Monday, 22 September 2014

Advantages of Wearing Gho - The National Dress Of men In Bhutan



Gho the Bhutanese national dress for the men is an amazing piece of cloth which can be used as so many things. I being in military seldom wear the gho. Last time for the archery match while I was wearing it, I was thinking why it had been designed in the way it is.

Firstly, unless you are an expert in wearing the gho, you have to take a help of a friend to wear properly. It encourages strong bond between friend and family whoever is there while wearing the gho. It requires a helper to at least put a hand at the backside folding it in exact amount on left and right side, the crease thus formed should be as parallel as possible but parallel folds at the back can rarely be seen.

help is require between step 2 and 3
I remember an incident while mentioning ‘putting a hand’ – I was with my kids and I had to wear gho for some occasion. I have done all the setting that is required and told my nephew to put hands turning my backside against him. He told me that he do not know how to put the hand. I told him that it is easy but my both hands being engaged holding the gho in position I could not demonstrate to him. It is supposed to be done by both hands pressing in line with the holder’s hand touching the sides of the bum and making a fold there. I saw my nephew with an index finger pointed and coming to put it as I have requested. The embarrassing situation was saved because I looked back towards him on time. My nephew was 6 years old and he had never helped someone wear a gho.
coming to put a hand

Secondly, the gho helps hide the pot belly and an accumulation of adipose tissue on the backside. Actually the more you have the better it is for the gho wearer; fat people look good in gho.

Thirdly, gho can serve as bedding – in times of need the gho can be used as a blanket or mattress, if folded it can be used as a pillow. In olden days there was tradition of wearing double gho to protect from the cold and during night halts on the way it served as bedding. During the time of crisis if you are wearing gho you will be saved as it can be used to make shelter too.

Fourthly, after wearing the gho a large pocket is formed just above the belt and it can accommodate almost anything. It is the largest pocket in the world, eliminating the requirement of carrying of small bags if you are wearing a gho. Mobile phone, purse, pens, file and even packed lunch can be carried there if you are not concerned about how you look.

The special belt used for wearing a gho known as ‘kayra’ also has so many uses besides holding the gho in place. The frills on the both ends can be used as thread in times of need. Belt which is almost 2 meter long can be used for various purposes in times of worst case scenario.

The advantages of wearing gho are too many besides preserving the unique identity of the nation. Little changes had been brought to the design of the gho because until now no one could think of better design than the design that was already there since time immemorial.

The only problem is that when you go abroad and if you are required to take a gho, it occupies half the space of suitcase and weighs more than 2 kgs. The hand woven gho weighs even more.