They are able to adapt to globalization, to strengthen their economy, while still preserving thousand year old traditions and culture. In recent years, internet, cable television, cell phones, as well as many other modern technologies and ideas have become a part of Bhutan, but their desire to preserve of cultural values, as well as the desire to protect the environment has remained high. Welcome to Bhutan: the Happiest Country on Earth! If all nations worldwide used a (GNH) to judge “the preservation and promotion of cultural values,” I think many people would judge globalization negatively. In many ways, GNH seems a natural extension of the Mahayana Buddhism that 75 per cent of the population follows. Washington, DC 20008. A viable philosophy or government propaganda? How do they do it? It actually ranks 95th out of 156 countries in the 2019 World Happiness Report. It includes an index which is used to measure the collective happiness and well-being of a population. Randy Durband, CEO of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, agrees: “For practical reasons, few nations could follow their model because of Bhutan’s dramatic isolation. In many ways, they’re richer than us because their lifestyle provides everything they need.” And yet the GNH Survey Report noted: “Farmers are less happy than other professions,” highlighting something of a disconnect between perception and reality. While that may be somewhat optimistic, the ‘unhappy’ 15 per cent is likely to include Nepalese inhabitants. Bhutan is the only Buddhist Kingdom still in the world, and one where cell phones and cable television are present. Bhutan's constitution specifies that at least 60% of the country must remain forested, making it the only country in the world that absorbs more carbon than it emits. The windy roads through the beautiful mountains and valleys were not always “beautiful.”. Bhutan is the only country in the world that has a ‘GNH.’ You may think GNH is just another statistically based term with no real life application, but it refers to “Gross National Happiness.” The process of measuring GNH began when Bhutan opened up to globalization. The desire to own new technology tests the theory that you should be happy with what you have. The elder generation are dropped off by their kids with a packed lunch and spend the day here, spinning the prayer wheels and touching their prayer beads. It's been decades since the fourth king of Bhutan came up with the notion of gross national happiness. Bhutan has also made significant efforts to keep other major religions out of their country. “It becomes a community which makes them happy,” says Sonam. We know you're busy, so we'll only send you two emails a month. HAPPIEST COUNTRY ON EARTH. In 2008, in Bhutan’s first democratic election, 28-year-old Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck was elected president of Bhutan. First was the flight to Paro, with the added bonus of flying over the Himalayas and a superb view of Mount Everest in full winter sunshine. This is a country that only built its first road, established its postal service and migrated formal education from the monasteries to the classroom in the 1960s. Trying to achieve it on a countrywide scale, then, may seem naïve; even impossible. Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Paro Valley. Bhutan only allows a certain number of foreigners into the country each year, and the two hundred dollars a day that must be paid by every traveler is a deterrent for many. While the concept of happiness should extend to all the people, not just the individual, the GNH Survey Report notes that, “Farmers are less happy than other professions,” which highlights something of a disconnect between perception and reality. Is Bhutan the happiest place ... story in the state-run Kuensel newspaper claimed a survey had revealed people from the Haa district in the west of the country were apparently the happiest. In 2007, Bhutan had the second fastest growing GDP in the world, at the same time as maintaining their environment and cultural identity. My father had been invited by the Chief Justice of Bhutan to help them write their judicial laws. Priya Srivastava. Bhutan has incessantly been ranked as the happiest country in all of Asia, and one of the happiest countries in the world according to Business Week. Everest and K2, the two highest mountains in the world. Over five months, 7,153 Bhutanese were interviewed across the country and it was concluded that GNH has grown significantly from 0.743 in 2010 to 0.756 in 2015, showing “overall people’s lives are getting better” and that “a total of 91.2 per cent of Bhutanese were narrowly, extensively, or deeply happy” (GNH Survey Report). The government gives subsidies to Buddhist monasteries, shrines, monks and other Buddhist programs. Bhutan has continually been ranked as the happiest country in all of Asia, and the eighth Happiest Country in the world according to Business Week. This tiny Himalayan country, which only opened its doors for outsiders in the 1970s, is popular worldwide for its long history of splendid isolation and reputation for being the happiest country in the world. Read more * They manage spiritual and material happiness equally. “In my opinion, GNH means being satisfied with what you have,” Sonam says. He played basketball with us, and engaged in a friendly conversation. Our car trips through Bhutan involved many stops for eating and site seeing, but also puking. Nepalese-led attacks resulted in the deaths of some officials and King Jigme Singye Wangchuck authorized an anti-immigrant drive. Since its inception a decade ago, the census has been taken three times, with the last one in 2015. How many people close to you can you count on if sick, or if having financial problems? Ironically, though, Bhutan ranked 97 out of 156 on the 2018 World Happiness Report although they attribute this to the survey measuring happiness only via material wealth. But as I flew into Bhutan, I realized that the mountains I saw out of the window of the tiny shaky plane were Mt. Everything—from governance and economic development to cultural preservation and environmental conservation—is decided according to this holistic tenet, designed to measure and protect the collective happiness and wellbeing of the population. “It becomes a community which makes them happy,” says Sonam. The older generation are dropped off at the Memorial Stupa in Thimphu where they spin the prayer wheels and tap their prayer beads. 2607 24th Street, NW I ask Sonam how happy he thinks his fellow countrymen are. “It works because our country is small,” says Sonam. For those who may not know, Bhutan is a country in Southeast Asia that is just south of China. Hand-painted boulders remind drivers to “peep peep, don’t sleep,” and, a few hundred meters later, “mountain of pleasure, if you drive with leisure.” And instead of saying ‘back off’, the bumper sticker of the truck in front of us politely reads: “Don’t kiss me.”. “Happiness is when you make something to share with others,” he replies, rather profoundly, before changing the topic to discuss his love of David Beckham. The country has been ranked as the happiest country in all of Asia, and the eighth Happiest Country in the world according to Business Week. Bhutan is often praised for measuring its worth by citizens’ happiness alongside its economy, but can a country really calculate happiness—and if so, how? Ever visited a country which gauges its progress with Gross National Happiness? In 2007, the country had the second-fastest-growing GDP in the world. In many cases, developing nations lose their cultures, origins, and way of life, languages, as well as natural resources to globalization. Could travel really be the best medicine? Bhutan - Greenest - Happiest - Country와 관련된 최고의 선택된 비디오들을 감상하세요. The country then celebrated their newborn Prince by planting another 108,000 trees. Emma Thomson traveled with Wild Frontiers who offer small-group tours and tailor-made holidays to Bhutan. Bhutan’s population stands at 0.7 million as of 2017. Read on to find out all you can about Bhutan. Try using these tags: It’s not easy determining the state of citizens’ happiness, but that’s the aim in Bhutan. Bhutan is not just any regular country. It is the only country in the world to measure success not by economic growth but by gross national happiness (GNH). The country is 100% Buddhist and they believe in treating each other with respect. Lagom: Is this the Swedish secret to happiness? Unlike other parts of the world where development is gauged by per capita income, in Bhutan the development index is monitored by a concept, unique to Bhutan only, namely the Gross National Happiness, where the country’s development is measured in terms of citizen’s "happiness". Trying to achieve it on a countrywide scale, then, may seem naïve; even impossible. Bhutan - Greenest - Happiest - Country(을)를 감상하십시오! This was very telling to me – that the Prince of Bhutan would play basketball with kids at the local court, showing how Bhutan was still a small isolated world, where a Prince was safe to walk the streets and do as he pleased. We have a population that is highly dependent on the agricultural sector. Is it worth giving up culture for a better economy? One component of Gross National Happiness is cultural preservation and environmental conservation such as Tiger’s Nest monastery, beautifully preserved in the country’s lush valleys and a popular tourist site. When the UN General Assembly passed the resolution in 2011, it praised Bhutan and urged other members to follow suit. Bhutan has one of the stable ecosystems in the world and has virtually no environmental damage due to its long isolation. Bhutan didn't become the "happiest nation in the world" overnight, and this is perhaps in itself a misleading statement - how can you reduce something so subjective by quantifying it? When in Bhutan, the happiest country in the world! And how free do you feel to express your ideas and opinions? Bhutan is the only Buddhist Kingdom in the world; Mahayana Buddhism is the official religion of Bhutan. Aside from its glorious spirituality and strong Buddhist beliefs, Bhutan is home to high places, ancient monasteries, and ancient dzongs. Atualizado em 19/04/2019. Trouble is, at that time Bhutan’s population stood at 787,386, meaning just 0.9 per cent of inhabitants were surveyed. Let us check out some of the things they do differently that make them so happy. I ask my guide, Sonam Pelden, what he thinks as we join the thrum of locals circling like honeybees around the Memorial Stupa in Thimphu, built in 1974 in remembrance of Bhutan’s third king. RELATED: Could travel really be the best medicine? Tourist flocking to the happiest country in the world are lured by its natural beauty, old monasteries, its colorful festivals, and warm Bhutanese hospitality. That’s a very small sample. Bhutan is not the happiest country in the world. Is Bhutan really the happiest country in the world? ‘Gifted’ to the people by former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck in 2008, the philosophy, unique to the Land of the Thunder Dragon, is put into practice using a 30-page questionnaire that delves into the nine domains that are believed to contribute to a person’s happiness —psychological wellbeing, health, education, time use, cultural diversity and resilience, good governance, community vitality, ecological diversity, and resilience and living standards. I always try to find happiness when I travel and so I had to visit this country and see for myself if Bhutan really was the world’s happiest country. In 2007, Bhutan had the second fastest growing GDP in the world, at the same time as maintaining their environment and cultural identity. Suites 1 & 2 So what are you waiting for? Bad news always beats good to the headlines, and so too is it easier to pick holes in and argue about a fledgling do-good philosophy. On a visit to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, I found myself sitting across from a man named Karma Ura, spilling my guts. It is hard to imagine that such a small country, the size of Indiana with the population of Alaska, tucked in the Himalaya Mountains, accessible only by two airplanes, is the “Happiest Country” in the world, the last standing Buddhist Kingdom and has one of the fastest growing GDP’s in the world. “Good point,” he says, laughing, “but that’s because we’re human—it’s the human condition to never be satisfied. The society and culture, as well as the economy, become linked to the rest of the world and the ideas of the world flow into that country, often destroying culture. Prayer flags in Bhutan are raised outside homes, strung across bridges, hoisted on hilltops and hung at other places of spiritual importance in the belief that the wind blowing through them initiates their inherent energy, bringing happiness, good luck, prosperity and longevity. During my visit, my little brother and I would sit in our guest room watching the Smurfs on cable television, while Buddhist monks in traditional robes prayed in the room next door. When I ask Bhutanese newspaper editor Needrup Zangpo about the label, he says: "We are, undoubtedly, a happy country. Trekking to sublime mountains, exploring the colorful villages, meditating inside the peaceful monasteries, and learning the history of the dzongs—there are plenty of things to do in Bhutan that are sure to leave you mesmerized. It took us two years to even get this subscription form sorted out. World's Happiest Country Also Has No Carbon Emissions The small kingdom of Bhutan could be a model for countries on the front lines of climate change. While gross national happiness is said to have increased since the last census, only 0.9 per cent are being surveyed, raising the question as to whether it’s actually a viable philosophy or just propaganda. In 2004, I lived in Bhutan for a month at the time the King was transitioning the government to a democracy. Bhutan - Greenest - Happiest - Country 을(를) 무료로 감상하려면 Click now를 클릭하십시오! Bhutan’s economy and culture are growing and changing. As we walked out the door, someone pulled us aside and told us the fellow who so kindly helped me with my basketball shot was the Prince of Bhutan. That founded its banking system ‘BoB’ (Bank of Bhutan) in 1968. It raises questions on whether GNH is actually a viable philosophy or just propaganda. Its landscape is mountainous, with peaks reaching … Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck now helps Bhutan perfect the balance between maintaining ones cultural values and traditions while increasing their economy, the same way he helped me perfect my basketball shot years back on a local court in Bhutan. © 2021 One World Education. “But you still want the latest camera and new lens,” I tease. Can't find what you’re looking for? Gross National Happiness Index is instituted as the goal of the government of Bhutan in the Constitution of Bhutan, enacted on 18 July 2008. Even in such a delicate region, between two giants, the country serves as a haven of peace for all its inhabitants. Bhutan has done an amazing job of finding this balance. Bhutan is famously the only country in the world to rank Gyalyong Gakid Palzom, or Gross National Happiness (GNH), above GDP. The mountains are extremely cold and snowy, but it is humid and subtropical in the hills, and temperate in the valleys. Happiness is a slippery state of being—by its very nature, it comes and goes. Touted as the happiest country in the world, Bhutan is a nation rife with beauty and peace. The goal is to try and be satisfied.”. How does Bhutan measure happiness. The WHR happiness index is ranked through a Gallup survey based on a questionnaire of the variables, using a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the happiest. But can Bhutan share its model with other nations? Every brick of this magnificent country speaks of ambiguity and enchantment. The country boasts such beautiful places to visit like Paro, Punakha and Wangdue that are adorned with green rolling hills, meadows, paddy fields, rivers, and lakes. Sceptics may accuse Bhutan of practising rose-tinted politics, yet their government has never denied the importance of GDP—rather, they rearranged its position in the hierarchy of needs. Perhaps GNH is better defined as ‘development with values’.”. I’d noticed the large camera resting on the back seat of the car he used for his birdwatching. This small Himalayan country, which opened its doors to foreigners only in the 1970s, is known by the world over for its long history of isolation and the reputation of being the happiest country in the world. GNH Origin ~ By: Dasho Karma Ura, President, the Centre for Bhutan Studies They manage spiritual and material happiness equally Jigme, my host’s 10-year-old nephew, shows me how to whizz down the wooden bannisters and later, at dinner, he shuffles across the wooden floorboards to sit next to me. Over two thirds of the people are Buddhist, and Buddhism is supported by the government both politically and economically. Also, 70% of Bhutan is covered with forest, so you know, the people of Bhutan are never away from the pristine nature, which not only keeps them happy but also healthy. ISBN 978-81-7824-008-4. One day, my mom took me to play basketball at the local court. Sikkim and Bhutan. Gross National Happiness (also known by the acronym: GNH) is a philosophy that guides the government of Bhutan. The hidden joy of travel? During my final days in Bhutan, I lodge at a homestay in the remote Haa Valley. Top: Emma Thomson; Bottom: Scott A. Woodward, Left: Caterina Sanders; Right: Ricken Patel. Lhuntse Dzong; Bhutan is a sovereign and landlocked country in South Asia bordered by China in the north and Indian in the south. Bhutan: What it means to be happy in the ‘happiest country’ We are in the birthplace of ‘gross national happiness’ to find out how a country measures happiness. Bhutan is small, about the size of Switzerland, and similarly mountainous “though more geographically remote. The goal is to try and be satisfied.” After a few paces, he adds: “Sadness will always be there, so GNH helps keep the balance. I ask what happiness means to him. He promises to “maintain a stance of protection against the worst aspects of globalization, maintaining the ‘Gross National Happiness.’ But Jigme himself is no stranger to globalization. But are such restrictions necessary? It’s the ever last great Himalayan Kingdom. 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