1. Massive Rice Offering in Wangdiphodrang in Zhabdrung Rinpoche’s Time by Dasho Karma Ura
This article analyses a newly discovered book of 1679, perhaps the oldest extant land record, which shows that there was a survey of taxable fields and taxable houses of Wangdi district (Shar mTsho brGyad kyi khral Zhing khral Khyim gyi Deb gTer) to collect rice taxes as fresh-harvest offering for blessing tithes (dbang yon thog phud).
2. GNH, EI and the well-being of Nations: Lessons for public policy makers, with specific reference to the happiness dividend of tourism by Dr Shaun Vorster
This paper has two objectives: firstly, to conceptually explore the theoretical underpinnings of GNH and how it relates to societal EI and, secondly, to evaluate within this theoretical context the happiness dividend of the tourism economy, with specific reference to ethics, the labour market and environmental sustainability. As such the paper responds to a question posed by Goleman (2008): “Can there be an emotionally intelligent society?”
3. The ethics platform in tourism research: A Western Australian perspective of Bhutan’s GNH Tourism Model by Simon Teoh
This paper examines Bhutan’s unique development model based on a philosophy called Gross National Happiness (GNH) through tourism. The discussion is framed by Macbeth’s (2005) ethics platform in tourism research. The purpose of the paper is to investigate and understand a group of Western Australians’ perspective of Bhutan as a valued tourist destination and the likelihood of participants visiting Bhutan after understanding the GNH tourism model at a live display of Bhutanese culture.
4. In-service Training: Key to Enhancing Competence and Building Confidence for Job Performance of Gewog-level Extension Agents in Bhutan by Dr Samdrup Rigyal
It is about the study undertaken to measure the confidence levels of the extension agents (EAs) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests based in the gewogs for efficient job performance by identifying their perceptions on the various competencies. It showed that most of the competencies EAs considered important were also possessed by them and vice versa. However, the competencies considered important that were least possessed by EAs were particularly in vital areas, including technical knowledge and skill oriented competencies. The study indicated that EAs needed some form of training in all the 40 competencies of extension knowledge, skills and qualities measured. The technical knowledge competency stood out as the most important training need.
1. Ladakhi and Bhutanese Enclaves in Tibet by John Bray
This paper is a preliminary discussion of the ambiguities surrounding the enclaves. It begins with an analysis of their common origins in the 17th century, and then discusses the disputes surrounding them in the 20th century, making particular reference to British records.1 The paper concludes with a discussion of the enclaves’ standing in the wider context of traditional and contemporary Himalayan politics.
2. Population History and Identity in the Hidden Land of Pemakö by Kerstin Grothmann
This study explores the history of migration by different Buddhist peoples from eastern Bhutan, the neighbouring Tawang area and the Tibetan plateau to the ‘hidden land’ (Tib. sbas yul) of Pemakö, and the circumstances that induced migrants to leave their homelands.
3. Under the Influence of Buddhism: The Psychological Well- being Indicators of GNH by Tashi Wangmo & John Valk
This article tries to see whether the indicators of GNH reflect the Buddhist principles or not, first by looking at some key foundational doctrines of Buddhism which might lie behind the GNH index and indicators: the Four Noble Truths, Karma, and the six perfections or paramitas to highlight Mahayana Buddhist principles of happiness and second by focussing on psychological well-being, one of the nine domains of GNH.
4. Culture, Public Policy and Happiness by Sangay Chophel
This paper explores the relationship between culture and happiness by analysing work from different disciplines as a way of shedding useful insight on policy issue. It discusses the role of public policy in furthering happiness. In addition, this paper discusses contemporary literature on identity, values, diversity, and public policy in relation to happiness and well- being, and corroborates some of the claims made in this paper by using the data from Gross National Happiness survey conducted in 2010 wherever it is applicable and warranted.
5. Trend of Bhutan’s Trade during 1907-26: Export by Ratna Sarkar & Indrajit Ray
This paper analyses the trend of merchandise export of Bhutan to British India during the reign of King Ugyen Wangchuck, explains the destination of export trade of Bhutan and makes an attempt to analyse the composition of exports.
1. A Zhabdrung Phunsum Tshogpa (zhabs drung phun sum tshogs pa) Thangka from the National Museum of Bhutan Collection by Ariana Maki
This paper presents recent research on one thangka from the museum collection depicting the theme of Zhabdrung Phunsum Tshogpa (zhabs drung phun sum tshogs pa), or ‘submitting [oneself] to the one with perfect qualities’. The composition converges around the 17th century religious and political master, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (zhabs drung ngag dbang rnam rgyal, 1594-1651).
2. Meme Lama Sonam Zangpo’s Kurseong Years: A Note on Factors in the Foundation of a Modern Bhutanese Religious Community outside of Bhutan by Amy Holmes-Tagchungdarpa
This paper is a brief attempt to fill in this period of Lama Sonam Zangpo’s life, and to provide an exploration of some of the factors that influence the development of religious communities.
3. From Mount Tsari to the tsechu: Bhutan’s Sacred Song and Lute Dance by Elaine Dobson
This article examines the dramnyen cham (Tib. sgra snyan ‘cham), a sacred dance which is led by a dramnyen player, and the choeshay, a religious song also accompanied with dance, and it explores their connection with the founding and spread of the Drukpa (dragon) Kagyu branch of Vajrayana Buddhism in Bhutan.
4. Invoking a Warrior Deity: A Preliminary Study of Lo-ju by Dendup Chophel
The article is based on manuscript of the rituals, hagiography of eminent Drukpa (‘brug pa) hierarchs and other socio- political publications though none of them directly relate to the actual rationale and period of the festival’s institution. So, this work is primarily a heuristic recreation of the festival based on stray references found in these sources that are appropriately corroborated with existing myths, legends and other grapevines.
1. Rows of Auspicious Seats by Dorji Penjore
This paper analyses centuries-old Bhutanese ritual, bzhugs gral phun sum tshogs pa’i rten ‘brel. Literally translated as ‘auspicious seating row’, its performance is believed to bring auspiciousness, and as such any significant public function in Bhutan compulsorily begins with performance of this ritual. That the ritual brings auspiciousness is ingrained in the Bhutanese psyche.
2. Chibdral: A Traditional Bhutanese Welcome Ceremony by Karma Rigzin
Chibdral, the focus of this paper, is a ceremonial procession of men and horses. ‘Chib’ refers to the horse that leads the procession and ‘Dral’ means “uniform line”. With a history believed to stretch back to the time of the Buddha, chibdral continues to be one of the most important and most frequently performed ceremonies in modern Bhutan.
3. The Sacred Dance of Peling Ging Sum by Khenpo Phuntsok Tashi
This paper explores the Peling Ging Sum, established in the 15th century by one of the most significant treasure revealers (terton) in the Vajrayana Buddhist history, Pema Lingpa (1450-1521). Meaning The Three Wrathful Deities of Pema Lingpa and also known as Peling Tercham, it consists of three parts: first, the stick dance (juging) which locates and points out the adversary; second, the sword dance (driging) to conquer and destroy it; and third, the drum dance (ngaging) celebrates victory over the adversary.
4. Hen Kha: A Dialect of Mangde Valley in Bhutan by Jagar Dorji
his paper presents research on Hen Kha, a dialect of the Mangde region found in the central district of Trongsa. As dialects around the world are perishing at an alarming rate, there is a deep concern about the future of Hen Kha and the other dialects of Bhutan whose presence helps reveal the cultural diversity of the country. The present analysis explores the effects of modernisation and urban migration on local vernacular, as well as the grass root efforts to conserve such languages, such as communities that are actively cultivating programming in the local dialect. Fortunately, there is still time for Bhutan to actively preserve such dialects so that they do not disappear into oblivion.
1. Stock Market Finance and Gross National Happiness: An Institutional Fit? Evidence from Bhutan by Bruce Hearn & Michael Givel
This paper studies the institutional fit and the appropriateness of neoclassical stock market institutions within the context of Buddhist informal institutions in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. This is particularly timely given the considerable media interest in the principles of Gross National Happiness (GNH) as an alternative series of measures relating to economic growth and development. Our findings reveal that while conventional development policy supporting stock market and banking system financial systems is not counter to the principles embodied in GNH the central government may be better in administering finance owing to a general apathy towards formal neoclassical institutions by the population owing to the dominance and pervasive strength of the Buddhist monastic traditions and culture in Bhutan.
2. Coinage in Bhutan During the 19th and 20th Centuries by Ratna Sarkara and Indrajit Ray
One of the principal objectives of this paper is to examine the degree of monetisation in the Bhutanese economy from the early period to the first quarter of the 20th Century. Section I narrates this development. Section II explains the types of coins struck in Bhutan during the 18th-19th Centuries. Section III deals with the types of coins that were used during the reign of Ugyen Wangchuck. This Section also seeks to estimate the addition of money in circulation during this period. Major findings of the study are summarised by way of conclusions in section IV.
3. Attitude of Nurses towards Mental Illness in Bhutan by Rinchen Pelzang
This paper explores the general nurses’ attitudes towards mental illness in Bhutan. A non-probability convenience sample with quantitative descriptive method was used. The sample represents the known population of nurses from National Referral Hospital (JDWNR Hospital), Thimphu. Overall, the findings indicated that the nurses surveyed have a positive attitude towards mental illness (mean – 134.39, SD – 17.35). Findings from this study shows that the nurses with psychiatric experience of 3-4 weeks and 4 weeks respectively were found to have more positive attitude towards mental illness indicating that the clinical placement of nurses in psychiatric unit improves attitudes towards mental illness.
4. Religious Practice of the Patients and Families during Illness and Hospitalization in Bhutan by Rinchen Pelzang
The purpose of the study is to explore the demand and extent of religious rituals performed by patients and families during illness and hospitalization in Bhutan. The study has used a convenience sample with quantitative method. The survey questionnaire was administered to a total of 106 patients and families who were admitted to the hospital at least for three days. Simple frequency count and percentages were used to interpret the findings of the study.
1. A Brief Account of Namkhai Nyinpo and his reincarnations by Sangay Wangdi
The present Namkhai Nyingpo po, the 7th reincarnation Jigme Thinley Namgyal was born in eastern Bhutan in 1966 at Tongshong to Tshering Gyaltshen and Sherabmo, the wisdom Dakini. At the time of his birth, many wonderful signs appeared. The rainbow appeared over the valley in the sunshine and the drinking water turned into white milk. The first word the child spoke was “Kharchu, Kharchu”. He could remember his past lives clearly and he even vividly recognized his previous disciples. Through his pure wisdom vision, the 16th Karmapa Rigpai Dorji impeccably recognized the boy as the legitimate reincarnation of Namkhai Nyingpo.
2. Dangphu Dingphu: The Origin of the Bhutanese Folktales by Dorji Penjore
Bhutan is no more an oral society and its store of oral tradition is depleting fast due to rapid social transformation and proliferation of mass media and modern communication system. There is little government or public effort to study, archive, translate, teach and use folktales. This paper makes a review of the Bhutanese oral tradition and discuses the origins of the Bhutanese folktales in light of major folklore theories. It attempts to promote better appreciation of the Bhutanese folktales through the study of their types, characters, themes, and narrative structure. It ends with a short discussion on its functions, primarily its role in educating children.
3. Intellectual Property, Access to Medicines and Public Health Issues in Bhutan by Kencho Palden
The effects of the trade liberalisation process has been felt in Bhutan; even though it is a developing country and one of the smallest markets in the world it has not been able to escape from the inevitable. This is evident from the accession process to the World Trade Organization, which is at an advanced stage. One important key factor in being compliant with the WTO is meeting the minimum standards of Trade-Related Aspects of the Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement. Multiple challenges exist in implementing the standards of the TRIPS Agreement. It has been argued that the effects of WTO- TRIPS compliance will be detrimental to Bhutan’s free health care policy, particularly access to medicines in the light of a lack of pharmaceutical industry and manufacturing capacity. The present legislation on intellectual property in Bhutan lacks necessary safeguards and flexibilities in the public health arena; these safeguards are present within the TRIPS Agreement and that is further amplified by the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health.
Beyond the Ballot Box
Report from the Deepening and Sustaining Democracy in Asia Conference, 11-14 October 2009
This publication is the proceedings of the conference on Deepening and Sustaining Democracy organised by the Royal Government of Bhutan, the Centre for Bhutan Studies and the United Nations Development Programme. The inspiration for this Conference emerged from discussions between the Hon’ble Prime Minister lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley and Mr Ajay Chhibber, United Nations Assistant Secretary General and UNDP Regional Director for Asia and Pacific. The conference was held not only to mark the smooth and peaceful democratic transition of Bhutan in 2008, but also as a platform to share lessons and experiences among countries in the region to help strengthen, deepen and sustain the democratic culture and values in Asia.
Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament from 13 countries representing South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) groups as well as others, participated in the Conference. Representatives of non-governmental and civil society organisations from a number of Asian countries, United Nations and international organisations representatives attended alongside regional journalists and Bhutanese participants. Fifteen internationally acclaimed scholars and experts on democracy presented papers and animated the discussions on a range of topics. Specifically, these were:
Foundations of Democracy Experiences in Democracy Civic Rights and Participation Elections and Justice Accountability and Freedom
These topics provided the opportunity to focus on the basic guiding principles of democracy – freedom of expression, equal access to justice, and that each country should develop its own tools and mechanisms to put these principles into action. The publication can be downloaded by different chapters from the following:
First Published: 2010
© The Centre for Bhutan Studies
GROSS NATIONAL HAPPINESS: PRACTICE AND MEASUREMENT
Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Gross National Happiness
Edited by Dasho Karma Ura and Dorji Penjore
This publication is the proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Gross National Happiness held in Thimphu, Bhutan, from 24 to 26 November 2008, against the backdrop of the global financial crisis. The conference which attracted 90 participants from 25 countries and five continents was attended by an average of 300 participants and observers. With the theme ‘Practice and Measurement’, the conference could not be held at a better place and time than Bhutan, the birthplace of GNH, and a time when the world is questioning the conventional growth model and its measurement system.
A total of 48 papers were presented. Almost all papers have been categorised to fit into one of the nine domains of Gross National Happiness: i. Psychological Wellbeing; ii. Time Use and Balance; iii. Cultural Diversity and Resilience; iv. Community Vitality; v. Ecological Diversity and Resilience; vi. Good Governance; vii. Health; viii. Education; and ix. Living Standard. Papers related to measuring progress and development of alternative measure of wellbeing (Measurement), and those related to carrying the GNH forward into global network and development of innovative ideas for implementing GNH (The Way Forward) constitute two separate parts.
The book is uploaded by chapters for easier and quicker download. The articles will begin downloading when you click on the title of the articles that you want.
TOWARDS GLOBAL TRANSFORMATION
Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Gross National Happiness
This book is a compilation of the papers presented at the Third International Conference on Gross National Happiness held from 22 to 28 November 2007 in Thailand. It was attended by about six hundred participants from academia, NGOs, governments, media, and religious institutions. The Centre would like to thank both the national and international participants for their papers submitted to the conference and helping in further expanding the concept of Gross National Happiness as well as for helping to take steps towards grounding the concept into practice. Only a select few papers are included in this volume due to lack of space.
First Published: 2008
© The Centre for Bhutan Studies