“Caravan 2021 – Bhutan”, a program organized by the Asian Literary Society jointly with the Journal of Asian Art, Culture and Literature (JAACL) 


On January 10, 2021, the Asian Literary Society in association with the Journal of Asian Art, Culture and Literature (JAACL) organized “Caravan 2021 -Bhutan” a program to celebrate the rich heritage of Bhutanese art, culture, and literature. In light of the present Covid-19 scenario, this event was conducted online.  


The day-long event began with a welcome note by Mr. Manoj Krishnan (Founder, Asian Literary Society). The Chief Guest Prof. Thakur S. Powdyel (Former Minister of Education, Royal Government of Bhutan) delivered the inaugural address and highlighted the grandeur of Bhutanese culture. 


The Guest of Honour Dr. Saamdu Chetri (Former Joint Secretary at the PM’s Office, Royal Government of Bhutan) spoke about “Mindfulness and Gross National Happiness”. 


A panel discussion on the rich heritage of Bhutanese art, culture, and literature was also organized in which the panelists Ms. Kunzang Choden (Eminent Writer, Bhutan), Mr. Gopilal Acharya (Eminent Journalist & Writer, Bhutan), and Mr. Chablop Passu (Founder, Bhutan Toilet Organization) brought to light various unique aspects of Bhutanese art, culture, and literature.


Shri Balmiki Prasad Singh (Former Governor of Sikkim) and Dr. Amarendra Khatua (Former Secretary, MEA) also shared their thoughts about Bhutan and reminiscences of their stay in the land of the thunder dragon.


In a scintillating discussion, Dr. Bishakha Sarma (Linguist & ALS Administrator) and Ms. Anita Chand (Poet & ALS Administrator) spoke about various interesting facts about Bhutanese people, languages, dances, festivals, etc.


An exciting segment of “Caravan 2021 – Bhutan” program was the soulful performances of Bhutanese songs and dances by Ms. Prachitha M Bhat, Ms. Sangeeta Gupta, Ms. Shivpriya, Ms. Ugyen Dema Doya, and Ms. Pranjali M Bhat.


An Online Art Exhibition on the theme “Bhutan” was also organized by the Society where artworks of Ms. Deepika Singh, Ms. Ritu Kumari, Ms. Navneet Kaur Kohli, Ms. Ankurita Khajanchi, Ms. Payal Agarwal, Ms. Neeti Parti, Ms. Pushkar Rastogi, Dr. Aparna Pradhan, Ms. Deepti Saxena, Ms. Anju Sachdeva, Ms. Raina Pal, Ms. Aradhana Singh, Ms. Priyanka Desai, Dr. Sonam Rastogi, Ms. Aditi Narang, Ms. Nidhi Mathur, Ms. Anita Chand, and Master Vishwanath were displayed. 


Many Bhutanese and Indian poets and writers participated in the session on Poetry Recitation and Storytelling. The participants included Mr. Kezang Dawa, Mr. Ash Bahadur Subba, Mr. Tshering Wangchuk, Mr. Tashi Dorji, Mr. Bagawath Bhandari, Mr. Arun Kumar Gurung, Ms. Nari Maya Limbo, Dr. Molly Joseph, Ms. Neeti Parti, Dr. Aparna Pradhan, Ms. Mandira Ghosh, Ms. Shweta, Ms. Deepti Saxena, Ms. Pema Wangmo, Ms. Karma Zam and Mr. Khesise Lungma, and Ms. Anita Chand.


The program ended with the felicitation of all the participating writers and artists by Mr. Manoj Krishnan and a vote of thanks. 


It was heartening to note the warm, positive response to “Caravan 2021 – Bhutan” program from all the invitees, participants, and audience members.