A pretty remarkable event took place in Bhutan this autumn–the launch of the first women’s magazine in the country. Armed with questions galore, I got in touch with the editor of the magazine, Pema Choden Tenzin, who graciously took the time to humour my inquiries:
The name of the magazine is Yeewong. Why was this chosen and what does it mean?
PCT: Yeewong is a Dzongkha term that describes something that appeals to the heart. It goes with the theme for our magazine, which is, ‘Bringing her forward.’ The ‘her’ refers to anything a reader would want to connect with; a person, an attitude, an issue or a story. This way we hope that all readers will be in a position to relate to Yeewong.
How often will the magazine be published?
PCT: Twice a year–for now. But we hope to go quarterly very soon. The next issue of Yeewong comes out in December in which we focus on eminent women in Bhutan, faces of different women, women’s health, traditional wear photo shoots and exclusive contributions from some of the nation’s best writers.
How would you personally describe the overall feel and focus of Yeewong?
PCT: I like to describe Yeewong as a magazine that embraces every aspect of womanhood that makes us special and unique, with a special focus on the women in Bhutan. Women here like reading Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and many international magazines here, so why can’t Bhutanese women have a magazine which they can relate to and connect with?
What does the future hold for you, your team and Yeewong?
PCT: I personally gave up on some important career choices, like working in the civil service which is very common in Bhutan, to be a part of Yeewong. But I have realized that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Although many are still sceptical about whether a magazine like ours will work in the long run, and perceive it to be a glamour magazine, one thing’s for sure–the Yeewong family is still going strong.