Aim High Magazine #65


The Happiest Country in the World

‘Gross national happiness’ is basically a development philosophy that acknowledges that economic growth is important but that economic growth must not be mindless. It should also be sustainable environmentally and it also should be equally spread throughout society’ ~Tshering Tobgay (Bhutan Ex-Prime Minister)

It is hard to imagine that a small country, located in South Asia and surrounded by India, Tibet, China, and Nepal, is the “Happiest Country” in the world. Bhutan is accessible only by two airplanes. The main language spoken in the “Land Of The Thunder Dragon” is Lhoka.

The Human Development Index gauges the feeling of well-being globally. The index measures life expectancy, education rates among children below age 15 years, income per capita and availability of clean drinking water and sanitation facilities. The HDI for Bhutan was 117 points higher than any other Asian country.

What makes the Bhutanese so happy?

Bhutan is building its economy around canons of happiness and well-being. Economic factors are not the most valuable ones for them. Thanks to their approach, Bhutan is developing in an entirely different way, being ranked high in terms of what matters to people – their sense of happiness.

Bhutan has found the perfect balance between modern technologies and cultural values. Modern ideas have become a part of Bhutan, but their desire to protect the environment has remained high. They can adapt to it to strengthen their economy, while still preserving thousand-year-old traditions and culture.

Bhutan has one of the most stable ecosystems in the world due to its long isolation. The restrictions on tourism and the protection of natural resources have let them preserve the gorgeous landscape as well as their cultural identity. Bhutan offers world’s best hiking routes, rivers teeming with life, mesmerizing cultural traditions, sacred monasteries and astonishing views of snow-capped mountains.

The investment into national well-being has paid off, making Bhutan the world’s leading voice on the topic of policy around the topic of happiness.

After having joined the United Nations, Bhutan has become one of the UN’s most active members on issues related to sustainable development, human rights, refugees and gender equality.

Julia Daszkiewicz 4c