Bhutan

Dangerous side of national game

Sep 28, 2017
Our national sport is entertaining, dangerously so.
 
Every now and then we hear about injury that the sport causes. Sometimes it is about a hit on the leg. At other times the arrow strikes the skull.
 
We do not count them as trophies. We count them as threat.
 
We have a story today about Kuenzang Dorji from Merak who was hit with an arrow on his forehead on September 23. He was taken to Guwahati, India. There he is under medical observation.
 
Any kind of celebration in Bhutan is marked by an intense game of archery. The thruebabthat shuttled Kuenzang Dorji from Merak to Guwahati is gone. But we have losar on the way, not one but two.
 
Anyway, Bhutanese need no significant occasions to play archery. Go to Changlimithang and you will find that archery match is on almost every day of the year.
 
Safety is the issue. We can still recall the time when an arrow flew from archery ground at the police camp in Thimphu and hit a woman doing a sincere round at the National Memorial Choeten.
 
An MP had to be airlifted because he got hit by an arrow in the head while he was deeply immersed in the game. From places as far as Lunana in Gasa we had to airlift people hit with arrow.
 
It’s not about cost. It’s about how safe the game is. The organisers of the games should consider safety first. The arrows that come flying into the windows are no blessed shafts of Drukpa Kuenley from Tibet.
 
Injuries will be there with archery because we are playing with a weapon. Even if playfields are taken far way from communities, injuries will be there because this our national game invites all things that are antithetical to good sportsmanship – alcohol, foolish slight of movements around the target and dangerous ego.
 
Archery is a dangerous game; injuries will be there. But in the towns and cities, archery fields should be taken far away from residential areas. This small initiative can prevent a lot of injuries and deaths.
 
Kuensel Online, September 28, 2017

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