Hey world – presenting Miss Bhutan

How does a country that only gave up its “absolute monarchy” status in 2008 (because its then leader, King Jigme, insisted) transition to the 21st century?

Slowly, very slowly.

Bhutan is a landlocked country in South Asia bordered primarily by India. Bhutan is unique: it measures its success by GNH (Gross National Happiness) instead of GNP (Gross National Product).

Priorities are different there: Thimpu, Bhutan is still the world’s only capital city without a traffic light. When in public, the Bhutanese are required to wear the national dress – a gho for a man, and a kira for woman. And archery is the national sport.

Miss Bhutan, Gross National Happiness, modernization, third-to-second world development, cultural priorities

With the introduction of TV and Internet in the late 90s, modernity is creeping in. While outsiders want to preserve the tiny “Shangra-la,” many Bhutanese want to live in step with the rest of world. The reigning Miss Bhutan is one of them. Call the border police world, Tsokye Tsomo Karchung is grossly happy, breaking out and taking Bhutan with her. Read all about it.

Images: Bhutanese flag is in the public domain; Tsokye Tsomo Karchung, © Kama Jerry via The Wall Street Journal.

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