Monday, October 24, 2011

Kinley's Home

Kinley's Beautiful Family
(From Left: Kinley's Mum, Kinley, Kinley's Siblings and Kinley's Dad)
The 6th-8th of September was the Tsechu Festival here in Bhutan. During this time, we had a break from 
school so my roommate Kinley invited me over to her house.

I thought it would be nice to know my roommate outside of the dorm-school context and get to learn about her family dynamics.

Once we got to Kinley’s home, she immediately started doing chores without taking a break. I compared her behavior to how I act when I get back home from Wheaton. I usually use my school work and school activities as an excuse to not do any chores because I’m “tired”. But Kinley didn’t complain about being tired or lay around calling friends to meet up. She rarely sat down and I always joked, “Kinley, Take Rest!” as she had said to me when we got to her house. She just laughed and continued her chores.

Kinley’s family was amazingly caring and hospitable and I felt like I was a part of their family, though it made me miss my family. An interesting thing about staying at her home was observing the family dynamics. There was this strong sense of respect between both the parents and children and they were very close-knit. During meals, we all ate together on the floor in a small round circle with the food at the center which her mother dished out for all of us. If someone (especially her father) wasn’t present we had to wait till they got there before we started to eat. Her family was very keen on making sure I was comfortable at their home, so they would often check on me and ask how I was feeling and doing. Sometimes I felt like I was a bother to them, because they were too kind and kept offering me food, tea, fruits, cookies etc and asking if I needed anything.

I was even more humbled by their kindness on the day of Tsechu when her mother dressed me in one of her new expensive kiras. I have never worn anything so expensive and was shocked by the fact that she lent it to me to wear. If I owned such a piece of clothing, I would personally not lend it to anyone. The only thing she said to me was “Be careful where you sit with the kira”, she didn’t even mention the fact that it was expensive.

Staying with my Bhutanese roommate, I got to observe and learn a lot more about Bhutanese family dynamics and culture such as their genuine kindness, hospitable and caring personality, and non- materialism. Additionally, one person’s guest is the entire family’s guest. 

-Noel Manu 

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