Bhutan | Thimphu

Bhutan Gross National Happiness (GNH) Centre

– Embrace Bhutan Cultural Tour –

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08 Nov 2019 | Fri

Day 02 of 13

Today’s Events:

– Exploring Capital City Thimphu Bhutan

– Bamboo Supported Construction Site Thimphu

– National Memorial Chorten Thimphu

– Bhutan Institute of Traditional Medicine

> Bhutan Gross National Happiness (GNH) Centre <

– Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan

Lunch in Thimphu

– Motithang Takin Preserve Thimphu

– Tashichho Dzong Viewpoint Thimphu

– Centenary Farmers Market Thimphu

– Evening Lecture with Kuenzang Dechen

– Bhutan Gross National Happiness (GNH) Centre –

Our next place to visit was one of the more interesting stops – the Gross National Happiness (GNH) Centre.

Amazing Philosophy to Bring Happiness and Well-Being

Here we were given a wonderful presentation by Wesel Dema (GNHC Programme Officer) that went into great detail explaining the vision and philosophy of Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness (GNH) as introduced by His Majesty the Fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck in the early 1970s

Wesel Dema Giving Presentation About Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness

What is Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness (GNH)?

Gross National Happiness (GNH), sometimes called Gross Domestic Happiness (GDH), is a philosophy that guides the government of Bhutan. It includes an index which is used to measure the collective happiness and well-being of a population. Gross National Happiness Index is instituted as the goal of the government of Bhutan in the Constitution of Bhutan, enacted on 18 July 2008.”

– from Wikipedia Gross National Happiness
Presentation Slides About Gross National Happiness

How Did Concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) Come About?

The concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) was promulgated by His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King of Bhutan in the early 1970s. When His Majesty spoke about GNH at the time, he questioned the prevailing measurement system that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) alone could deliver happiness and well-being to society. He was still a teenage monarch, and wise beyond his years. His Majesty firmly believed that happiness is an indicator, and a sign of progressive development for the Bhutanese people. He also believed in the legitimacy of public discussion in defining Bhutan’s development goals.

– GNH Centre Bhutan History of GNH

Main Concepts of Gross National Happiness (GNH)

The main concepts of GNH described to us in the presentation were:

  1. Four Pillars of Gross National Happiness (GNH)
  2. Nine Domains of Gross National Happiness (GNH)
  3. GNH Screening Tool
  4. GNH Happiness Index

Four Pillars of Gross National Happiness (GNH)

The concept of Gross National Happiness can be explained by its four pillars:

  1. Good Governance
  2. Sustainable Socio-economic Development
  3. Preservation and Promotion of Culture
  4. Environmental Conservation

– For More Info… GNH Centre Four Pillars of GNH

Nine Domains of Gross National Happiness (GNH)

The four pillars are further elaborated into nine domains, which articulate the different elements of GNH in detail and form the basis of GNH measurement, indices and screening tools.

  1. Living standards
  2. Education Health
  3. Environment
  4. Community
  5. Vitality
  6. Time-use
  7. Psychological well-being
  8. Good Governance
  9. Cultural resilience and promotion

For More Info… GNH Centre Nine Domains of GNH

GNH Screening Tool

The GNH Screening Tool is a system that ensures all development policies and projects of Bhutan are reviewed under the lens of GNH.

For More Info… GNH Centre GNH Screening Tool

GNH Happiness Index

The GNH index is a holistic approach to measuring the happiness and well-being of the Bhutanese population. It is a measurement tool used for policymaking to increase GNH.

For More Info… GNH Centre GNH Happiness Index

Great Presentation & Discussion

As a group, we found the presentation by Wesel Dema (GNHC Programme Officer) about Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness (GNH) to be very interesting and informative. She won us over with her awesome enthusiasm and positive nature.

Group Having Great Discussion About Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness

As a Westerner from the United States, it was so refreshing to see a country come up with such a smart and well throughout philosophy to bring happiness and well-being to their society. For just the concept alone, what His Majesty the Fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck came up with is truly impressive!

At the end of the presentation, we were totally sold on the philosophy of Gross National Happiness and all left being a bit envious that we did not have something like this back home!

Bhutan Gross National Happiness (GNH) Centre

Map – Bhutan Gross National Happiness (GNH) Centre

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