Journal of Bhutan Studies Volume 10, Summer 2004

1. The Symbolic and Functional Significance of Chhoetse Penlop: A Tribute to the Sixteenth Chhoetse Penlop by Sonam Kinga

As His Royal Highness Dasho Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck Ascended the throne as the 16th Chhoetse Penlop in three hundred and fifty seven years, the author pays tribute to His Highness by describing the symbolic and functional significance of Chhoetse Penlop. The author states that it affirms the centrality of monarchy in our lives.

2. A Historical Background of the Chhoetse Penlop by Dorji Wangdi

The institution of the Chhoetse Penlop (later called Trongsa Penlop) is more than 350 years. It was started by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1647 after he appointed Chhogyel Minjur Tenpa as his representative in Trongsa. This royal institution with a unique blend of mythology and history represents Bhutan’s past.

3. Demise of Tongphu Gyalpo by Karma Galay

Tongphu was one of many valley kingdoms that existed in eastern Bhutan during ancient times. There are many folktales and oral accounts associated with these valley kingdoms. In this essay, Karma Galay narrates some of these oral accounts as he heard from the elderly citizens in Thridangbi village in Monggar and shows how they highlight some historical and anthropological research issues.

4. Myth, Legend and History Surrounding Dungsam by Sonam Wangdi

Earlier the entire regions which presently fall under Pemagatshel and Samdrup Jongkhar districts were popularly known as Dungsam. The term is still used both officially and locally. The author narrates the origin and history this name as heard from two oral sources.

5. The Myth and the Mystery of Aja Nye by Rinzin Wangchuk

This sacred nye is attributed to Guru Rinpoche who brought tantric Buddhism to Bhutan. Located in the extreme north of Serzhong Geog at an altitude of more than 3,500 meters, it is a three-day walk from Mongar Dzong. Aja means hundred numbers of alphabet “Aa” which appeared on a rock surface. The gorges and mountains in the areas are dotted with nyes.

6. Changing Soil Fertility Management in Bhutan: Effects on Practices, Nutrient Status and Sustainability by Chencho Norbu and Christopher Floyd

This paper is the results of a Soil Fertility Management (SFM) survey conducted in 1999 to determine the status and trends in soil fertility management and associated soil conditions in Bhutan in the face socio-economic development of the last four decades.

7. Predator-Prey Dynamics: The Role of Predators in the Control of Problem Species by Tashi Wangchuk

A study was conducted to look at the relationship between presence and numbers of wild dog (Cuon alpinus) and presence and abundance of wild boar (Sus scrofa). This was corroborated with scat analysis to get percentage of the prey consumed by wild dogs and other predators.

8. International Politics of Bhutan by Karma Galay

This paper discusses the extent to which international relations theories, which are mainly based on the behavior and interest of the big powers, explain the international behavior of small states. In order to do so, four different theories that are most commonly used to explain the international behavior of small states are reviewed briefly.

9. Security of Bhutan: Walking Between the Giants by Dorji Penjore

This paper discusses three broad crosscutting security issues facing Bhutan today – a) Sino-Bhutan border conflict, its security implications, and how resolution of border problem will further complicate its security; b) possible changes in the Indo-Bhutan relation due to other forces such as India’s north-east insurgents, improving Sino-Bhutan relation and its implication on India’s security concern; and c) the dark side of globalization – the impacts of Bhutan joining World Trade Organization (WTO), and the introduction of satellite TV and information technology which are changing the very fabrics on which Bhutan’s national identity is writ large.