You will not see skyscrapers, Disneyland or high speed train, or not even traffic lights in Bhutan. That’s because we choose not to have them. We have realized that there is more to life than having these facilities. We take the adage are Life is short’s seriously. And to live this short life meaningfully, we crave for happiness.
So, in 1972, the youngest King in the world, Bhutan’s fourth King, had a vision for the country: To make Bhutan happy land. When countries in world were scrambling to get rich, our King wanted our country to remain least developed and happier. Countries wanting to become rich depleted their resources and set up all kinds of industries that would bring pollution and disasters to their citizens. The economics concepts which the world embraced did not answer the true call of life. Even today, we see our world fighting for resources and wealth than bring peace to their people.
So it was more than 40 years ago that the fourth King of Bhutan declared that “GNH is more important than GDP”. And GNH stands for Gross National Happiness. This is the idea which guides the development of Bhutan focused more on making people happy than simply follow the other countries in raising the bar of Gross Domestic Product for economic development.
Since then Bhutan was trying to develop a system of developing the country where we could have all the means of life but at the same time protect our culture and environment. GNH became the development policy for the country. It became a scientific model with four pillars and nine domains.
The four pillars of GNH are good governance, sustainable economic development, preservation of culture and protection of environment.
The nine domains are living standards, education, health, environment, community vitality, time-use, psychological well-being, good governance, cultural resilience and promotion.
So all these factors are considered to very important to create an enabling conditions for making people in the country happy. We even have a dedicated organization working on this idea called Centre for Bhutan Studies & GNH Research. And the government agency, GNH Commission is responsible to make sure all development policies of the country pass the GNH screening tool.
You will discover more when you come to Bhutan. This is our own travel package on GNH which will make you experience the bliss at its purest. The plan has mediation sessions, exchange programs with local people, leading Bhutanese life in real Bhutanese villages, and inculcating positive practices in life that brings happiness to oneself.
So, come and experience happiness.