Night hunting, a tradition of rape?

Binu Kumar
Binu Kumar

By Binu Kumar

Ask what is the full form of BHUTAN to an Eastern boy, he’d instantly reply Boys-Hunting-Use-Torch-At-Night. We all enjoy the good night hunting Jokes, specially the guy that said “meaw I am a cat.” But know this, morons, that concealed within the funny tales of night hunting are the victims of rape, teenage pregnancy, bastards, single mothers, a lifelong trauma and a destroyed dreams. Laugh on now, Jerks. You’re all going to hell for that.

Let me begin with a song, a very popular song in Kurtoed and Tsakaling.
Key lu ma ta tshig lu taa. Ahem! Ahem!

Nyachun tshelwa laa songnaa,
Aii gandmu dang oo laa phratoh,
Faarey loddey tangnaa,
Churey pektey hongdo.
**Please sing along in the tunes of Tshangmo.**

Which when roughly translated into English reads:
While I was going night hunting,
I met this old hag.
I’d try pushing her away,
But she’d come sticking to me.

I studied in the East, in hostel, where I was called names like Jagar, Ngera and Kancha for being a Southern Bhutanese. I was also teased for using water to wash my ass. Upon research, I found out that sticks, dry leaves and stones were much accepted mores of ass wiping in the East. It is here, that I learned a great deal about the the great night prowlers of the East. The horny Dark Knight.

Let me tell you a heart touching story of a girl who lost her new Jai-Bangla sweatpants. Early in the morning I heard some noise outside our hostel. I went out to find out and it was a quarrel between a girl and a boy who allegedly had coitus with her the night before in her sleep. Apparently, the boy used scissors to cut a hole in her sweatpants and she was demanding a compensation for her pants. She had “no, rape was fine. But I want my sweatpants back” kind of attitude. It had me thinking to this day. Was night hunting a socially accepted norm? Did she even realize that she was raped?

Contrary to the story above, many women have become a silent victim to such practices, often keeping it a secret for the fear of the society. I don’t think such practices are even to be called a tradition, let alone condoned or laughed at for that matter.
I know of a case where a man whose daughter was pregnant, rumored to be a victim to night hunting, dragged her by hair, hit her, saying words like I will stitch your vagina, you whore! And that is when it struck me, that as a society, we have carefully cultivated the Art of Not Giving a rat’s ass. It is a constant state of Nirvana – nothing bothers you, because nothing really matters to you as you have basically turned into a complete jerk. We’re much comfortable peeking from behind the curtains to the scene of a man beating his wife. While chanting Om Mani Padme Hung of course. Why not? After all she is his property, he can violate her in whatever manner it pleases him. Because screw feminism, our society believes in patriarchy and we uphold sexism. Bravo! Bravo!

But, all said and done, I kind of feel bad for the guys. You see, the only form of entertainment they had back then was playing cock fight, occasional wrestling , and masturbation. And one guy, at the height of boredom, must have thought while shitting beside the river bank, you know what? Bomena! Bomena! A Bhutanese version of Archimedes who apparently discovered a brilliant way to deploy his penis.

It is not just the villagers, the urban folks, the Civil Servants, the so called Educated folks of town are also equally tempted. Lure her with all your deceptive tales of success (nobody needs to know that you live as a paying guest in some attic apartment). Use her. And then leave without any trace. All under the banner of tradition you can safely thrust your penis into an unwilling vagina and just leave waving a huge middle finger to the things like Law, empathy and humanity in the process.

Now, having said, some night hunting are on a mutual understanding; but for the fact that Bhutan is covered with 72% of forest, they could just hide behind the bush and do it like most of the descent folks in Thimphu do around Buddha point. Learn some manners from the Capital City, Bhutanese, learn. Why take all the risk? Why fear the ambush when you can use the bush?

Dear ladies, are you feeling unsafe? Are you a rape victim? Oh dear you have a bad bad kharam. You must hang a wooden phallus on your neck and doorposts. A real penis might bring dishonor to you , but a wooden one will surely bring you blessings. Worship the great phallus. Trust me, apa-ama-promise, even Lam Drukpa Kuenley subdued the demons with his Gigantic Johnson.

All this so called ‘feminists’ does under the banner of Feminism is raise stupid questions like Why are we women not allowed inside the Gyenkhangs? Why aren’t there many women politicians? I don’t know, do you have cow dung in your head? Why do you even care? Why not raise things like this instead, if you really care about women empowerment? Why not raise such awareness?

Thanks to NGOs like RENEW who are putting in a lots of effort in Educating people and raising awareness.

Go ahead, give it a fancy name, call it Night Hunting or call it Bomena but a rape is always a rape.

There is no specific Law under Bhutanese Penal code that protects women against such practices. Night hunting is still practiced today. Only the victims know what it feels like.

4 thoughts on “Night hunting, a tradition of rape?

  • January 10, 2016 at 6:43 am

    This was a very blunt but very interesting read. I live in the West, where Bhutan and its Gross Domestic Happiness policy are romanticized as a kind of Shangri-La. We Westerners are not exposed to this kind of news and are told that everyone in Bhutan is happy all the time, more or less. No one is told that sexual violence is culturally accepted and that Bhutanese women just don’t talk about this kind of trauma and are told to just suck it up and deal with it. I think you have hit it on the head about Nirvana and the Art of Not Giving a Rat’s Ass. This is what always disturbed me about the concept of Nirvana; it just seems so apathetic. In the United States, there is a legal term for this sort of attitude–they call it “depraved indifference.” And yet it’s being repackaged and sold to Westerners (including sexual assault survivors) as the key to happiness and spiritual growth. Thank you for calling a spade a spade and standing up for women’s rights!

  • March 9, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Good write. Such a beautiful country- unfortunately can’t come out of this. More painful is the creation of a “fatherless generation”. What those kids have done to deserve this?. They can’t get their status as citizens. Since bhutan’s population is only 700,000 out of which men could be 350,000 or 400,000 govt should map DNA’s of all the men and identity the culprits. Make them pay for their children’s future.

  • September 10, 2016 at 8:37 am

    i don’t know why you guys are saying all these nonsense. As a Bhutanese women, i am really offended. I admit that there might still be night hunting practices in the rural areas but i definitely haven’t heard of fatherless children popping here and there in Bhutan. And RAPE is against the law. If you dare try, i will definitely have you arrested and beaten into pulp.

  • July 9, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    I am very saddened by what I have read and I feel very sorry for the girls and women of Bhutan. Such practice is a crime and I know that if everyone in Bhutan stands up against this evel practice, it will be stopped.
    I wonder how would Jetsun Pema, the queen of Bhutan react to this very sad state of affairs that is happening to her female subjects. I know that if I was Bhutanese and this happened to my sister, I would kill the person who did it. I truly hope this evil practice will stop. This is very sad indeed. one thi


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