lUNcH!

  7. Tatoo Culture!
    I am pretty sure I might be hitting my head against rock. But I want to vent it out.

    I personally feel that Tatoos are risky and very very untraditional. The best technology, safest machines and wonderful compaines have loopholes. It would only take away lives.

    On the other hand, in a traditional society like ours, it is totally against our cultural norms to have tatoos. Neither in Haa nor in Trashigang.

    Well, it is Jurmi’s choice to have his tatoo and the Department of Trade’s decision to grant licence for one company and not to other. I am surprised a person of true value and principle, someone we look up in the society. i.e The Hon’ble OL, approves and cherishes, if not praises such cultures/ this is a new culture.

    I dont mean to say that we should ban it, but I would never approve my son/daugther having a tatoo on his/her body. Will you do that OL and others?.

    We are concerned about traditions, culture and economy. I can see this effecting all these philosophies.

  8. Dear chimmi,
    First of all it is the 21st century and we have to accept changes, because change is the next big thing. Tatoo is the same as TV and Internet, there is always playing it safe and doing it for a reason. By granting the youth trade liscence to run a tatoo studio, the govt. is helping to lessen the unemployment situation in our country, at the same time people can get a tatoo in a safe and hygenic environment thus reducing the risk of spreading deadly infections.
    I respect your views on tatoos but you can’t restrict your children from getting one, afterall they too are individuals with their own opinions and we got to respect them too.All you can do is teach them the right method to get one safely, for all i know if the kids want to have tatoos thay will eventually get one- with or without our permission. So in the 21st century, being a good parent is hard, esp. with kids who are brought up in a very open society where their veiws are heard and taken into consideration.
    I have kids too, so i know your concern but the right thing to do is educate our children the right way and let them make their own chioces.Teach them our values, our culture and our beliefs. Let them know what the socitey and you as a parent expect from them but give them the choice to make their own decisions.
    Good Luck!

    • Pompom,
      I totally agree with your opinion that we should not force value into someone, but educate them with good rationale and example. In the same approach, I was not at all denouncing Jurmi’s Tattoos or the young guys who started the business. I was telling that the OL is probably not educating the youth in the fashion that is deemed accurate. If we showcase, people with Tattoos on websites, conduct ‘Identify the person with Tattoos’ quizzes. Are telling them about the choices or simply advertising Tattoos culture? If we bond people with Tattoos in our society as heroes, do you think that you can influence your child enough? They would say “The famous Pompom has a tattoo too” “Even the Hon’ble OL writes good about Tattoos and people with Tattoos are featured in his website”. Do you see the reasoning behind any Dorji, Sonam or Pompom writing about Tattoos and the OL writing about it? I think it is way different. Many people look up, or atleast started looking upto him!
      On the issue of generating employment with the tattoo business. I like the idea although this is slightly on a different note. But as I was saying, I like the idea simply because of the fact that this is such an interesting topic to debate. A Tattoo studio is an employment opportunity for 2-3 people and a place to spend money for many others. For this turnover in money, a major chunk of money will go to either India/Thailand; probably that is where they get their equipment and supplies. At the end of the day, we have only tattoos on Bhutanese bodies and holes in our national bank balance. Our already poor Rupee balance will flow out and the net input into the society = negative something else. It will keep some people rolling on. But then, if they have the willingness and skills they would have made the employment opportunity in another interesting way. I will throw an idea; say a handicrafts studio, making use of locally available wood waste. Employment opportunity and income, personally for them and also for the national revenue. Remember we have way more things to create employment. What about Bhutanese run saloons for men in Thimphu? I used to get my hair done by Jagas all the time!

  9. Mr Chimmi, You Have All the Right to VENT out whatever YOU feel is INAPPROPRIATE.
    But Really, Practically Change is Permanent. Good and Bad are relatives.

    I’d think it would be easier for you to ACCEPT what are natural changes. Just because I sport tattoos don’t make me any LESS BHUTANESE. Just Because People Know Bhutanese Etiquette Does Not Make Them Any MORE BHUTANESE.
    True tradition is in the heart, like with everythingelse in life.

    These are individual personal choices. One must respect that- the forest is made up of a million different sentient and insentient beings…we do not undermine the ANT in favor of the ELEPHANT.

    If We Were So Stuck-Up with Tradition and Bhutaneseness and Social Dangers, then I’ve one simple question: WE WOULD NOT BE HERE and WHY THE BOOZE?
    Ps: Human Nature Tells Us…The Forbidden Fruit Is The Tastiest- I’d Try Explaining to my Child what Tattoos are about…besides GOOD CONDUCT, NOT TAKING WHAT IS NOT YOURS, RESPECT FOR ALL THINGS, TOLERANCE ratherr than telling them “WHAT TO DO.”
    Have a Good Day. Cheers!

    • Postman Thank you for the permission to vent out! I like the spirit.
      You are damn right that change is inevitable and we need to keep moving with time. Traditions and culture cannot be just wearing ghos/kiras/kabneys and outwardly expressions but deep rooted principles. A forest is made up of millions of different species, How true? However, on the issue of tattoo culture, and your concept of ANT and Elephant, we need to have the big picture in mind. We should indeed respect individual rights and decisions. We should never ever put a ban on Tattoo culture or discriminate people with tattoos in Bhutan. I wasn’t asking for that too. But then as an individual, I was saying that it is not an appropriate culture, not necessary only with Bhutanese traditions but everything. Look all around the world. Even in the US, there are millions of people with Tattoos, but there are also people who do not favor it. I am on the same side of the table. I am not saying that we need to stop and put a seal on our sons and daughters’ Arms or Backs or Thighs or Butts. We need to understand the implications and inform the younger generations adequately. The best way as you say is not to make it forbidden, but the least preferred and most dangerous path. Do you get the difference I am trying to point out?

  10. Okay Mr CHimi, I Think That Concludes Our Communication.

    You said what you had to say; i did mine. Now can we keep our personal likes and dislikes to ourselves (and this is also the broader picture).

    I not only get the DIFFERENCE you were trying to put out I also get from where it is coming.

    Now lets just pray and hope this LEAST PREFERRED and MOST DANGEROUS PATH does not become the norm among our youth (Though Logic Says That Is Nigh Impossible!)

    Cheers Anyways and Give Life a Breather and Try Taking Things a Little Lightly!!!

  11. Postman,
    you are right, we can only hope and pray for the best! Maybe close our eyes. ha hahaa

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