Bhutan, maybe the name sounds to us, the most experienced in geography and passionate travelers will also be able to locate it on a globe, but few, I'm sure, know why this country is exemplary and what it can teach all those of the G8, G20 and so on. Let's listen to what he has to tell us.
Bhutan: where it is
Without offending those who already know, the Bhutan, to tell the truth officially it should be called in full "Kingdom of Bhutan ", bordered to the north by Tibet and to the south by India, is located in a mountainous region of Asia, in particular in the Himalayan range. A few numbers: its area is 47,000 km², its population about ten years ago was about 650,000 inhabitants, of which almost 80 thousand in the capital: Thimphu.
For those wishing to leave to check what I am telling, the language to be able to speak in order to understand the residents is dzongkha. At a political level, to date, Bhutan has been a constitutional monarchy since 2007, and the current sovereign is called Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.
Bhutan: Gross Domestic Happiness
So far it is not yet clear what on earth we should envy to this little state in the mountains, certainly not easy to reach and perhaps not even with a great climate, compared to ours, which is sweetly sunny. The Bhutan holds the secret of happiness, yes, and it is not a legend or a rumor that its inhabitants have put around, those who govern us and those who governed us have adopted an approach to life, concretely speaking, based on the maximization of an unknown index or neglected, perhaps deliberately, by us.
I'm talking about the FIL, the Gross Internal Happiness (Gross National Happiness). Making a mockery of our GDP, not giving a damn about the "spread", King Jigme Singye Wangchuck already invented it in the seventies and built around it a real national development plan for Bhutan.
What does this mean in practice? That for every decision, be it economic, landscape, political, the FIL, taking the direction that leads to the improvement of living standards and the spiritual and physical well-being of those who live in Bhutan.
There Happiness, cannot exist regardless of the environment, so respect for and enhancement of flora and fauna is also absolutely one of the priorities in Bhutan. The person is naturally at the center of the internal and external politics of this country and it is in this sense, even selfishly thinking, that the environment must be preserved, being at the basis of the spiritual and physical harmony of each individual.
The five key issues in which the FIL dictates the law and leads to a quietly revolutionary change, are: human development, governance, balanced and equitable development, cultural heritage and environmental conservation.
Bhutan: protection of trees in the Constitution
As I have already pointed out, love for the environment and the commitment to preserve those who live there, plants, humans or other animals, is an essential and inseparable part of the concept of FIL from Bhutan, but in countries where the rules of the Buddhist faith (the most widespread) have been followed for centuries, part of the awareness work is already done. It is not new, the idea that in Bhutan you can not harm either animals or plants, it applies to every single inhabitant, even more so for those who govern and decide the present and the future of the territory.
The surface of the Bhutan, thanks to precise and binding rules, it is occupied by forests for at least 60% and every year numerous trees take the place of those cut down so that deforestation does not enter the borders of the Bhutan. Whoever dares to cut down a tree, without special permission, is severely punished by the forest guards who patrol the area where they are. mainly conifers and trees which are well found in the country's humid climate.
The animals that enjoy the Inner Happiness of Bhutan I'm there bengal tiger, the Asian elephant, the bharal, the tahr, the Indian wolf and the Indian rhinoceros. In this video, the secrets of the FIL and some indiscretions to emulate this interesting green development model.
Bhutan: I travel for a few
To grasp the secret of Bhutan one can inform oneself from afar, one can deepen and study, and anyone can do it. Getting your feet in that land is much more difficult: we Italians, like all non-Bhutanese, must have an entry visa, a document that is not at all easy to obtain.
It is released only when you arrive on site, at the airport or at the "land" crossing point, and the process to have the road free in Bhutan involves a series of non-trivial steps, including the consent Foreign Ministry of the country, in Thimpu. To collect detailed and updated information on how to issue visas, you can contact the'Embassy of Bhutan in Switzerland, in Geneva, before leaving in search of happiness and then return sad.
Bhutan: when to go
If we are still willing to attempt the enterprise to achieve the Bhutan, the best times to leave are the autumn months: from the end of September to the end of November in fact we will find a clear sky that allows you to admire the peaks of the highest mountains, a good climate also suitable for devote yourself to trekking and excursions in the area.
Let's forget to visit this country during the monsoon period, from June to August: a Thimphu on average 0.5 m of rain is measured, on the hills even twice as much, it falls.
For those who already have their suitcase ready, for those who don't want to leave but want to explore with it look at the land of happiness, here is the detailed map.
Bhutan: Taktsang Monastery
There is no evidence that there are links between the FIL and this monastery but certainly a stop to see the Tana della Tigre from life, as it is nicknamed, must be done. It is 10 km away north of Paro, perched on a precipitous wall at 3,120 meters above sea level and 900 meters above the sea level below Paro Valley.
Is called "The Monastery" but it includes various Buddhist temples, dates back to 1600 and it is said that the Guru Padmasambhava he meditated for three months during the eighth century in a cave located near this wonderful construction made by adapting the local granite rocks and the mountain terrain in order to create harmony with the surrounding environment. In all there are four main temples and others where people live, visiting the complex is possible also admire the paintings.
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