February 8, 2007

Ap Zeko: The Guiding Spirit for Youths of Bhutan!!

An interview with Ap Zeko, a guiding spirit for Kuzoo.Net!

Start Date: November 01 2006

Ap Zeko has graciously accepted our invitation to be our first guest. While Kuzoo.Net regulars will be familiar with Ap Zeko's background, this interview will be a good opportunity to get to know him better. While not a founding member, he is a guiding spirit for Kuzoo - with his excellent suggestions and great sense of humour - and we welcome him most warmly to this interview!

* Session Transcript *

Borat : how does this work??

::Stairway:: : HI Apa ZEKO wonderful with your work,

Admin : Hello Borat - you just post your comment or question, and when Ap Zeko goes online, he will respond. It's like normal chat, but there is moderation and a lag because we aren't scheduling a fixed time for the interview.

zeko : Kuzuzangpo, my fellow Kuzoo-ites. My name is Zeko and I�m 69 years old. I like Yaks. A lot. I also like to interact with my Yaks. And I thank the Kuzoo Team for this opportunity.

D coNtRAdiCtion : are u in ur yakskin tent wit a laptop,,,chatting down to civilisation??

zeko : I tried that years ago when I was in Gasa, but my wives wouldn't let me be (they wanted to see pictures of the latest Laya Fashion Trend, which bore me.) I'm in Thimphu now, chatting up with civilisation, from various internet cafes around the city, maybe you might spot me someday.

dordrag : Ap Zeko, how did you come to know that, in this world of Yaks and Tents, there exists a world of Internet?

zeko : Few years ago, during one of my trips to the Dzong (to fill my application to run for Chimmi - which I eventually lost), I was told that an orange-scarf wearing man and his team would come to Gasa for few days to talk to us about ICT. Initially, I wondered why a lyonpo would want us to know about Ice Tea, but few interactions later, I was, whats the word, Hooked.

zeko : I also heard that this same orange-scarf wearing man, and his dedicated team, went on a Six Dzongkhag Eastern Tour a month ago, which means there are other Zekos in the making!

Mona : First of all, I just want to say that I'm very pleased to be in the august company of Zeko! I have many questions, but I think this would be the most important one to start with: Why, Zeko, did you leave Gasa, your yaks, and your family? Yes, you mentioned some of it in your profile, but you didn't get into what was going on in your mind. Please give us an insight on this.

zeko : Hi Mona, nice to see you. And thank you for this very important question. The reason I left everything I had in Gasa (a happy family, a warm bed, a sustainable living, and my trusting yaks) is selfish: I wanted to see more, I wanted to earn more, I thought I'd be happier if I changed my Standard of Living. But now that I'm here, after all that I've experienced, I have realized that it is a Standard of Thinking that really matters. When I left, I failed to see (ironically) that everything that made me happy was actually right there in Gasa. Even the name "Gasa" says so. And that is why I plan to return to where I truly belong in the near future.

::Stairway:: : Zeko... you been an icon for most of the kuzo members including me, just curious to know how interesting would a yak herder life be during your period and modern Ice Tea Age?

zeko : Thank you Stairway. I think a yak herder's lifestyle, in this day and age, is actually very charming. Not only because of its simple and self-sufficient way of life (which is very conducive to happiness), but also because, in a landlocked country like Bhutan, it can solve a lot of problems that emerge with rural-urban migration. In fact, I wouldn't mind joining a back-to-the-land movement. As for ICT, and for that matter Any other modern tool, I think that if we learn how to use them positively, they can only help us in better understanding the world around us. That being said, I do repent selling one of my yaks to buy my ipod nano.

Mona : Ah, wanderlust it was. Plus some non-spiritual stuff. Thanks for being so frank. But a yak for an iPod Nano? Wow, mercenary in patches too!

Mona : Gasa... I never pronounced it that way, but now that you mention it, it does mean the happy place. That's one to set Mona thinking.

::Stairway:: : Thank you Zeko..that was really nice...more to hear from you.

Mona : Tell us what you did soon after leaving Gasa. I gather you hung out in Thimphu - please tell us more about your experience here.

zeko : Initially, I shed my old Gasa lifestyle and tried desperately to fit into my new Thimphu environment, artificially or otherwise. Feeling inadequate, I began to change the way I looked, the way I spoke, the way I behaved, and even the way I thought. I replaced my yak herd with an ipod. I would travel a distance of 200 meters by car instead of foot, play basketball at the swimming pool just so I could be there, start smoking just because the smoke matched my gray hair, buy branded clothes just for a style statement, wear a down jacket at a party even though I was burning inside. But individualims gets lonely, and conscience is a hard thing to change. Deep down, I knew I had become someone I was not. My popularity was at an all time high but my self esteem was at an all time low. I had to change. I realized that appearance is not the only meaningful characteristic in a person. And as situations change, so did my self concept. Lately, I�ve started to combine these two lifestyles to suit my needs. I am more at ease with myself and I appreciate rap culture for its creativity and significance but am not trying to be a gangster.

Mona : Wow, that's really deep. How many years was it that you went through all that? And you mentioned rap - at what point after that did you have the photo op and face off (?) with Jay Z?

zeko : It might have taken me few years but I believe that it is the evolution in my thoughts that mattered more than the passage of time. As for rap, I have always been a big fan of Jay Z's lyrical wit and brilliant wordplay ever since I first heard his song "Hard Knock Life." The photo opportunity came when I went to New York to attend his farewell concert at Madison Square Garden. He called people from the audience to rap alongside with him and when he picked me I just started freestyling about my yak herding days which, I don't know why, was very well received by the auidence. Next thing I know, I signed up with his label Roc-A-Fella but I left soon after to form my own Record Label- G-G-G-Gasa Unit.

::Stairway:: : WOW!!! that was a cracker from you , ap zeko...you have come a long way from Gasa (yaks) to Ipod... to Madison Squar Garden and to Record Label-G-G-G-Gasa Unit... how did you manage all these without your yaks, and tell us your stay with Real Madrid Club, sound wonderful....!!!

zeko : My yaks were always with me, at least in spirit and mind if not physically. When I felt lonely, especially with the hectic Real Madrid schedule travelling all around Spain and the world, I just had to remember the faces of my yaks to feel at home. The Real Madrid experience was nice: I showed Bekham how to bend it, I showed Ronaldo how to smile without showing the gap in his teeth (I have the same problem), and Zidane once called me a ButtHead.

mindripper : How do you feel about the changes you have taken in past few years from your time as a yak herder to being your Record Label-G-G-G-Gasa Unit's owner? Are you going to rap in Bhutanese lyrics and be the first rapper of Bhutan?

zeko : I will always be a yak herder at heart no matter what I do for a living. My record label G-G-G-Gasa Unit has already signed a very promising artist by the name of DJ Ezay, and together we plan to blend English and Dzongkha lyrics to produce Zhungdra Rap. There are already good rappers in Bhutan, most notably Bardo and DJ Druks.

Mona : Man, that is waaaaay cool. You are totally right, what's in the mind matters most. As for me, I'm not much of a rap fan, but I thought Jay Z's collaboration with Linkin Park was just outstanding. I think they should do more stuff together. Coming back to you, you said "I appreciate rap culture for its creativity and significance but am not trying to be a gangster." So are you saying you did flirt with the gangsta side of rap? You had a picture of yourself when you were in jail - what was all that about?

zeko : haha, no I was never a gangster nor do I ever intend to become one. What I meant was that, for a while, I was so fascinated by the Gangster lifestyle that were glorified in some rap songs that I thought I was one. But I am not, and nor will I ever be, my mind is too simple for that. As for my brush with the law, it was due to my own ignorance: how was I supposed to know that Direct to Home TV was illegal??

Mona : Thank heavens, and that's good to know. I thought it was more than a "brush" with the law... lol. So it was just down to a dish tv? There are lots of layaps and lunanaps (and others) doing very well with yartsa goenbup, solar panels, and no dish tv. Yes, I know that sucks. :(

Egalitarian : Kuzoo app zeko, u said 'but my wives wouldn't let me be' how many wives do you have?

zeko : I have two wives, Ina and Mena. You'll recognize them when you see them. My closest friend is also a woman, Zekom.

browneyes : Ap Zeko, how's ur maddox doing?

zeko : I haven't much heard from him since leaving Gasa but I hear he's doing fine. Angelina Jolie and Madonna wanted to adopt him, but I made sure that didn't happen, because I plan to return someday and take care of him myself.

dordrag : Zeko, As you might be knowing that our country is going to have a drastic change in year 2008, in form of government and King, do you think It will have any change in way of hearding yaks and living your life?

zeko : Good question. Yes, I think there will definitely be some cosmetic changes taking place in the upcoming years but there are many farmers throughout Bhutan who don't understand the magnitude of such changes. So while we may be democratizing our institutions, I think it is more important and relevent to democratize our perspectives too.

D coNtRAdiCtion : hey ! las time u wrote back,,u said u had "wives",,,,,well jus wanna say tht for d sanity of ur mind n for d continuity of ur "dheljor-mi-luee-rinpoche",,"i hope d numbr of 'wives' has not surpassed d number of 'yaks',,

*** trashi_N : hi there, I have the feeling in me tht neither u r Zeko nor r u a yak herder ... for having come from a rural background, I know the fact that a yak herder can never have access to intenet...may b my sense of humour is so poor...yet then I feel we got to discus more on the changing times of Bhutan rather than trivial issues.....it's jus a suggestion...wat do u think...?

zeko : I agree with trashi_N, kuzoo.net could be the ideal platform for the youth of bhutan to discuss issues of political, economic, social, and cultural significance. I wouldn't worry though, I am sure our proactive Mona is already working on a discussion forum.

Borat : Yakshemash! In US of A, democracy is very different from Kazakhstan. In America, woman *can* vote, but horse - *cannot*!......In my country there is a problem. And that problem is the Jew. They take everybody money. And they never give it back??? should i shoot all the jews?

zeko : Borat, my friend, what you need to shoot dead is your offensive, bigoted behaviour and anti-Semitism, not the Jews.

Mona : Zeko, there are many pictures of you that we see in the media. Some of them I think I can understand, as they probably reflect your changing perspectives. But there is one I can't understand - what were you doing on the cover of National Geographic with that interesting outfit? Please do tell.

zeko : That was about six months ago, in June 2006. The National Geographic Society sent Reinhold Messner and his team to cover a story on Yetis and how it could kill Yaks using only one fist. Well, the Yak being attacked happened to be mine, so I had to subdue the Yeti. I still don't understand why they were so impressed, I was just doing my job.

sphinx : hi! good morrow bhutan! what will be the situation in bhutan by the year 2030?

zeko : One of two things: Either my yaks will be domesticated and there will be social harmony because they will understand that individual growth is a collective responsibility, or they will remain wild and un-herd-able.

yokels : Given a chance would you like to be an army officer in Bhutan or you would rather choose to be a cowboy in the USA?

zeko : I don't think I can be happy anywhere else but in my own country, with my own people, so I would choose to be an army officer in Bhutan, posted in Gasa, preferably. But why ask?

dordrag : Oh Zeko, If you don't mind, i would like to put up a personal question on you, Well, who else stays with you, I mean, your family, friends, etc..?

zeko : Being a vagrant, I live alone. Do not get confused, though, I am houseless, but I am not homeless.

Angel_Devil : Zeko...The interesting character in kuzoo.net...i wonder who he is!!

dakini : hi zeko...i really like the feel that u have for the animals(yak)

zeko : Thank you, I like it too.

bad : I THINK I'M IN LOVE WITH U even tho ur 69 yrs old. Hope u love me too

zeko : I love you too.

dekiling : Hello la....How r u?

zeko : I'm getting exhausted campaigning for "best profile" lately, and anxious as well, of course. But otherwise, I'm doing fine just chewing my own doma, thank you.

kuukoo : are you the joker in here, ap zeko?

zeko : no, don't worry kuuuukoooooo.

Therapy? : haha...very funny!

RainGirl? : Ap Zeko, can I have a date with you, you know a cup of coffee or a chugo together?

zeko : How about some suja and zaou instead, I have trouble chewing chugo (my jaws are not as strong as they used to be).

! Ace : kuzoo..........i voted for ur yaks.... hope the ipod is gr8 help to them in the cold hehe.........

zeko : thank you Ace. The ipod is supposed to be for myself, but I suppose I could load some of their favourite tracks on to it too, like "Milkshake" by Kelis and "Take Me Home, Country Roads" by John Denver.

minap : wai zeko, is druknet chatroom working these days?

zeko : Mashey Maray, Khorey.

kols : Chewing doma is fine but spitting doma saliva is very bad.Wat do u think?

zeko : Spitting doma saliva in inappropriate places is very bad, I agree. Also, don't bite if you can't swallow.

yokels : Come 2008, who do you think will be the first Prime Minister?And why?

zeko : Given that political parties haven't even been formed and that candidates haven't yet campaigned, I am no one to tell. But I do hope that a genuine leader with "yak-herding" abilities win.

yokels : Given the same situation as asked earlier, do you think our youth will choose to be an army officer in Bhutan or they might opt for stylish cowboy in Philadelphia?What is your opinion

zeko : I trust our youth will see more than just two options, and that they can become anything they want in Bhutan itself, they need not go to Philadelphia to become a happy stylish cowboy.

browneyes : Hey Ap Zeko, you are very knowledgable, be it yaks, movies or rock n roll, but I have a small question, How are the youths going to benefit in this political drama after 2008? You must have seen your own Maddox growing up, youths tends to be emotional and get carried away, don't you think sombody might take advantage? Will there be some central support for the welbeing of all youths trhough out the country?

zeko : Good question. I consider our Bhutanese youth to be very special because they are very simple and good at heart, regardless of what they wear or how they talk or what music they listen to (Every generation has its fashion!) What matters is their ambition, and while parents often worry about that, I know from my interaction with the Youth, that they genuinely want to contribute to the growth of our country and will never sell our country. What they are often confused about, however, is how to achieve that exactly. My only suggestion to them in this regard is to remember that we are all in it together, that what benefits others will benefit us and what benefits us will benefit others, that they need to swallow their pride like I swallow my Doma - that we are riding the same yak. They need to remember the words of the Crown Prince: �The Bhutan of today is born out of the hard work and sacrifices of many generations of Bhutanese.� That they owe it not just to the previous generations but also to the next ones, and above all to themselves. I think that our youth can benefit in the political scene after 2008 the same way that many of them have already benefited prior to 2008. That is, they need to make use of all the opportunities that the government and country offers them. And it doesn�t necessarily mean just being good at academics (although that helps!), there are so many other ways to grow.

N!ma : Hi Zeko, you are an inspiration of creativity and sense of humour. I am your fan. You told us that "there's a Zeko in each one of us." I couldn't find mine until now. Could you explain to us what u mean by "there's a zeko in each one of us" and how to find our zekos?

zeko : Hi Nima, you're too kind. I am a fan of yours too, of your hard work and dedication in serving and helping those in need. Of taking time out of your already hectic civil servant life and spending even more time and energy directly aiding our people through Tarayana. As for you question, Yes, I believe that there is a zeko in each and every one of us. I believe that the Bhutanese Youth can relate to my problems because they can draw a parallel between my life and their own, despite the apparent age difference. In the same way I thought "Thimphu" could make me happier with its promise of a richer lifestyle, much of our Youth consider the "West" to be everything that is cool. In my case, I wanted to be a Thimphu-ite so much that I tried to abandon everything I had, even my yaks! Finding our zekos rests in realizing that it IS possible to blend the two lifestyles, the two modes of thinking, the two personalities. Or as I call them, Ema and Datsi. And with the right ingredients and temperature, we can all help in making it into a very tasty Bhutanese dish.

! Ace : ap zekola........but isn't it unfair?...we voting for u and u taking away the ipod?(i mean i found out its not for those yaks)....tell me 3 good reason why you deserve it????????? n can u please stop chewing doma while talking?....coz i can't understand u hehe.

zeko : reason 1: You'll be saving a Yak. reason 2: I'll use speakers. reason 3: I like cheese.

~Thujee~ : How much did you sell your yak for? I mean when you had to sell one to buy an iPod? I've voted for you in the Best Profile race because I don't want you to sell any of your yaks!! Understand..

zeko : I thank you Thujee, and so do my Yaks (worth anywhere from NU 10,000 to 40,000!)

browneyes : Ap Zeko, thank you for the commnets, I am loving you more than ever!!!! (hope your wives doesn't know how to popen kuzoo). I appriciate the way you take care of your herds

Aura : Ap Zeko, I lost contact with my friend. She got married to a tennis coach last winter before I moved here but I dont remember his name. She used to teach at Tala HSS and her name is Sonbam Tshomo....could you help me locate her???

zeko : Sure, I would like to help, but I think the Education Ministry might do a better job than me. Or why don't you just call Tala HSS and ask them?

jimmy : Hi Zeks, would like to get your view on GNH' in 7 words?

zeko : My view of GNH in seven words.

sonam1985 : dear ap zeko. no questions.just hello and i'm a great fan. :D

zeko : Hi sonam, thanks.

ceejee : hi zeko, am head over heels in love with you........... do i have chance....... to be your girl friend???

zeko : Hi ceejee, you make an old man blush. Maybe we should get to know each other first, though.

Bardo : -Ride A Yak To Reach America- Or -Fly A Progressive Jet Plane To Reach Thimphu-?Whats The Difference In The Similarity?

zeko : The Confusing Paradox of Bardo.

tpenjo : Dear Ap Zeko, post-2008 i agree with you that we should have a leader with "Yak herding"quality. well i have that quality being a business graduate (thought not really interested in politics) and further two degree certificates - one in social science(politics) and one in administration....however, what concerns me is how do they make use of the yak-herding quality. second concern is how do they gather the yaks to follow them- legally, legally illegal or illegally legal----what do you think Ap Zeko. psst..pls. dont chew too much doma because at rare times when you visit switzerland for yak herding training it will be hard for your teeths and throat to take starbucks coffee ..

zeko : The yak herding quality should be used not only to guide the yaks to greener pastures but once settled, to teach them how to plow the fields so that we can cultivate our own living, to be self-sufficient. They shouldn't be thought of as "beasts of burden" but as the "base of bhutan."

theant : Why don't you buy an iPod for your yaks too? Animal Rights, you know.

zeko : The irony, and impracticality, would be that I would have to sacrifice one for the other. But I think that it is the perfect blend of Ema/Datsi if I were to use my ipod with speakers so that all my Yaks could listen to my music too.

!tashilhamo : hey aap zeko... i like ur sense of humour and ur style... what inspires u appala? can i get some of it too... i need some zeko too u know...

zeko : You already have what it takes to be a Zeko, you just need to look inside yourself and find your true passion in life. And don't worry if it takes time, I found mine after 69 years!

HighWayMan : it is inspiring to see a man of traditional wisdom and modern knowledge. for once, i thought that we were burying generation of wisdom which manifests itself in culture and tradition. but not anymore. seems like we run along the time with modern cloth, music, life and etc. drawing strength and inspiration from the past. this remind me of a song that i heard many hundred days ago, it is a hindi song and i can't remember it clearly, here is the translated version anyway "i am wearing a japanese shoe, a us pants, an italian cap, but still my heart is bhutanese (orginally it is hundisthani in the song)" it has been nice knowing you and all the other youths through this forum. the concern and the views expressed are worth reading 100 times and i know i will not stop here, but for today i do.

zeko : Thank you HighWayMan, I agree with you. Culture and Tradition are not static entities, they are bound to change with changing times, but what is essential is its core values. I belive that our Bhutanese Youth change our looks, but remain the same at heart.

ceejee : what you want to know about me......... iam ready to love ur yaks as much as you love them ........ so ..... so if get some body who love ur yak as much as u do then ....... no problem mena......... ????

zeko : My two wives, Ina and Mena, wouldn't agree.

aZh!mTaSh! : aap zeko.. it indeed seems that you have lived a richer and fuller life... what with all those experiences.. and you seemed to have fared well.. anything more you want in your life now???

zeko : Yes, I want to return home to where I truly belong - with my family and yaks in the fields of Gasa. But before I do that, I want to learn as much as I can from the Bhutanese Youth.

Alfie : Are you worried about 2008 Ap Zeko?

zeko : Not worried, just a little anxious. Hakuna Matata, my friend.

dekiling : Kuzuzangpola, how r you today?

zeko : Kuzuzangpola, I'm just a little dissapointed with the voting results. My campaign for "best profile" has been tainted by false accusations to the point where I have to once again reiterate: I did NOT have sexual relations with that Yak.

tpenjo : Lopen Ab Zeko, what is your opinion assuming we are to start a chain of YAKCHEESE-PIZZA house in Bhutan. Is the present group of NOZEPS capable of handling the yak after 2008. Definitely it will raise your income level provided you get into processing yak cheese from your wonderful herds and also provided you can make your herd produce more milk by many ovboius ways.

zeko : While I personally wouldn't mind, my Yaks are a bit apprehensive. They tell me that, lately, I haven't been spending enough time with them except when milking them and that if that continues they might call Animal Rights Activists. Now they don't even say "Cheese" when I take photographs.

janis : You are one well informed (though you lived almost all your life with yaks), smart (ignore the looks) 69 year old man with a perfect concoction of a great sense of humour, knowledge & experience, and high moral principles. we need more like you. No questions, but in appreciation.

zeko : no answers, just gratitude, then.

PepeDem : Hey Ap Zeko...are you in Gasa? or Laya?

zeko : I'm from Gasa but right now I'm in Thimphu. Either way, its still Bhutan.

janis : one question: I hear a lot of Rap and Hip Hop music on Kuzoo FM and most of the younger generation have a strong affinity towards Rap/Hip Hop, and since you have a lot of information on Rap Culture, Do you think the youth of Bhutan would be able to see the good aspects of it rather than its association with "gangsta"...East Coast, West Coast and stuff lie that?

zeko : I think what our Youth need to know is that true Hip Hop is not about promoting violence or glorifying promiscuity. Rather, it is a cultural movement that involves many different elements such as rapping, DJ-ing, graffiti, breakdancing, etc. And like any cultural movement, it is a generation's reaction to the cultural form of society, it is their way of saying that culture is not static, that it needs change to survive. Every generation will have its own way of expressing itself, and if this Bhutanese Generation chooses hip hop culture, then I say let it be. But we must not blindly transplant a western idea into our system, we must adapt it so that it fits our context, we must pick only the best ingredients for our "Ema Datsi." Only then will we achieve perfect change in continuity.

therapist : wai!ap zeko,m very new to kuzoo,so dont know so much bout it...bt the first thing i saw was ur interview,and it really is so funny,n ways how are you doing in the new world of modernasation (and anger,betrayal,lust,)?

zeko : Hi therapist (or is it the rapist?), I'm glad you're enjoying the interview, but I hope its more than just funny. To answer you, though, I am a bit confused. Modernisation is throwing too many choices at me (but not those that matter, like political, social, or economic), but promotinal: what clothes to wear, which shoe to buy, which phone to use, what to consume.

Atsara : Hello Ap Zeko You should come over to the Turks and Caicos Islands. Lizards and Gekos are my neighbours humans are a strange specimen. I moved here as I always expected something diffrent and big. I now have the big ocean all by myself to see and that's just what I see everyday. I miss home and my mountains.

zeko : But thats exactly how I feel, even though I'm right here in the middle of the city! I don't understand the meaning of the ocean, but I know I'm happier with my Yaks.

rEdStONE : How do u feel, staying away from your ure loved yaks and soaking into the changing trends of Thimphu?? Is Thimphu making you happier?? Oh by the the lil ZECKO in me says...ure my my FAN???

zeko : I feel hungry. Not for yak meat (although...) but for knowledge. Because I know that the more I learn from Thimphu's changing times, the more I can apply it to my own changing perspectives. As for my thoughts on Thimphu, I still remain ambivalent.

ASHLEE : Is there ant chat websites created for bhutanese by the bhutanese?

zeko : I think there is one at www.druknet.bt but I hear kuzoo.net is coming up with their own. Do your magic, Mona!

dekiling : Hello and kuzula, Hows life?

zeko : Kuzula, Life is a Journey, Ride a Yak.


zeko : Just the way it should: Making sure that no man is rich enough to buy another, and not poor enough as to have to sell himeslf. We may be small in size, but we're big at heart.

prince : kuzu ap zeko...i have never seen ma love,she loves me too..i know..we have only met on the cell phone..will ma dream come true?how?wat shoul i do?

zeko : Wait, whats your dream? you haven't detailed your dream. Anyhow, if you truly love each other, I think that it has the power of ultimately uniting two people, no matter the circumstances.

janis : Ap Zeko, my mate, that was an intelligent, good thought. I like your ambivalence towards everything, your perspective and most of all your critical theory. Keep On. I am a Rock N' Roll fan, and i think it's not just sex and drugs. Pour some thoughts, please.

zeko : Thanks janis. I think people shouldn't decide on a matter- whether it is music or politics or anything- completely without understanding the history, context, nature, and relevance. Thats one of the reasons I like my Yaks so much, they don't grunt if they don't understand.

Atsara : Ap Zeko, You've changed your lifestyle from herder to hitech ipods.. Why not teach your yaks to skii...?

zeko : umm...no thanks.

PepeDem : Ap Zeko, there is another person living in Thimphu named Ap Yangku...he can make a really good companion for you while you are away from your yaks.There was a yak story on Bhutan Times, I hope they are not your yaks?

zeko : I hear my gasa yaks are doing fine, so they probably weren't mine. As for Ap Yangku, I shall try to contact him.

cinnamongurl : hello zeko!!!!!!!! been all-over d world huh!. I'm 4m kuzoo fm if you have any message 4 ur yaks & family let us know. we will just air it!

zeko : Can you please air this: "To Ina, Mena, Maddox, Zekom, and all my Yaks. I should've never left Gasa. I miss all of you. I'm coming home on Ngilo (Jan1) so prepare some good food."

!tashilhamo : Aap Zeko, you say you want to return to your home... to Gasa.. to your Yaks.. to your wives.. but then, what are you waitng for?? hasn't life taught you enough that time waits for no one?? you want to die happy but you are still here.. and not in Gasa where you supposedly belong.. because of which you are not really happy.. why not buy a laptop with an internet pakage and return to Gasa... Gasa is no more what it was when u left.. if u didn't already know.. it has telephone connections and electricity now.. you could still bake your cake and eat it too... i mean be in Gasa and also be with us (online)... i don't want to seem like i'm asking you to get packing and get going, just that you constantly seem to be missing Gasa. what say you?

zeko : Well, its easier said than done, but let me try to explain. First off, I thought I'd finish my Yak Album, which might take some time. Also, I'm trying to learn as much as I can from the Thimphu Youth (although, like you said, I could just interact with them online). But the main reason I'm still here is because of my stubborn Creator. He tells me that I can serve as a symbolic narrative, an allegory, a story with a moral for the Youth of Bhutan. He talks about Gasa/Thimphu analogies and East/West parallels, about Yak metaphors and Power Tiller significances, about Ema Datsi symbolism and "69" symmetry. He tells me everything fits if I return on Ngilo, 1st Jan, my birthday, when I turn from 69 to 70. He tells me there is meaning in my life, but I really don't understand him that much, all I know is that I want to go back to Gasa soon.

tpenjo : AP zeko, recently there has been a ranking which indicated that Bhutan is in the top ten tourist destination forecasted for 2007. however on the other hand the DHI ranking has depreciated by one point in 2006. this indicate, i assume, that the quality of green pasture for raising the yak are good but the quality of yak, contradictorily, seem to have not derived the best benefit from the consumption of the grass.....what do u think that yak herders and NOZEPS (the present nozeps) has to do to strenghthen the quality of the yaks.

zeko : I assume that by DHI you meant HDI (Human Development Index) aka YDI (Yak Development Index), otherwise I just don't know what you're talking about. Even so, I think that the apparent contradiction can be cleared by realizing the following: Figuring in the "top ten" tourist destination does not necessarily imply that the quality of "green pastures" in the Whole of Bhutan is good. After all, tourism can be a very shallow interest, focusing only on certain locations and specific aspects of culture. Also, the "quality of green pastures" aka "standards of living" is not the sole cause of the health and well-being of the Yaks. There are other factors such as life expectancy, adult literacy, and education. Bhutan's HDI did decline in 2006 (so did the South Asian Region and most developing countries) and I do agree with you that our Yaks have not consumed the optimun level of the Grass, but while our Yak Herders and Nozeps can only improve the quality of the Grass or guide us to better Pastures, it is the Yaks themselves that must learn to differenciate between Good Grass and Bad Weed.

tpenjo : ap zeko....i have been eagerly waiting for ages to get your response to my queries...but i am worried something has happened to you or one of your yaks..or may be the internet connection is blocked due to heavy snowfall expected during this time of the year at GASA.....please let us know whether you are alive or hibernating consecutively with inna, mena, or another, may be, AUM DEMA. (Aum dema is ap YANKAS third wife and i suspect you took this orrortunity to visit her in his absence, as one of hte members mentioned ap yanka is recently in thimphu..this alsoclearly explains my hypothesis about ur recent absence and non response to our queries )

zeko : I apologize for the delay in responses. My Creator has been busy with work lately and hasn't spent enough time with me. I shall talk to him. BTW, I only roll with LayapZams, Aum Dema is from Lunana.


tashideki : hi kuzuzangpola .....

minnieMouse : how will my voting savea yak??? and how do i vote ?? just wanted to ask tht and btw cute grandpa pic

zeko : By voting for me, you save me the burden of having to sell a Yak in exchange for an ipod/phone. But you also save much more. To vote, you have to send an email to bestprofile@kuzoo.net and type in "zeko" from the email address that you used to register on Kuzoo.

rEdStONE : will Gasa ever catch up to the rapid modernization of Thimphu??

zeko : Sure, why not? The government has been doing a pretty fine job so far, and if the pace is maintained, I see no reason to worry. However, I do hope we do not have to compromise on other equally important issues such as Environment, Tradition, Spirituality, and even Happiness. Whats the use of being modern, high-tech, and globalised if we are not happy?

karmadorji : hello zeko, what is symmetry? and the 69 symmetry?

zeko : I heard that Symmetry is what we see at a glance, but as for 69 symmetry, I really don't know, 69 is just an age for me.

Mona : So Jan 1 is the big day for the big man - turning 70 and returning home as well! Will be tracking that date. And about the yak album, is it still going to be released next year?

zeko : Its still in the pipeline and I shall be working on it if my Creator starts funding me.

Atsara : Hey ap zeko... tell me something about Gasa besides it being your home... I mean... through your own perspective...

zeko : Well, it seems that most people associate Gasa mostly for its Tshachus (Hot Springs) although I only go to Lungo Tshachu (which is in my gewog, Laya) to check out the "hot" babes. I have also seen many chillips visit Masagang (in Laya) for rock climbing and some even paid me green money to ride my yaks. We are also very rich in flauna and flora and I have seen many animals like Snow leopards, Ravens, Snow Pigeons, and Blue Sheep, which are considered rare and endangered. Zekom once told me that the whole of Gasa falls under the Jigme Dorji National Park, although I'm yet to spot a see-saw or slide. Before coming to Thimphu, I used to live a nomadic life, rearing my yaks at the mountaintop during the summer and moving with the herd back towards Laya in the winter. I would often go to Punakha for work and return with bartered food and clothes. When I was a child, my grandmother used to tell me stories about an ancient gate where our ancestors fought off Tibetan invasions with the help of guardian deities (who turned stones and trees into extra soldiers!). She also told me that the Zhabdrung had actually first entered Bhutan through Gasa. I should also mention that I am a big fan of Zhabdrung, and I have, on numerous occasions, sported a beard a la Zhabdrung.

karmadj : hey how come you are brousing and not making cheese..or ...zoetey....go and make zoetey with the layap zaams>>>

zeko : hahaha..but seriously, no comment.

! jigten : Ap Zeko, you seem to be on top of things. You seem to market yourself very well. I guess that is how you got the honour of being the first person to be interviewed? However it seems you have failed, in getting a good number of votes for the best profile competition. How did it happen? Have you figured out the glitches? Just a simple suggestion, might do you good if you reveal yourself specially to the kuzoo yaks?

zeko : Maybe I should dye my hair, or I could post many pictures with my chillip friends. I might do better by posting comments to each and every member to create some sort of artificial friendship (enough to get votes, at least) or perhaps the voting system could be slightly more transparent, but who am I, a fictional character, to talk about that.

kindo : this is rediculous...i seriously can't believe it's going this far...sad case yo

zeko : I know...yo

Atsara : Great.. ap Zeko.. it's seems that you are keeping Gasa close to your heart... that's very honourable... but like you said you are yet to see a see-saw... and other stuffs... are you doing something on your part to.. you know, make life easier at Gasa?

zeko : Besides sending home the regular parcel of money and Thimphu goodies to Ina Mena and Maddox, there is not much I can do from here in Thimphu. But the first thing I will do upon returning to Gasa will be to hold discussions on political issues. I think it is high time that we raise our political consciousness because, come 2008, politicians might not take us seriously because of our small number of registered voters and our remoteness. Gasa must not be forgotten. We need to elect the right Gups and Chimmis because they are the one who will be representing us. We must exercise our political rights, and at the same time, we must carry out our social duties.

cheche : Hello...I am planning to run to be Bhutan's first lady Prime Minister...what do you say here?..haha

zeko : I say anything is possible. But remember that the word �minister� is not just a noun, it is alos a verb that means to serve, to care, and to contribute.

mieko : How do you do la, Ap Zeko. You said you were a big fan of Zhabdrung. Me too! All that I read of him makes me feel he must have been a singularly amazing leader... Speaking of an amazing leader, I am also a great fan of the late Majesty, the Third Druk Gyalpo. Given your age (sorry!), did you ever see the late Majesty in "action" around Gasa? Would love to hear your impressions la!

zeko : I was a young boy when I had the opportunity to see, and meet, the third king during one of his frequent trips to Gasa, despite it being the most remote and least populated Dzongkhag in Bhutan. I remember him talking about democracy and modernization and ending feudalism although I didn�t fully understand the effect they were going to have on me and my village. But now that I can reach Punakha in seven hours instead of four days, now that I can pick up the phone and call my family instead of having to worry endlessly, now that I can send my son to school like everyone else, now that I can use my Power Tiller, now I can appreciate his vision and love for his people.

tpenjo : ap zeko......a very stupid question.....but i believe there are many answers to it......WHY DID THE BOMB BLAST IN PHUENTSHOLING?

zeko : I don�t know. But if their aim was to put fear into our minds and terror into our hearts, then they need to realize that �The terrible thing about terrorism is that ultimately it destroys those who practice it. Slowly, but surely, as they try to extinguish life in others, the light within them dies.�

tara : Well ap zeko, congrats! I knew this ap zeko is someone i know pretty well. Well, if you don't remember me, let me give you a hint. I used to be your child hood friend playing hide and seek with the yaks. Well looks like you really have become a modern man biking everywhere these days with traditional thoughts. Good Work, Keep it up.

browneyes : hello Ap Zeko, did kuzoo face any threat of being hacked, I am concern because last two weeks I could not open kuzoo at all.

zeko : I don't think so, it worked fine for me.

BRANCO : shouldn't there be some kind of censorship on what kind of pictures you could upload in this blog ! i just saw a piture of man run over by a heavily loaded lorry , the man's body is ruptured and torn apart , it's a gruesome sight . There's another closer version of the picture and it makes you sick to the stomach . I believe this is a very active forum for the youth and i suppose there would be so many underaged broswers . just thought i 'll bring this up to you .

zeko : I agree with you Branco. And while I am not the moderator or administrator of this site (I'm not even part of the Kuzoo Team), I know that our Mona is working tirelessly to prevent such things from happening. My suggestion is that you should report it to the Kuzoo Moderator.

Free_Rider : sorry but no time to read the interview. i m new here, pls tell me whats going on and also tell me why u r here with the kids?

zeko : sorry but no time to read the question. i m old here, i don't know exactly whats going on, and they are not my kids.


zeko : (1) Many of our social practices as well as institutions are already democratic, we don't have to wait till or after 2008 to asses their benefit. And yes, democracy will benefit us, as long as we don't forget our traditions and values. (2) Maybe this question should have been in the Census questionnaire! Because I don't know, and I'm not sure. (3) I don't think its either of these two, though. How about just "being scared to fight in a war"?

KazanG : Hey there.. I was reading everything and found out that "Ap Zeko", really does speak English well. How come? How does a yak herder know how to speak English.. or write. Or even know how to browse through the computers? Very curious, I must say.

zeko : But why not? We Yak Herders have a lot of free time when we're out herding. I happened to read a book or two or ten, instead of working on my flute skills.

tashilhamo : kuzoo appa zeko... my work place has denied acess to your interview blog, so i haven't really been reading up on your blog... now... what is your next PoA and how do u intend to make them happen??

zeko : Denied access...how come? Don't they like my beard? Anyway, my next plan of action is to prepare for my return to Gasa (on January 1st). I'm making a list of things I need to do.

janis : can we not fine tune the flaws in Monarchy rather than completely switching over to democracy? may sound stupid, but it ain't possible. Do we tell ourselves that Monarchy is archaic? What do you say?

zeko : Ours is (will be) a Constitutional Monarchy, which is neither just a Democracy nor just a Monarchy, but the perfect blend of the positive values of both systems. I say thats the pragmatic way forward.

dekiling : Hello dear ap zeko!!!..How r u doing nowadays? I haven't been visiting this site for quite sometimes..so missed your interview....okay have a nice day....

SaSoNian : i think apa AEKO isn't really what he paints himself to b its just some .... gimmik to keep us entertained!!! yawn...

zeko : wait, you actually think i'm...nevermind, I won't pop the bubble.

SaSoNian : yawn!!!! boring

zeko : then what are you Still doing here?? Go herd a yak.

zangla : kuzoo zeko tashi, hard luck that you are not among the winners ! no worries, i'll buy and sent it through the internet to Gasa. please inform me which one do you want?

zeko : I do believe I have won, after all.

janis : sure Kay Z(eko), you have won my respect. don't worry about the phone, the iPod or the mp3 playa

Mona : Ap Zeko will be concluding the interview shortly, so if you have any further questions or comments, this is the time to engage!

!!!haNdSoMe UgLy : ap zeko nice work!!! thumps up for u!! keep the good work!!!

mieko : All good things must come to an end, I presume, but I wish this interview could go on for all time to come... I enjoyed reading all the questions, and wished my own country's "yaks" could be as honest and open as Kuzoo "yaks". I savored your answers, every single one of them la Ap Zeko, and prayed all Kuzoo "yaks" saw a role model in you, in their own ways. For me, I saw and felt that rare ability to listen deeply (to what is said and is not said too), honesty, integrity and humility of course, courage to say I don't know, and the capacity to laugh at oneself in front of everybody. I pray that these qualities will be embodied in all future leaders of Drukyul. Tashi Delek! Mieko -.

Mona : I have to say that this has been a terrific debut interview for Kuzoo.Net. On the one hand, our interview module appears to have worked well. And on the other, Zeko has proven to be every thing that we expected of him and more. Certainly funny, witty and humorous. And the interview has revealed great maturity, based on home grown wisdom and insight into the ways of the world. Thank you, Ap Zeko, for a wonderful interview, and please continue to expound on Kuzoo.Net!

zeko : Kadrinchey Mona for the nice words, and Kadrinchey also to all my yaks who participated in the Interview. I hope you enjoyed reading my replies as much as I enjoyed answering your questions. Yak on, my friends.

* End of Transcript *

Source : http://www.kuzoo.net/index.php?option=com_moderatedchat&chatid=2

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