After a hiatus of two years, Bhutan Echoes: Drukyul Literature festival will resume this April. Since 2020, the festival was deferred twice due to the COVID pandemic. Bhutan Echoes is a year-round initiative to nurture literacy culture in Bhutan.
From celebrated authors and writers like Her Majesty the Queen Mother Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck to young poet Kezang Dechen Choden, the world expert on fresh water and related ecosystems, Sandra Postel, esteemed French writer Matthieu Ricard, and the founder of Wai Wai noodles, Binod Kumar Chaudary, this year’s festival will have an array of international speakers from India, Nepal, East Asia, Europe, the US and Canada.
In 2020, Mountain Echoes was rebranded as Drukyul’s Literature festival by His Majesty The King to promote more local engagement.
“In the planning of this year’s festival, we rallied our community of readers and writers to take part in designing the sessions and collectively generating ideas for it and at this year’s festival, we have a lot more Bhutanese authors being featured and a lot of young and upcoming authors. We will also be featuring one of the youngest authors who is just 12 years old,” said Kitso Pelmo, the Producer of Bhutan Echoes.
Themed “stories and ideas for a changing world”, the festival will be streamed live on Facebook.
“We are resuming with the virtual approach and making it accessible to everyone in and outside Bhutan,” she added.
Starting 22nd April, over three days, authors and storytellers from the region will gather to share and celebrate the diverse literary legacy of Bhutan and beyond.
It was in 2010 when Her Majesty the Queen Mother Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck co-founded Bhutan’s first literature festival “mountain echoes’ as a Bhutan-India initiative.