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Dzongkha is more than a language

Language is not only a medium of communication – in that you don’t learn a language just to be able to communicate with someone. Language is a bearer of culture and cultural values, it is a conveyor of feelings and belief systems. And language provides the key to unlock the …

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A close-up dig at the life of our roadside workers

It is estimated that there are about close to 2,450 roadside workers as part of the national workforce in the country, which is 0.32% of the country’s population.  This group of the national workforce that is scantly spread across the country continue to form the cornerstone workforce fervidly engaged in their own style and …

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Global Knowledge, Bhutanese Solutions

Listening live – in Thimphu’s Changlimithang Stadium – to His Majesty The King’s National Address, I was truly excited when it became apparent that the focus of the speech was on the challenges to the Bhutanese civil service, the topic I had discussed with junior civil servants the previous Friday …

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Our National Day

Of the many beautiful events that take place in our country on occasions big and small, the one that galvanises our people and binds us together as a family in a truly powerful and palpable way is the celebration of our National Day. The seventeenth day of December marks a …

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Do you have what it takes?

Sir Winston Churchill once said that, “success is moving from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” The axiom is true enough that failure breeds success; failures can be a tremendous source of learning and personal growth.  Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States of America, and …

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Celebrating progress and prosperity in Samtse

On December 17, 1907 when Bhutanese clergy, state officials, and representatives of the people unanimously elected Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuck as the first hereditary King of Bhutan, it signalled the beginning of a new era in Bhutanese history. This academic documentation of the significance of the National Day is what most Bhutanese …

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Making Gelephu an elephant-friendly town

Death is uncertain. That you will perhaps die at the hands of an elephant more so. I usually sleep on long flights. The WeChat message on my phone when I was aboard a plane from Vienna to Delhi didn’t allow me that simple pleasure. A friend had been killed by …

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Mission: A self-reliant economy

Recently, I read a book  Chalta Hai India: When ‘It’s Ok!’ is Not Ok by one Alpesh Patel. It’s about the so-called Indian attitude of Chalta Hai (‘it’s okay’, ‘let it be’). Somehow, I could not help drawing similarity with our own Kheymi (it’s ok, let it be) attitude. While there are many …

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Fostering growth of social businesses

With the choice to focus on Gross National Happiness, Bhutan has chosen to be great instead of big. Through such an approach, the country has become a small giant. As indicated earlier (Kuensel December 8, 2018), this broad policy framework provides tremendous opportunities for leap frogging in terms of Bhutan’s …

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The Words of the Buddha in the Palm of Your Hands

How an idea sparked off the greatest Buddhist project in modern history THE peepal tree is about 15 metres high. A tangle of branches dense with leaves stretches away from its thick, gnarly trunk, extending over an ancient balustrade where its larger limbs are supported by steel poles. It is …

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Buchung Gyalwa Zangpo Son of Chagzam Wangpo

Drubthob Thangtong Gyalo (1385-1466/58?) had a son from Bhutan. But, none of his three biographies mentions Buchung Gyalwa Zangpo.  Buchung or son Gyalwa was born in Merak, a nomadic community in modern north-eastern Bhutan bordering Tibet. There is a clay statue of him in the Gengo Lhakhang in the highland …

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Unique opportunities for a fair and just economy in Bhutan

Vast and increasing inequality, environmental challenges and crisis in many democracies are currently the three major problems the world is facing. Bhutan is relatively fortunate that so far only the first problem, link with rising unemployment, have clearly manifested in the country. Bhutan is still predominantly an agrarian society. That …

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The Voice of the Market

In many cultures, the tolerance for risk, and acceptance of failure, is low. This can create debilitating “fear and trembling” for the entrepreneur, who finds himself or herself in the midst of this triangulation. This is often termed the Tall Poppy Syndrome: the tendency for the many to bring down …

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