Targeting the rain

archery targetsYangphel Archery’s second knockout round began today. The 14 winning teams and 10 “joker” teams from this round will make it to the quarter finals. And the 8 winners plus one joker from the quarterfinals will play the semifinals.

The tournament began on 4th July. And during the last seven weeks 182 matches were played. But, guess what, not a single match was postponed. The weather has held up remarkably well. For the archers, that is; not our farmers who, at this time of the year, need rain.

So today, when I congratulated Tshewang Rinchen, the tournament’s secretary general, for the excellent arrangements, I added that the tournament’s success may mean too little rain for our farmers.

But Tshewang thinks otherwise. He reminded me that, though the annual Yangphel Tournament is held during the monsoons, hardly any of their matches are postponed. This, according to him, is because, around these parts, it mostly rains at night. And this, he claims, should make it possible to attract many more tourists during the so called “off season” monsoon months. Tshewang would know – he is a fulltime tourist guide at Yangphel.

Incidentally, have you ever wondered how many targets Yangphel makes for its tournament? 478 targets! I visited their workshop, located above the Memorail Chorten, and saw one craftsman patiently applying fresh canvas to rows upon rows of targets. The photo banner this week shows one such row.