Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Traditional Swiss Dance

The students at the Samtse College of Education are divided into eight collaborative groups and each group has to put a cultural show into place. The program consists of various dances and performances. Most of the students are absolutely amazing dancers - this isn't actually a surprise as the kids learn to dance early in their school lives. The students perform traditional Bhutanese, Hindi, Tibetan, Nepali, and English dances. Well this Wednesday, some of the students will as well perform a traditional Swiss dance. I'm not quite sure whether it is really a traditional Swiss dance though I hope that it is at least similar. So let me explain why this group is performing a Swiss dance.
The students decided to have a special item that included dances from all over the world. They talked to me and asked me about music from different places; I was able to give them access to music from the US and to traditional Swiss music. After we recorded the two songs that they selected onto an audio cassette, they wanted to get advice on how to dance a traditional Swiss dance. Well, that's a legitimate request though all of you Swiss guys out there will know that I have never ever been dancing a traditional Swiss dance.
So how do you teach somebody how to dance in traditional Swiss style even though you cannot really do it yourself? You try to recollect all your odd memories from those days when you have been watching 'Samstigjass' with your grandfather. In that TV show, there was now and then a traditional item - so let's get those few steps that you can vaguely remember. Put those memories into a Bhutanese classroom with a bunch of really gifted students. Hop around stupidly and hope that your Bhutanese friends will understand what you mean to be doing. That's about what I did and to be honest, the result is not too bad - I'm almost a little bit proud. I'm looking forward to tomorrow night and observe the students perform the traditional Swiss dance :-).

On a side note: During the last couple of days, I closely interacted with the group that is performing this Wednesday. It is amazing to see that the organization of such a show works pretty similar to the organization back home where we have a 'Turnshow' every two years. In both settings, there are a few folks that run around and are responsible for about everything. In our case back home in Taegerig, those persons have been Toebe, Adrian, and Tiisli. Here, it's mostly Tashi Wangchuk that has been doing a great job. Even though our two cultures are very different, the organization of those shows seem to work very similarly.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Didn't want to bug you before now (am reading the blog regularly) since I know you must be really busy. Hope one day to have a chance and do something similar.

And I have a complaint! :)

When you were here two summers ago, you did not teach us the traditional Swiss dance. We feel deprived!