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One of a kind: Bhutan and the modernity challenge

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A small Buddhist nation long isolated in the Himalayas between China and India, Bhutan navigates the passage to internal modernity and global integration by using the precepts of ‘Gross National Happiness’: cultural and environmental preservation, economic equity and sustainability, and clean and transparent governance. Challenges include the degree of homogeneity desirable under the doctrine of ‘One Nation, One People’. The country's youth wrestle with an education often unsuitable for job prospects, urban migration, social temptations, and the waning of traditions. Choosing cultural elements suitable for preservation, modification, or substitution incorporates key elements of spiritual continuity for easing the development path.

Keywords: Bhutan; Gross National Happiness; cultural preservation; modernity

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of North Carolina Greensboro, Greensboro, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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