No internet and no television!
Imagine you didn’t have internet? No chats, no information for the presentation and no online games. And no cell phone. It was like that in Bhutan for a long time. Up until 50 years ago, Bhutan was almost isolated from the rest of the world. It was not until 2003 that mobile telephony came to Bhutan, before it was not possible to make calls with a cell phone.
An airport was only built in 1974, but it still poses great challenges to the pilots’ flying skills today. Television did not move in until 1999, before the Bhutanese had never heard of anything like that.
Poor, sick and without education
Bhutan has a population of around 800,000 and 25 out of 100 people have less than 16 dollars a month to live on. A lot of nomads live in the east of the country and they have to get by on about half the money.
25 out of 100 children die before the age of twelve. There are almost no hospitals and hardly any medical care. Medical care is free, but that doesn’t help if there isn’t any. People who are injured or have an accident often have to travel long distances to get to a hospital or a doctor.
From the age of ten, many children have to work and support the family. It goes without saying that they will then no longer be able to go to school and will not receive any schooling. 47 out of 100 people in Bhutan cannot read or write. So you are illiterate.
Many places are sacred in Bhutan. Everything has a story and there is hardly a place that is not linked to an important story. Mountains look like sleeping elephants, there are places of pilgrimage everywhere and the ground is sacred everywhere.
One of the most important and famous holy places in Bhutan is the “Tiger’s Nest” in Parotal. This is a rock grotto that is surrounded by many temples carved into a steep rock wall. This is a sacred place that is 4000 meters high. And the monastery is not that easy to get to, of course there is no road, if you want to get there you have to hike through the woods for several days. So there are no buses romping about in parking lots and those who come here have to take these hardships on themselves.
What is Gross National Happiness?
Have you ever heard the term gross national product? This is the name given to the totality of all services and economic goods in a certain economic sector within a certain period. In Bhutan one speaks of gross national happiness or gross national happiness. But what is this supposed to mean?
King Singye Wangchuck had the idea shortly after his coronation in 1974. He demanded that not the country’s economy should grow, but the happiness of the inhabitants. This of course contradicts all the demands that are made on a state today, because it should grow, grow and grow. But sometimes one really asks oneself where this growth is going and does more goods and goods really make people happier?
Can happiness even be measured?
In Bhutan, a country located in Asia according to youremailverifier, the claim to be happy has a lot to do with religion. What is important are the spiritual needs of the person and not the economic ones. So everyone can find the desired form of happiness in themselves without having to have a lot of money and possessions, on the contrary, in the Buddhist faith this rather stands in the way of happiness. So the economic development of the country is lagging behind.
But are everyone in Bhutan really that happy? And how can happiness even be measured? In any case, people in Bhutan are researching the happiness of their residents. They are asked whether and how they are happy. These numbers are then evaluated. The results are also said to influence the politics of the country, which in turn is responsible for the happiness of its residents.
The pillars of happiness
The gross national happiness introduced by the Bhutanese royal family rests on four pillars. One is the sustainable and equitable development of society and the economy. Another is environmental protection and good governance is also a pillar of happiness, as is the preservation of cultural traditions in the country.
How is it really with happiness?
In their research, the researchers found that not all people in Bhutan were happy, but they were happier or easier to please than we are here. Many people live very simply, often without electricity, and live from what nature gives them. When they have enough to eat and a small amount of wealth that can be expressed in very simple things, they are satisfied.
The needs that our society has, which are often awakened by advertising, do not arise at all. There are many things that the Bhutans do not know at all. Village life is peaceful and community and friendship are important. That all sounds right. But many people are not doing so well because they are missing the very least and then there is no happiness if you are always hungry.