Papermaking is considered one of the most important parts of Bhutanese culture and tradition.
This April 2017, Bhutan Natural visited Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory in Namtag Lam, about 1km away from the Thimphu City, to witness the entire process of producing Bhutanese handmade paper.
Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory is a pilot conservative program to preserve their traditional handmade paper making by the Bhutan's Ministry of Trade and Industry.
By 1992, this pilot program been through a privatized under the sole proprietorship of Mr. Norbu Tenzin. As part of the Bhutan and Japan exchange program, Mr. Norbu Tenzin went to Shimane Prefecture, the western part of Japan's Island, to learn their Japanese traditional and modernized paper making.
The term Jungshi, as explained by Mr. Norbu Tenzin, means Natural in Dzongkha. To produce the paper, Mr. Norbu Tenzin needs to harvest the bark of either Daphne tree or the Dhekap tree and natural water from the mountains. All these materials are sourced locally in the restricted area regulated by the Forestry Department.
Mr. Norbin Tenzin is an active supporter of the local art industry and also an inspiring social entrepreneur; providing scholarship and employment opportunity for art graduates from the local school.
Although handmade production is still much costly and time-consuming, Mr. Norbin Tenzin still believes it's worth preserving the spirit.