Lomba is a novel by one of Bhutan’s youngest authors, Pema Euden. Lomba is a young adult novel about discovering true friendships and an appreciation of your own culture and society through a wild ride into the spirit world.
What is the book about?
The novel, Lomba revolves around Seday, a school going girl, who has to move from Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital city to Haa Dzongkhag in the Western part of Bhutan. Like any other school going person, she dreads the thought of leaving behind her friends and going to a remote part and starting in a new school as a complete stranger. Atrocious, wouldn’t you think so? And that is how the novel, Lomba begins:
“Atrocious. That was exactly how the past week had been.”
Now how would she get out of this dilemma?
Despite Seday’s misgivings and drama, as she starts her new school, she does meet terrific and friendly people who are do not simply exist to make her life hell!
Around the time that she had to shift to Haa, the place was abuzz with festivities because Lomba festival was just around the corner!
Lomba is a new year festival celebrated in Haa Dzongkang.
Her family was excited to be part of the festivities and they did all that was required to do as part of the festival; and that included making delicious hoenteys and making Lus which are as the author describes, “like gingerbread men, which can be made out of any kind of flour, really….These lus are said to have the ability yo take away our sorrows and misfortune.”
There is also a belief that if one does not eat dinner on the night of Lomba, one gets kidnapped by the lus.
Seday was skeptical about such traditions and superstitions. She did not believe any of the ideas behind lus kidnapping people that her friends filled her in with about this new festival that she had not celebrated.
To test the tradition, she decided to not eat dinner and prove them wrong about whether lus kidnapped or not!
So what happened next?