Friday, May 6, 2011

School Experience: Morning speeches and Prayers

There were incidences in primary school when we were lashed so much by our supposedly physical training teacher who happened to be a Dzongkha teacher for not being able to recite the morning prayers, national anthem and national song in the class. For a person who studied in Rigshung Lobdra, the kids who studied in a day school, that too, a school so much influenced by many television characters than our own embedded religion, didn’t really understand the reason behind our inability to by-heart those in given stipulated time. Besides, it didn’t really make a sense for someone who is entrusted to teach us Physical Training to come up with such tasks, but then, who would dare to make a noise about it, he was after all a terror.
Morning prayers, then a morning speeches and the announcements from teachers, then were so tedious and sometimes made a burden in a hot sunny day. Our friends, especially girls would collapse sometimes not being able to get through the assembly under the scorching sun. Teachers would scan the queue and sometimes pick one of us for either not coming neatly or for not being present in the earlier assembly. The prayers offered then were understood as just formalities as a student one was abound to, today as I look at myself for the lack of being able to recite one or even know it by-heart, I feel sometimes ashamed and belittled by my own lack of knowledge. The prayers were offered to God of Wisdom, that came too late to understand though, and national anthem was something for which we used to stand still even from the way distance.  Well what those verses meant, we never knew until we were in high school. Evening prayers were introduced when we were of class four. What began as some sort of school formality ended up as being the searching the solace and shelter in times both adversity and bliss.
Morning speeches were something that came as one golden opportunity, and most of the students took the speeches directly from magazines and newspapers. My first morning speech was about “Student life is golden life” and what I spoke, I don’t really remember. It was copied from some school magazine. In high schools, I had opportunities time and often to come out in assembly to either give speeches in both Dzongkha and English or come out to represent the Current Affairs Club. But seriously admitting, I never ever once delivered anything that which I wrote, and I didn’t find any importance by then. Like all my friends, even though, I was always known for my enthusiasm in literature, I never dared to speak one that which was right from my heart.
However, apart from some serious and inspiring speeches people collected and delivered, there were also few funny ones. In zhemgang High school, in a morning, there has to be two speakers-one would speak in English while other would do in Dzongkha. There was one morning, a tale of two speakers-the one who spoke in Dzongkha was from Southern Bhutan and in his funny accent; he spoke on “Lobdra na doeboey kab aro garo zo metub (why one shouldn't in relationship with opposite sex while in school and the content was also so funny from how guys these days to impress their girl friends uses other friends things right from hair gel to shoe polish. And the guy who spoke in English began his speech with... “To be frank, I am not prepared; I don’t have any topic thought about. I just asked councilor (school captain who used to spearhead the morning assembly) here to give me one…………………”…he went on and on like some extempore speech with some silence in the middle. The funny morning assembly got serious when Vice Principal scolded the two speakers for making a mockery out of such opportunities.
Morning speeches and prayers started the school every day. However, now, life has been so much into other stuffs that sometimes I forget that the day is auspicious to offer a prayer or two. If only that games teacher lashed out some more, I would be able to say some prayers before I start my college and end my day.

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