Videos of chants
Sitting around a campfire in Bhutan was remarkably similar to a campfire in America. Songs, chants, jokes and stories were told for hours. The link above will show a few of the chants and dances the Bhutanese traditionally do at different celebrations. There were many more they performed, but some I got up and participated in so I have no video. This night did give me two memorable stories to tell though.
As mentioned in the prior post, Kinjay had brought out plenty of alcohol for everyone to enjoy. After awhile they began asking the Americans (Jan & myself) to perform some traditional American songs or dances. Jan was brave and told a few jokes and did some swing dancing with Ute. I had no idea what to do. Phruba (a Program Officer for WWF Bhutan) decided I needed to feel a little more "at home" and announced he would sing one of his favorite American songs. Now I was expecting some lullaby or a little ditty he may have picked up along the way, but nothing prepared me for his performance. Phurba is a jovial, round man, probably in his late 30's. He stood up on the stage and proceeded to rap every verse of Ice, Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice... complete with "rapper moves." I thought I was going to fall out of my chair I was laughing so hard. One of the other guides now continues to hum the melody whenever we gather or he walks by. This was definitely not something I will forget!
After Phurba's performance I was called on again to finally add some American input. I had no idea what to do, but then inspiration struck. I was thinking back to the last few camp outs I had gone on.. trying to think of something easy. Then it hit me... it is Thanksgiving, I am a Hanlon, why not pull from that volume of traditions? I grabbed about six of my Bhutanese friends and they all now can do the Hokey Pokey! So not only did I get to create a great memory in the middle of the Himalayan mountains, but I got a little family tradition of my own on Thanksgiving!