Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bhutan is not the 'Shangri-la on earth'

The measure of happiness has been a topic of debate in the Sinagporean Parliament over the last few days, and constant references to Bhutan have been made as well.
However, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in the debate that he visited Bhutan a few years ago and he saw that the over-romanticised version of GNH did not fit the reality in Bhutan.

He confronted that Bhutan is not the "Shangri-la on earth".
  And he cited reasons why: 

"Most of the time, I saw unhappy people [in Bhutan], toiling in the field, worried about the next harvest and whether there would be buyers for their products. They have studied us because Singapore is also a tiny nation, living next to big neighbours.

"We have successfully transited from third world to first, and managed to create a functioning and harmonious society for our people. In their minds, Singapore could well be the Shangri-la and they want Bhutan to emulate Singapore."

Read the link here:


  1. Nice one sir. Read the link also. While the Development Minister of Singapore says he came to Bhutan and saw the unhappy scenario here, it doesn't necessarily mean he can say that our idea of happiness is romanticized or something like that. It's just that we have tried to take a new way of moving forward economically and socially rather than just the pure economic growth. This is what I understand it at least. He may be one to say that Bhutan is not the Shang ri La but there is no denying of the fact that most of the people outside see Bhutan as one. Whatever, we are always proud to be Bhutanese. Entirely my personal views la, sir. Keep posting.

  2. wel here i cant say, which is more right as both is equal concern here....but one is alwys proud to be Bhutnaese here that what more important here..nic post Sir

  3. GNH is discussed overtly in and out of the country by every Bhutanese but as far as I know, material wealth is considered equally important. No money, No food, no happiness. This is how world is running. Poor people enjoy the smaller amount of wealth while the rich people spend lavishly over everything. This is the fact and no one can deny this. We talk about GNH and we try hard preserving it but God knows, who is really practicing GNH.