‘Shambhu Rai Nite’ in Thimphu enthrills audience


Shambhu Rai, a legendary folk singer from eastern Nepal, performed live in YDF hall, Thimphu on 14 and 15 September.

Bhutanese girls singing at the event
Bhutanese girls singing at the event

A huge crowd gathered to listen to this legendary singer who touched down to the hearts of Bhutanese music lovers by singing his famous melodies like Timile samjhe ni lakhai chha..., Marera jane chola yo….to which the youths and adults could not resist dancing on the floor during his performance.

Shambhu Rai was invited to Bhutan by Kirat Dharma Samiti, a component of Hindu Dharma Samudaya, Bhutan. The organizing committee comprised of former NC candidates and Thimphu based senior citizens of southern Bhutan.

As a part of fund raising, the tickets were sold for Nu 500 and Nu 300.  According to an audience to the program, who talked to BNS over the phone, the YDF hall was packed with about 3000 people who came from vicinity of Thimphu too.

The informant said, people from all walks of life and ethnicity enjoyed the program that went for two days.

Artists of Sargam Club performing
Artists of Sargam Club performing

Ganesh Ghimirey a member of organizing committee posted photos of the event for which Sangay K Khandu commented; cool nite with Shambu rai…relli enjoyed …thanks to sargam band,,,,and ganesh ba.  

The go-between performance of song and dance was by the artists of Sargam band, a cultural club in Thimphu.

What appealed the fans was Shambhu Rai’s style of presenting the song each with a bit of background for each song and lyrics he chose. “Out of sheer emotion and attachment to the songs, people whistled and applauded with loud noise” said the participant.

The performance attracted NC member from Dagana,  Sonam Dorji, in the first day while Minister of Information and Communication, Dinanath Dhungyel went to listen Shambhu Rai on the second day.

The promo, “Shambu Rai Nite” hung over the main entrance to Thimphu and other pubic places for over a week by which people got information through this canvassing.

Ganesh with singer Rai, and his wife
Ganesh with singer Rai, and his wife

According to this source BNS contacted in Phuentsholing, members of organizing committee donned their gho, while the audiences and the technicians, artists appeared in formal shirt pant, and some could be seen with cultural dress of Lhotshampa, daura suruwal and topi.

 At the end of each show, the fans of Shambhu Rai rushed to get his autograph and queued to talk to him personally.

The sponsors of the live event were SCL Travels, Manpang Enterprise and Semjong Enterprise.

Bhutanese media, except BBS English page on its website, has not published news of the performance.

Shambhu Rai’s modern and folk songs typical of eastern flavor have been long popular among Bhutan’s rural mass.

(Reported with inputs from some of the informants from Bhutan, while pictures used have been taken from Ganesh Ghimirey’s Facebook page).