Thimphu, Bhutan

Topic: Happiness
Schedule: Week 1 (June 17 - June 23)
Art Project: Grand Mutual Smiles
School Project: BORG Honauerstraße Linz
Partner School: Pangtokha Primary School (Pangtokha, Bhutan)

For centuries, Bhutan was one of the most isolated and exotic countries in Asia. In 1972, as a move toward modernization, its former king coined the phrase “Gross National Happiness” to denote a commitment to its own culture and specifically to Buddhist spiritual values. Though Bhutan has been far from happy and peaceful since – it does maintain an army which has used force against insurgent conflicts in southern Bhutan – its visibility around “happiness” keeps it in the international limelight. When the government finally lifted its ban against television (and the Internet) in 1999, the king conceded that it would further contribute to the country’s happiness.

Related Articles

World Wildlife Federation announces discovery of 21 new species in Bhutan

Earlier this week, the World Wildlife Federation published a new book, “The Eastern Himalayas: Where the World Collides.”

In it, the conservancy organization touted the discovery of over 350 new species in Bhutan and parts of India and Nepal over the last…

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Bhutan opens first private college

While Bhutan is well-known for its commitment to happiness (and in recent months, an uptick in suicide), hopefully things will turn around with the new private college, the Royal Thimphu College.

According to a recent article in The Hindu, classes began…

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Bhutan’s suicide rate jumps

The BBC reports in a surprising drop in the country’s overall level of happiness — because after all, three suicides in the last week alone aren’t exactly a great indicator of things.

The news service adds: “The country’s main newspaper, Kuensel, says…

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Gross National Happiness moves from idea to theory

In a recent trip to Thimphu, New York Times reporter Seth Mydans spent some time with Kinley Dorji, Bhutan’s secretary of information and communications.

Bhutan, of course, is known around the world for its king’s suggestion in the 1970s to pursue “gross…

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Bhutan’s Burgeoning Fourth Estate

Bhutan’s isolation from the rest of the world and its focus on “Gross National Happiness” rather than Gross National Product have always appealed to Westerners burned out on hyper-connectivity and accelerated technological change. Until the eve of the new millenium…

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Photos tagged with "Places, Thimphu":
Walking prayersWhere are all the people?Bhutan - Watching monks go byBhutan - Praying to the chortenBhutan - The gate keeperBhutan - Monks talk
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