So Teachers Day is a thing in Bhutan.

Seriously celebrated with songs and dances and speeches. Far too many speeches for my taste usually. In other words its  another very formal and ceremonial ritual. And usually it feel  perfunctory  and insincere to me. Like enforced gratitude.


I always appreciate the sweet texts and messages from former students because with a  little  distance these off stage messages manage to feel unprompted and genuine. So I got some of those and they made me smile and I thought well okay so that’s that.


But I was wrong, that was not that.  This year was different, this year teachers day was actually happy. There were just so many wonderfully unscripted and heartfelt moments.


To start with one of my more scattered students showed up over an hour late for class without his assignment but as I sent him out to go work on his missing assignment, he shyly reaches into his large Gho pocket and pulls out this small bouquet of yellow and purple flowers and hands them to me saying, ” Happy Teachers Day , Madam” before running away.  It was so cute.


The after class my second year students who I have taught for three semester tell me they are throwing all their teachers a surprise party and asked me to come back to the classroom in half an hour. When we returned the classroom has been transformed with tables arranged like a long banquet table and decorated with pink  balloons.



Once we were seated they served us tea and the class president made a very earnest speech about how much they feel they have learnt from us not just about the subjects we teach but also about life.

And then out comes the cake.




I don’t know why I was so touched because after all there is something very ritualized about the event, the cake the speeches but just for a moment their gratitude felt so real.


And I love that. I really love that.