Blissful Bhutan: A Kingdom of Thunderbolts

Tiger Nest Monastery in Bhutan
Tiger Nest Monastery

Nestled in-between the eastern ridges of the Himalayas in the central-south, Bhutan is a beautiful country and is also ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world, attracting tourists from far and wide to experience its tranquil and serene beauty. This beautiful Buddhist kingdom is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and plains, magnificent mountains and steep valleys.

Bhutan is a small kingdom neighbouring India with a 786,500 population. It is also known as Druk-yul or Druk Tsendhen, meaning “land of the thunder dragon”, because of the frequent thunderbolts experienced here. However, it is a place of mountains and lakes, pilgrimages, artistic skills, adventure and tourism.

Bhutanese children laughing

Bhutan does not believe in GDP as an indicator of economic growth and development, using instead a measurement known as Gross National Happiness. It has made this blessed kingdom a country of happy people on the global map. Bhutanese people have four pillars for the measure of GNH —sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, good governance and a healthy environment — that makes it one of the happiest countries in the world.

People

There are three major ethnic groups in Bhutan: the Bhutia (also called Ngalop), the Nepalese and the Sharchop. The Bhutia is the largest ethnic group and they constitute about half of the population. The Bhutia are dominant in northern, central and western Bhutan. They speak a variety of Tibeto-Burman languages, and the most common of these, Dzongkha, is Bhutan’s official language; the written language is identical with Tibetan. The Bhutias dominate Bhutan’s political life. The Nepalese (including members of the Gurung ethnic group) predominate in the region and constitute roughly one-third of the country’s total population. These are the most recent arrivals in Bhutan. Most speak Nepali.

Cover of the May 2022 issue of The Teenager Today featuring Rohan Singhal

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C. Joseph is a counsellor at St Joseph’s College, Jakhama in Nagaland. He has authored books, written a number of articles and has produced several music albums in English and Tamil.

C. Joseph

C. Joseph is a counsellor at St Joseph’s College, Jakhama in Nagaland. He has authored books, written a number of articles and has produced several music albums in English and Tamil.