Bhutan is popular today, for being the happiest country on the planet. The Gross National Happiness is the philosophy much talked about in the country as well as abroad. But what is Gross national happiness?
It is the philosophy that guides the Bhutanese model of development. Gross national happiness represented a commitment to building an economy that would serve Bhutan's culture based on Buddhist spiritual values, instead of western material development gauged by gross domestic product (GDP).Today the phrase is reflected outside Bhutan. Unlike many other countries in the world, where happiness is measured in terms of material wealth, Bhutanese perspective is having a balanced economic development while caring the environment and conserving the traditional values. The word Gross national happiness was first coined by the fourth king of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuk. Tourism is the second highest revenue generating industry in Bhutan “High Value, Low Impact” tourism too was derived from the philosophy of Gross national happiness to maintain Bhutan’s culture and natural environment. Therefore the government is devoted to keeping up the policy of keeping the tourists visiting Bhutan at a steady rate while delivering high-value hospitality to each individual. This is done to assure that our pristine natural environment is not exploited in the process of generating income through tourism industries.
Bhutan joined United Nations in 1971 during His Majesty the third king Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuk’s reign where he expressed his view of “people’s prosperity and happiness”. When His Majesty the fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck became the King when he was 17 years old, the year was 1972, he had to decide what should be the philosophy behind for Bhutan. He looked at other countries and found that government and people are striving for economic wealth. This would make people live a comfortable life but on the downside, people would be living in poverty and social isolation. This is not the vision of the fourth King for Bhutan. The idea of Gross National Happiness was born from third king’s view of “people’s prosperity and happiness”. Country’s development is measured not only by economic income but also people’s happiness. Economic growth is also needed for the government to maintain public health, education, people’s income and living standards. To build a human society, economic and spiritual development should take place simultaneously.
The fourth Dragon King lived a simple life. He handed over his power to the people in 2006 to make them happy and changed the history of Bhutan with a first parliamentary election held in 2008. The people of Bhutan strongly believed in GNH.
The philosophy of GNH has been taken by many other countries including United Nations to make the earth happier place to live in.
GNH is a much richer objective than GDP or economic growth. In GNH, material well-being is important but it is also important to enjoy sufficient well-being in things like community, spirituality, psychological welfare, culture, knowledge and wisdom, health, and governance, and harmony with the environment, a balanced use of time, The 2015 GNH Index on a purpose-built survey of 7153 Bhutanese in every Dzongkhag of Bhutan. From that, analysts create a GNH profile for each person, showing their well-being across in the 9 domains mentioned above. The national GNH Index draws on every person’s portrait to give the national measure.
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Bhutan is popular today, for being the happiest country in the planet. The concept of Gross happiness is much talked about in the country...Read More
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