Julley from Kargyak!

Early spring has finally come here. Snow is slowly melting from mountainsides and valleys uncover small, terraced fields. Birds start singing their spring songs, sometimes we are lucky enough to spot a butterfly flying in front of our school. According to tradition, Kargyak villagers consulted with monks the best sowing time and since that time everyone has been impatiently on watch for the blessed date. But before the start of the laborious field work, local people organize archery hilarities which we couldn´t miss! The very first "preparatory" day all men test ritual bows and repair hand-made arrows. Women are engaged in food preparation for the whole village. For the first time appears a magical gold, botomless pot full of chang. This one plays a major role during these hilarities. Every day, there is a different family taking care of the pot of chang refilling. Whole village concordantly tastes richly yellow coloured beverage and judges its quality. That´s the following day that the real celebration begins. Before the archery competition begins men divide themselves by lots into two groups which will then fight. Men sing ancient songs and dance ritual dance remembering old times when the most important source of living was hunt. That´s soon after that exhilarated shooters grasp their bows and arrows and struggle to hit a target with a half-meter diameter in about 30 metres distance. I have to admit that it isn´t easy at all. The next day that was ladies´turn. They danced for us in their traditional dress which is made up by a fleecy cap decorated by turquoise, a colourful smock, a skirt and an indispensable goat skin. Then everyone celebrated until quite late hours. During this celebration Himalayan nature showed us its boisterousness and vivacity.

In the morning after second day of celebration we were woken up by Norboo. He wanted us to watch something. He led us mysteriously up to a hill in the valley behind the village. When we were about 20 minutes away from village, we noticed a strange thing. It was a dismembered sheep. There was quite a lot of frozen blood and surrounding digged snow revealed that it must have been a cruel fight. We noticed big cat paw prints. Norboo was circling around "the death place" and then dryly declared: "Snow tiger, two, yesterday." He covered his shoulders with the bloody sheep and invited us to join his mutton feast. Local people prepare meat in pressure cooker with chilli powder accompanied by rice which isn´t bad at all. With a bit of pity I have to state that until this day snow leopard has already reduced Kargyak sheep troop of 5 sheep. Kargyak people begin to be pretty angry with this rare and very beautiful predator.
School year in Kargyak school has just got to its middle, so our students started to feel proximity of sword of Damocles, or shortly coming school tests. Instead of football, badminton, clay castle building we observed heads downcast above exercice books. Pupils experienced their tough moments from Monday to Thursday. During that time they were exposed to test questions from English, Hindi, Bhodik, Social and General Studies and Maths. Tests finally finished successfully. Results from all subjects were counted up and we chose 3 best students from each class. Those ones were rewarded with sweets and new school tools. When exam period had finished, stress simmered down and everything came back to its smiling normal.
Present-day hit is without any doubts football. In every free minute boys and girls are running around ball. Another attraction seems to be abseiling boulders. It is especially first and second classes in the Lhamo´s lead who is taking pleasure in euphoric yelling while being suspended on rope.
It is snowing again and there is about 10 cm of fresh snow in this moment so we can still enjoy winter merriment. We say hello to everyone.

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