|Vol. 101: A Country of Happiness|
Although traveling overseas is quite popular, most people have little knowledge of Bhutan. I was surprised about so many things when I actually visited there. Bhutan is located in a mountainous area bordered by India and the Himalayan Mountains. Unlike my expectation, this country was a nation with a high cultural level. I found cleanliness all over the country and the people were quiet and conservative. This feeling was quite different from what I found in neighboring countries such as India and Nepal. Bhutan is not a rich country but each individual living there seems to be happy. I thought they were happier than the Japanese, over 50% of whom feel insecure or worry about life. I thought about this while looking at the very peaceful faces of ordinary people in Bhutan.
A banner called “Dharsing” is a symbolic item of Bhutan. Dharsing can be found in many places such as the precincts of temples, the mountain passes and the foot of mountains. Darsing are usually placed with many other Darshing and they look like a little grove of trees A sacred mantra is printed on the banner. Dharsing sends a prayer for travelers’ safety and for people’s happiness.
I would like to see “GNH” (Gross National Happiness) advocated by the ruler of this kingdom become the guidepost for the world instead of GNP.