This year is the 30th year of diplomatic relations with the country of Bhutan, Koreans visiting Bhutan in recent years has increased greatly. This year starting in June for 3 months, Koreans are receiving a 50 percent discount on events in Bhutan. What would ordinarily cost 250 dollars daily has been reduced to 125 dollars. A university professor writing in the Catholic Peace Weekly tells the readers that on the plane from Bangkok to Bhutan most of travelers were Korean.
was visiting the country on invitation to attend a one day workshop on
Sustainable Development Goals that were presented by the United Nations
and the the ways to achieve them in society.
is about one fifth the size of Korea with a population of a little over
750,000 and a GDP that is 166 in the list of nations. It's a Buddhist
nation and in many ways just opposite to Korea. In 1970 at the start of
restoration under a dictatorship, Korea and Bhutan were similar in the
GDP with about 200-300 dollars. Bhutan from that time began its Gross
National Happiness goal. Today Bhutan has not quite 3000 dollar GNP
while Korea comes close to 30,000 dollar GNP.
Korea has one of the highest suicide rates and one of the lowest
birthrates in the world and is not able to rid itself of one of the
lowest happiness i and quality of life indexes. In Bhutan 9 our of 10
citizens consider themselves happy, one of the highest in the world, Why
do we have this great discrepancy?
philosophy of government is determined by how happy the citizens are.
In 2008 the country began their periodical 5 year plan in achieving
happiness with a committee devoted to that cause. A happiness policy,
which is based on: * achieving a fair development of the economy *
protecting the environment for the citizens, and animals * progress in
developing traditional values and systems* to include the citizens in
the running of the government and listen to their requests, be efficient
and transparent in the running of government and to be conscious of the
above four pillars of our society.
aim is for the well being of the citizens, health, leisure, education,
cultural diversity, good government, community building, ecology and
renewal, which will be viewed with other indexes to measure the progress
of the efforts.
many countries are going to Bhutan to learn about their policies.
Thailand has stared a center with an index for happiness. He wonders
looking at Bhutan what have we lost in searching for material
prosperity. We can use Bhutan as a mirror to look at ourselves.
concludes the article with the hope of our new president who is an
admirer of the Bhutan experiment. Korea with an excessive search for
prosperity at the expense of happiness is able to work together with
Bhutan to help the developing countries to acknowledge the good and
bad qualities of each and to help others achieve sensible progress.