Loden Cultural Programme
The Loden-Shejun cultural program began in April 2017 after Shejun Agency was merged with Loden Foundation. Shejun Agecny was founded in the year 2004 by Dr. Karma Phuntsho with the aim of preserving and passing on the rich cultural heritage of Bhutan to future generations. The merger between Loden and Shejun was carried out in hopes to benefit both the organizations. Loden through the merger was able to implement one of its initial objectives of preserving and promoting Bhutan’s cultures and traditions, and Shejun was able to find a formal CSO existence within Loden for the sustainability of its programmes.
Shejun means knowledge (ཤེས) transmission (རྒྱུན་) in Classical Tibetan and Dzongkha. It focuses on the documentation and study of Bhutan’s written heritage and oral traditions.
Shejun’s logo was designed as a form of concentric word art with the syllable she (ཤེས) at its heart in order to symbolize that knowledge is the heart of human civilisation. The line flowing out of the central syllable resembles a meandering river in an auspicious clockwise direction that conveys the sense of the transmission of knowledge. In its flow, it forms the shape of a jewel and thus signifies that the flow of knowledge is a nation’s true wealth.
What We Do?
Documentation & Study of Bhutan’s Oral Traditions
The rich and vibrant ancient cultures of Bhutan are fast disappearing as globalization reaches even remote valleys of Bhutan. Led by a core team of three scholars with extensive experience of the Himalaya (Professor David Germano of the University of Virginia, Dr Mark Turin of Yale University and Dr Karma Phuntsho of Cambridge University), this project aims to carry out an extensive audio-visual documentation of Bhutan’s oral and intangible cultures.
Digital Documentation of Bhutan’s Written Heritage
Bhutan has come to be seen as a safe haven for the cultural and religious wealth of the Himalayan Buddhist civilization after the decline of Buddhism in Tibet and other parts of the Himalayas. Its far flung monasteries and temples today represent a literary treasure trove that is still unharmed and unexplored. In the last twelve years, Shejun has undertaken a digitisation programme to safely preserve the precious archives in digital copies and to make them available to scholars and readers resulting in over four million images of books from some 27 temple and family archives.