Friday, 19 December 2008

Bhutan : Bhutan celebrates Centenary National Day

December 18: A blessed Kingdom with a fortunate people ruled by enlightened monarchs, under the leadership of a caring and compassionate Druk Gyalpo who inspires his people, Bhutan celebrated the historic Centenary National Day yesterday.

With His Majesty at the celebrations in Changlimethang, the people of Thimphu and nearby areas came in their Tshechu best to soak in the celebrations of a historic day. The celebration was broadcast LIVE on BBS TV and Radio.

His Majesty the King and the statue of Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck were escorted to the celebration ground in an elaborate chipdrel procession. The sky was without a whisper of clouds as the December sun brought warmth to an auspicious and historic day. His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, Their Majesties the Queen Mothers and the members of the royal family, cabinet ministers, representatives of the clergy, the armed forces, parliamentarians, students and the international community joined the celebrations. After His Majesty’s arrival at the celebrations ground, the national flag was hoisted and a guard of honour was presented.

This was followed by the Jibi Pao and a Marchhang Ceremony.

Thousands of Bhutanese across the Kingdom, who were watching and listening to the LIVE coverage of the celebrations on BBS TV and Radio waited to listen to His Majesty the King’s Centenary National Day address.

Addressing the nation, His Majesty the King said we have all together, as one small family, celebrated 100 years of Monarchy, the start of Democracy and His Majesty’s Coronation. His Majesty said the success of these celebrations and in fact the success of our nation over the last 100 years owes so much to the prayers and hard work of our people.

His Majesty offered His gratitude to the people of the 20 dzongkhags for the kindness and love shown by the people during His Majesty’s Coronation. Following His Majesty’s address, it was time for the student scouts from schools of the Thimphu valley to present the March Past. The staff of various ministries, agencies and corporations also performed cultural programme.

The Centenary National Day assumes profound significance as 2008 saw Bhutan celebrate the Coronation of His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the Centenary of the Monarchy and the successful and peaceful transition to democracy. From far flung hamlets of rural Bhutan to the sprawling urban centres, the Centenary National Day is an opportune time for Bhutanese to pay tribute to our Monarchs, an auspicious occasion to pray for the Long Life of His Majesty the King, His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo and for continued peace, prosperity and happiness in the Kingdom.

At the Changlimethang ground, where Bhutanese from all walks of life came to celebrate the historic Centenary National Day, many were blessed by the privilege of an audience with His Majesty the King.

As a moving Tashi Lebay started, it was time to pause and reflect, to go back 100 years when with the coming of the Wangchuck dynasty, the sun of happiness has been shining, bringing unprecedented peace, prosperity and happiness in the Kingdom.

As 2008 comes to a close, it is with immense satisfaction and pride that we celebrate the successful transition to democracy, the Centenary of our Monarchy, the institution that binds us as a people and a nation, the Coronation of His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the protector of the people, the embodiment of our hopes and aspirations and the guardian of our well being.

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