A “common” dispute between neighbors

Today is a beautiful clear afternoon and being “high” by all that I can see around me, I am setting out to make a phone connection with the outer world. There is not much time left as there are grannies coming up to the school soon to get their eye ointment as well as doksa girls coming for English lesson. In spite of that I am not in a hurry. Time is meaningless here and nobody takes it into account anyway. Nobody cares about being late here. In front of Angmo’s house, I am meeting granny Yangdol. She is bleeding, her finder is broken. She is trying to explain how the injury has happened. According to her gestures, Noryang was chopping wood, did not pay enough attention and hurt her. (...)

(...) Instead of bringing her up to the school, I am sending the granny back home with the intention of returning to her in a minute with all necessary medical equipment.

On the way back to the village, I am running flat-out. The village yard is full of people. I can hear somebody crying, shouting…Outside Lobsang’s house is Yangdol’s daughter Kalzang lying on the frozen ground and crying…the ground around her is covered with blood. Beside her is her seven-year-old son Rinchen also crying. All villagers are looking very shocked, frightened, however, none of them is able to act..I do not understand a single thing here. Though I do not ask..

First, I am treating granny’s finger and asking Lopi to get me some water so that I can clean Kalzang’s face and see where she is wounded. Suffering a stroke, she is unable to sit still and goes down to the ground. It makes it all difficult to treat her. She is heavy and it is almost impossible for me to pick her up. All men are watching. Not a single one of them is willing to help. Kalzang is suffering from a cut on her skull. I am cutting out some hair around the wound with the intention of stitching. It turns impossible due to heavy bleeding. She is again falling down to the ground, more and more shouting..” Don’t treat me, leave me alone, let me die here, take my child and let me die”. I fail to hold her. I manage to wrap the wound only. Kalzang has to go home, get herself calm down and then I will be able to stich the cut.

However, she is scared and refuses to go home. The accident was not just an accident happening by chance. Noryang did not hurt granny Yangdol while chopping wood but it all happened because of the neighbors’ dispute. There is a lot of snow in the village right now and as Kalzang was shoveling the snow off her roof into the “street”, Noryang’s horse slipped on it…Therefore Noryang attacked Kalzang with a hoe in a dark hall of her house and granny Yangdol got her injury as she tried to protect her daughter.

Kalzang is very frightened. The only place she is willing to go now is the school. I manage to drag her up to there and treat the wounds. They are staying with Rinchen overnight. The sight of a beaten mother and her child by her side is horrifing and both Zuzana and me are very much afraid of what is going to happen in the following days.

The dispute has to be solved in a friendly manner. In the end, the village is one big “family”. According to the local rules, Kalzang has to handshake with Noryang, and he has to excuse himself. However, Noryang refuses. Nobody is allowed to stand for Kalzang, and on the same time nobody is allowed to support Noryang..nobody sees a poor woman being attracted who was not able to protect herself…nobody sees that as an intention to hurt severely…it is all just a “common” dispute between neighbors. 

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